UAlbany women’s basketball shrugs off another slow start, beats UMass Lowell

University at Albany head coach Colleen Mullen yells instructions on Jan. 10.

University at Albany head coach Colleen Mullen yells instructions on Jan. 10.

TROY — Another slow start led to another too-close-for-comfort effort for UAlbany women’s basketball Wednesday night against struggling UMass Lowell, but a big performance from Helene Haegerstrand was enough to carry the America East-leading Great Danes in a 57-49 win at Hudson Valley Community College.

Coming off their first conference loss of the season last Saturday against Maine, UAlbany (9-1 America East, 15-9 overall) found itself Wednesday night in what’s become a familiar position as of late — trailing after the first quarter.

UAlbany struggled mightily in the first quarter, shooting just 3 of 16 from the field, and trailed 15-9 after the first quarter. The Great Danes got back within 27-24 at the half, then used a 17-7 third quarter to take control before holding off a challenge from the River Hawks (1-9, 2-18) down the stretch.

Up 41-34 after 30 minutes, UAlbany stretched its lead to 10 on multiple occasions early in the fourth, but couldn’t put a stubborn UMass Lowell team completely away. The River Hawks got as close as 49-46 on a Jaini Edmonds 3-pointer with 4:19 to play, but back-to-back Kayla Cooper layups restored a seven-point margin for the Great Danes. 

Cooper, Ellen Hahne and Grace Heeps were 4 of 6 from the free throw line in the final minute to seal the win.

Haegerstrand finished with a game-high 20 points on 7 of 14 shooting, Hahne added 15 points and 12 rebounds, and Cooper scored five of her 10 points in the fourth quarter. Edmonds finished with 18 points and Kaylen Banawareesingh had 12 points and 12 rebounds for UMass Lowell.

UAlbany returns to action Saturday at noon against Vermont, a team the Great Danes beat 60-46 on Dec. 29 at HVCC.

Categories: College Sports, Sports, UAlbany

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