Newark, N.J. (NEWS10) — The Great Danes combined as a team on offense, shooting 42% from the field and 50% from outside the arc, and defense, totaling 35 rebounds, to hand NJIT their first loss in six games and remain undefeated in conference play, Saturday afternoon.

COACH COLLEEN MULLEN: “I’m so proud of our team’s effort today. NJIT is tough and disciplined. We knew we needed to defend them for 40 minutes to get this road win. The players executed a game plan and got big stops down the stretch to close out the game.

KEY STATS

  • Sophomore Kayla Cooper tallied the third double-double of the season, second in as many games, with 15 rebounds and 21 points. Cooper also had a game-high two blocks.
  • Junior Helene Haegerstrand followed Cooper on offense with 15 points while junior Grace Heeps followed on the boards with five rebounds.
  • Freshman Lilly Phillips totaled seven assists to lead the team.
  • Haegerstrand, Phillips, and redshirt-sophomore Morgan Haney worked hard in transition with two steals each.
  • For those who made more than one attempt on the hoop, Haegerstrand led the team shooting 67% from the field. Freshman Koi Sims led overall with one attempt and one basket (100%).
  • Haegerstrand also led outside of the arc, going 3-4.
  • Freshman Freja Werth, Heeps, and Phillips also made 50% of their attempts from outside of the arc.
  • As a team, the Great Danes outshot, 42%-38%, and out-rebounded, 35-32, the Highlanders. 
  • Fourteen of UAlbany’s 62 points came from its 13 offensive rebounds. 

HOW IT HAPPENED

  • The Great Danes won the jump ball, but the Highlanders opened the scoring by tallying a layup on their first possession.
  • Helene Haegerstrand answered for UAlbany with her own layup before NJIT was able to get a 7-2 lead, the largest lead the Highlanders would own throughout the contest.
  • Before the halfway mark of the first quarter, the Great Danes worked their way to put the score within one, 9-8, NJIT advantage.
  • Kayla Cooper completed a layup after grabbing the offensive rebound to give UAlbany its first lead of the night, 12-11, with 2:59 on the first-quarter clock.
  • The Highlanders pulled ahead with a three-pointer, but Lilly Phillips went for a buzzer-beater to tie the score at 14 at the end of the first quarter.
  • The Great Danes pulled ahead during the second quarter, scoring seven points to earn a 21-16 advantage with 6:36 remaining.
  • An NJIT three-pointer put the Highlanders back in the lead, 22-21, but Grace Heeps answered with her own three-pointer to give UAlbany a lead they would not relinquish.
  • The Great Danes entered halftime with a 31-25 advantage. 
  • Going on an 8-3 scoring run to open the second half, UAlbany owned a double-digit lead with 7:43 remaining in the quarter.
  • NJIT attempted to close the lead and take the lead scoring six straight points, but the Great Danes answered with another scoring run – this one to give them a 15-point lead with just under two minutes left in the third quarter.
  • Starting out the fourth with a 54-39 UAlbany lead, the Highlanders closed the scoring gap to 10 within the first four minutes of the final quarter.
  • Despite NJIT’s efforts, UAlbany kept a significant lead, 8-10 points, during the remaining six minutes of the contest. The Highlanders tallied the final basket of the afternoon to make the score 62-54 when the buzzer went off.

NEXT: The Great Danes will close a three-game road streak at Hartford on January 17.

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