UAlbany women’s basketball falls to Vanderbilt

University at Albany's Helene Haegerstrand takes a shot Wednesday, December 1, 2021.

University at Albany's Helene Haegerstrand takes a shot Wednesday, December 1, 2021.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The UAlbany women’s basketball team got enough defensive stops, but couldn’t manufacture enough offense Wednesday to pull off the upset at Vanderbilt of the SEC.

Vanderbilt, coached by former UConn star Shea Ralph, defeated UAlbany 52-41 at Memorial Gymnasium in a non-conference game. The Great Danes of the America East were within three possessions of Vanderbilt for the first nine-plus minutes of the fourth quarter, but UAlbany only made three field goals in a period that included a gap of five-and-a-half minutes between the team’s second and third made baskets.

UAlbany had pulled to within 44-37 of Vanderbilt after Kayla Cooper’s second basket of the fourth quarter with less than six minutes to go. Besides a pair of free throws from Lilly Phillips with 3:26 to go, though, the Great Danes didn’t make another shot until Phillips scored a basket with less than 20 seconds to go. In between Phillips’ free throws and basket in the fourth quarter, Vanderbilt made four free throws to keep a safe lead against the Great Danes.

UAlbany (3-4) trailed Vanderbilt (6-5) 25-16 at halftime, then entered the fourth quarter down 40-33 after a big quarter from Helene Haegerstrand. After not scoring in the first half, Haegerstrand scored all 11 of her team-high points in the third quarter.

Phillips had 10 points, while Kayla Cooper added eight points and 10 rebounds. Brinae Alexander led Vanderbilt with 17 points.

UAlbany committed 24 turnovers in the loss, three more than Vanderbilt. Vanderbilt outrebounded UAlbany 36-24, and the Great Danes only collected 21 of 35 rebounds on their defensive glass.

UAlbany next plays Sunday at its home SEFCU Arena against Capital Region rival Siena. The Saints are off to a 0-7 start, and they last played Thursday. In that most-recent contest, Siena lost 56-54 to Colgate.

UAlbany and Siena were scheduled to play last season, but that game was canceled due to issues related to the novel coronavirus pandemic. During the 2019-20 season, Siena defeated UAlbany 52-46.

Categories: College Sports, Sports

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