top of page

Vermont Women Win America East Title Over UAlbany In Low Scoring Thriller

By Trevor Dugan | March 16, 2023

Photo credit: Bob Mayberger (UAlbany Athletics)

The University at Albany women's basketball team was defeated on Friday by Vermont 38-36 in the lowest scoring championship game in America East history. Both teams scored their lowest point totals of the season.

Going into this matchup, Vermont and UAlbany were the top shooting defenses in the conference. Each team shot below 15 percent in the first quarter, and by the end of the first, things were tied at 4. Both UAlbany guard Kayla Cooper and Vermont guard Emma Utterback, the top scoring options for their respective teams, failed to score in the opening quarter.

The second quarter was a much different story. After a three by UAlbany guard Ellen Hahne with 8:50 left, Utterback came alive and took over the game. She scored 13 in the second quarter, including eight straight, surpassing UAlbany's first half to total of 10.

The Great Dane offense continued to struggle in the second, shooting 2-11 in the period. In the first half UAlbany went just 4-25 on field goal attempts. Hahne in particular was ice cold in the first half, attempting a team high nine field goals but making just two.

However, UAlbany’s defense kept them in the game despite their nonexistent offense. At the half Vermont led 17-10. Outside of Utterback shooting 5-10, Vermont shot 2-21 in the first half.

After halftime, UAlbany had figured out Utterback, holding her to 1-9 shooting in the second half. Unfortunately, their offense still couldn’t find a groove in the third quarter.

For the third consecutive period the Great Danes made just two field goals. After shooting 6-39 through three quarters, the Great Danes trailed 30-17.

In the fourth quarter the Great Danes offense roared to life, scoring more in the fourth than they had the entire rest of the game. Vermont went ice cold, shooting just 2-12 from the field in the final period.

After battling back in large part thanks to nine fourth quarter points from Cooper, UAlbany cut the Vermont lead to just one after a Haegerstrand triple with 10 seconds left.

Vermont’s Delaney Richason made one of two free throw attempts to give Vermont a 38-36 cushion with seven seconds to go. With four seconds left, UAlbany inbounded to Grace Heeps, who put up a prayer from just inside half court at the buzzer. It was no good, and Vermont came away with the narrow championship victory.

UAlbany struggled on the boards all night, getting out-rebounded by Vermont 53-36. One third of Vermont's points came off second chance opportunities.

Despite the loss, UAlbany guards Cooper and Hahne were named to the America East all-tournament team, along with Utterback and Anna Olson from Vermont. Cooper led UAlbany in scoring with 12. Haegerstrand added 10 points, all of which came in the fourth. Utterback led all scorers with 18, and was named America East conference tournament MVP.

After what was Hahne’s final game in America East action, UAlbany head coach Colleen Mullen spoke to the importance of the guard to the program.

“When she came here during the COVID year she totally changed our culture with her work ethic,” Mullen said. “She will be impossible to replace.”

It was a strong season for UAlbany overall, sharing the regular season conference title with Vermont and placing top four in the conference in most statistical categories. They finish with a record of 14-2 in conference play and 22-11 overall.

UAlbany will now go on to play in the WNIT, while Vermont has earned a spot in the NCAA tournament.


bottom of page