UAlbany women’s basketball to face UMass in first round of WNIT

Basketball player goes between two defenders

UAlbany’s Freja Werth takes a shot against Siena’s Teresa Seppala and Emina Selimovic during the women’s basketball Albany Cup at Siena College in Loudonville on Nov. 13, 2022.

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UALBANY – The UAlbany women’s basketball team knows who it will be playing in the WNIT. The Great Danes (22-11) will travel to Amherst, Massachusetts, on Friday for a 7 p.m. game Friday against UMass.

UAlbany enters the tournament off a disappointing 38-36 loss to Vermont in the America East championship on Friday. UMass (26-6) enters off a 91-85 loss to Saint Louis in the Atlantic 10 championship on March 5.

It will be UAlbany’s second appearance in the WNIT. The first came in the 2017-18 season, when UAlbany lost on the road to Pennsylvania, 76-61, in the first round. 

The teams had three common opponents this season: Dartmouth, UMass Lowell and Maine. UAlbany beat Dartmouth 73-45, beat UMass Lowell twice (62-38 and 57-49) and won two out of three against Maine (lost 50-49, then won 53-50 and 72-64). UMass beat Dartmouth (77-58), UMass Lowell (71-53) and Maine (67-54).

UAlbany and Vermont shared the America East regular-season league title, with the Great Danes earning the No. 2 seed for the tournament on the tiebreaker system. It had wins over UMass Lowell and Maine before facing Vermont last Friday.

Kayla Cooper leads UAlbany with 15.1 points and 8.2 rebounds per game. Helene Haegerstrand adds 14.4 points per game, and is the team’s top 3-point shooter with 45 for the season. Ellen Hahne averages 11.5 points, 5.7 rebounds and a team-high 1.2 steals per game.

UMass, which averages an impressive 76 points per game, is led by 6-foot-1 graduate student forward Sam Breen, with 17.5 points, 10.1 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game. Sydney Taylor adds 15.9 points per game. Ber’Nyah Mayo contributes 12.8 points and 2.5 steals per game. Destiney Philoxy averages 5.1 assists per game to go along with 10.8 points per game.

The Minutewomen are eighth in the country in assists per game and 11th in the country in assist/turnover ratio.

The winner of the UAlbany/UMass game will play the winner of Harvard vs. Towson sometime between Saturday and March 21.

Contact Will Springstead at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @WLSpringstead.

Categories: College Sports, Sports, Sports, UAlbany

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