ALBANY, N.Y. – Kristin Higy and Gia Sanders both recorded a double-double to carry the University at Albany past the University of New Hampshire women’s basketball team, 67-50, Sunday afternoon at SEFCU Arena. The Wildcats end a three-game winning streak with the loss and fall to 6-15, 3-6 in America East, while the Great Danes extend their streak to four games and improve to 8-14, 6-3 in conference play.
Sophomore guard Amy Simpson (Waterford, Conn.), with 19 points, led the squad in scoring for the third straight game and was named America East Player of the Game for the Wildcats. Sophomore forward Candace Williams (Norfolk, Mass.) led the Wildcats in rebounding and was just one board shy of a double-double with 10 points and nine rebounds.
Senior guard Ashley Cerniglia (Pittsford, N.Y.) hit back-to-back 3-pointers as the Wildcats held the Great Danes scoreless for over four minutes of action to take a nine-point lead (15-6) with 12:14 remaining in the first half. Later on in the same half, Albany then kept the Wildcats from scoring for four minutes of play. The 11-0 run gave the Great Danes their first lead of the game, 28-24, with just under three minutes to play in the half. New Hampshire’s only field goal in the final six minutes of the opening frame was a 3-pointer by Simpson with 44 seconds remaining to make it 33-29 in favor of Albany at the half. Simpson finished the half with 11 points. The Wildcats outrebounded its opponent, 20-15, in the first and went on to finish the game with four more rebounds (38-34).
New Hampshire mounted a comeback early on in the second half, which cut the deficit to one point, 33-32, at 18:18. However, the Wildcats could not get the lead as the Great Danes pulled ahead by five, 39-34, at 15:37. The Great Danes went on to hold New Hampshire scoreless for over four minutes of action and took an 11-point lead (48-37) with 9:21 left to play. The 9-0 Albany run included five points by Janea Aiken and four by Higy. Cerniglia sunk a shot from beyond the arc to end the Wildcat scoring drought, making it 48-40 with 9:08 remaining.
New Hampshire cut the deficit to six points (51-45) on a trifecta by Williams and a jumper by Simpson at 7:14, but the Great Danes pulled further ahead and led by as many as 18 points (65-47) on a 3-pointer by Britney McGee with three minutes left to play. Once again Albany held New Hampshire to just one field goal to close out the final six minutes of the frame. The Wildcats lone basket took place when Kathryn Early (Corning, N.Y.) connected after retrieving an offensive rebound with 31 seconds remaining in the game.
McGee had eight second-half points and led the Great Danes in scoring with 13 points. Higy, Sanders and Aiken each finished the game with 11 points, while Higy and Sanders pulled down 12 and 10 boards, respectively.
The Wildcats return to action Saturday, Feb. 16 when they travel to Connecticut to face the Hartford Hawks. Tip off at the RAC Center is scheduled for 2 p.m. The squad returns home to Lundholm Gymnasium on Wednesday, Feb. 19 when they host Vermont.