The UAlbany women’s basketball program was unable to complete the regular-season sweep of Vermont, as the Catamounts avenged Monday their America East Conference loss against the Great Danes from two days earlier.
Vermont won 63-55 at Roy L. Patrick Gymnasium in Burlington, Vermont, in a game that saw UAlbany struggle to score — especially in the game’s third quarter. The teams were tied at 31 at halftime, but the Great Danes only made 1 of 10 shots in the third quarter as Vermont pushed to a 10-point lead heading into the fourth. UAlbany made a strong charge in the game’s final quarter, but the Great Danes never took a shot in the final period with the chance to tie or take the lead.
For the game, UAlbany made 17 of 50 shots and committed 16 turnovers. Against UAlbany’s defense, which entered the game ranked No. 1 in the nation in scoring at 47.8 points allowed per game, Vermont made 23 of 47 shots and only had nine turnovers.
The defeat against Vermont (9-5 league, 15-10 overall) was potentially a costly one for UAlbany (10-4, 17-8), which fell behind Maine (10-3, 13-10) in the league standings and the race for the postseason’s top seed. Securing home-court advantage for multiple rounds in the conference tournament is especially important for UAlbany, which is 12-0 at SEFCU Arena and 5-8 away from it.
UAlbany had defeated Vermont 54-52 in a game Saturday in Albany. On Monday, Josie Larkins and Emma Utterback each scored 17 points for Vermont, while Helene Haegerstrand scored a team-high 12 for UAlbany and teammate Lucia Decortes added 11. Kayla Cooper, UAlbany’s leading scorer on the season at 11.9 points, had only two points on 0 of 8 shooting in 22 minutes.
Vermont outscored UAlbany 14-4 in the third quarter, but the Great Danes scored nine of the fourth’s first 13 points to get back into the game. A 3-pointer from Morgan Haney with 3:45 left brought UAlbany within 54-51. After a free throw from Utterback, UAlbany’s Freja Werth made 1 of 2 at the line and the Great Danes recorded a defensive stop to gain possession — briefly — down 55-52 with less than three minutes to play. Quickly, a turnover from Werth occurred, and Larkins made a basket to put Vermont up five points and UAlbany never was able to get closer than that the rest of the contest.
UAlbany next plays Wednesday when it hosts Binghamton.