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UMass Lowell Women’s Basketball Loss to UAlbany

(Photo courtesy of UMass Lowell) Lowell’s Kaylen Banwareesingh takes a shot during the game against UAlbany

Alex Decacto-Roed
Connector Staff

On Wednesday night, the UMass Lowell women’s basketball team ended their three-game winning streak with a 56-44 loss to the UAlbany Great Danes at SEFCU Arena.

Although opening the game with a 7-2 run, trouble started early for the River Hawks, who were caught off guard by the Great Danes’ offense. Albany quickly gained control over the game’s momentum and pace until halftime, going on a 16-point run and holding the River Hawks scoreless for over five minutes in the first quarter.

The strong UAlbany defense clogged the passing lanes forcing River Hawk shot-clock violations and turnovers, violations which plagued Lowell throughout the night. UAlbany scored 11 points on turnovers by the end of the game.

University of Albany also had a potent offense, with forward Helene Haegerstrand leading the Great Danes with 18 points and three rebounds. Haegerstrand was a threat in the paint and on the three-point line all night long. The River Hawks soon found themselves at a 16-point deficit and a 33 percent field-goal percentage at halftime.

However, UMass Lowell returned from halftime with composure, holding UAlbany defensively, stealing and attacking the net. The River Hawks quickly came within 9 points of the Great Danes after a three-point shot from Kaylen Banwareesingh, who ended the night with a team-high 11 points. Forward Denise Solis and guard Kharis Idom, who finished the night with 10 points, added to the late River Hawks offensive effort.

Despite the loss, the second half showed how dangerous the UMass Lowell women’s basketball team can be. They proved they can quickly score and the River Hawk defense, when firing on all cylinders, demonstrated how they come up with steals and break an opponent’s momentum. By the end of the game, the River Hawks had outshot UAlbany 7-3 on fast breaks, 15-14 off the bench, and had a higher field goal and 3-point percentage.

Yet, most of the River Hawks shots came after halftime, and UAlbany outshot Lowell 49-35. The River Hawks have several players who can score quickly. However, rather than relying on their speed and physicality for drives, they opted to pass the ball, often not taking their first shot until the final seconds of the shot clock throughout the game.

Nevertheless, first-year River Hawk head coach Denise King did a tremendous job rallying the team and altering their gameplay in the final quarter against a staunch UAlbany offense. The River Hawks may have just had an off game against UAlbany, who have historically been a problematic opponent—The Great Danes have won 15 of the last 18 matches against the River Hawks. Still, it is early in conference play, and the River Hawks have time to adjust and learn where their strengths lie.

Although the River Hawks are 3-2 in the America East Conference, they face challenging upcoming conference games against Maine and Vermont. These upcoming games will show if the current River Hawks 6-8 division standing represents a competitive team, or one not competitive enough to win consistently.

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