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Royals leads Great Danes to win over Maine. Story from UAlbany web-site.

POSTED January 19, 2014
BY Timothy W. Gaffney
Twitter: @TimothyGaffney

ALBANY, N.Y. – Four UAlbany players scored in double figures, led by Sarah Royals scoring a career-high 23, as the Great Danes took down Maine 84-56 in its first conference home game.

Up by just four at the half, UAlbany (14-3, 4-0 AE) used a 21-2 run in the second half to surge past Maine (9-9, 3-2 AE) for the win.  The Great Danes had a 56.7% field goal percentage to Maine’s 38.3%.

“We wanted to make them shoot two instead of threes,” said UAlbany head coach Katie Abrahamson-Henderson. “I told our players to keep them in front of us, adjusting our press and zone defense in the game.

Royals shot 8-9 from the field for UAlbany and 7-11 from the free throw line, adding four steals for 23 points, surpassing her career-high set with 21 against Siena.

“We made some adjustments, playing stronger defender and focusing on bosing out and shutting certain players,” said Royals.

Shereesha Richards scored 19 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for her 11th double-double of the year, matching the single season UAlbany record set by Danielle Hutcheson in three different seasons.

“I am happy I got the record, but I am happier we got the win,” said Richards. “We wanted to step up our defense, and we altered our goal in this game.”

Off the bench, Imani Tate set a new career-high with 13 points, adding five rebounds.

For Maine, Ashleigh Roberts scored 22 points, going 8-14 from the field.  Sigi Koizar had three points, six rebounds and three assists.

After Richards hit a three up top the arc, UAlbany converted off a steal in transition for a Margarita Rosario layup to start up 5-0 in the opening minutes.  Each side saw a number of three point chances, with Lauren Bodine hitting a pair for Maine as the score was tied at 10 after six minutes.

UAlbany started to have its guards go into the paint, with Royals and Tate earning layups to push the Great Danes ahead 15-13.

Back and forth the teams went, with Maine taking an 18-17 lead.  UAlbany countered as Rosario hit a corner three as UAlbany started a 9-0 run, holding Maine without points for over five minutes as the Great Danes led 26-18 advantage with 3:30 in the 1st.

Bodine and Ashleigh Roberts hit a three each down the stretch of the first half to pull Maine closer.  UAlbany led 30-26 at the break.

Following Roberts hitting the first shot of the half, UAlbany found success on the press, forcing a pair of turnovers at halfcourt.  Richards had a pair of layups in a UAlbany 7-0 run to make it 37-28 Great Danes.

At 39-32 with 14:52 left, the UAlbany backcourt started getting hot, with Erin Coughlin starting with a personal 5-0 run.  Tate, Royals and Richards all added layups as the home team pushed forward with a 21-2 run, constructing a 60-34 advantage with 7:40 left.  UAlbany did not allow a field goal in that span.

UAlbany never looked back in the game.  Despite Roberts hitting shots down the stretch, Royals and Tate countered the other way to keep the lead big.  UAlbany took the game 84-56.

UAlbany returns to the road on Monday, January 20th, taking on Binghamton at 7 p.m.

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