By Vince Gasparini | November 14, 2023
There are tune-up games and then there’s what the University at Albany did to Division III Sarah Lawrence Monday night, decimating the Gryphons 118-27. The 91-point triumph marked the Great Dane’s largest margin of victory in program history, breaking the record set by the 2015-16 squad when they beat Vermont 95-43 in the America East Tournament.
Gabriela Falcão (#21) recorded 16 points on 8-10 shooting and 7 rebounds, and led her team in minutes with 22.
Photo Credit: Shawn Ness / The ASP
It was over early, as UAlbany took a commanding 33-9 lead by the end of the first quarter. None of the Great Danes’ starting five played more than 16 minutes through the game.
The Great Danes’ offense was stellar, with six players scoring more than 10 points. Junior guard Lilly Phillips led the team with 18 points, shooting 8-9 from field goal range in just 14 minutes, along with Gabriela Falcão and Fatima Lee tacking on 16 points each. Lee shot 4-7 from beyond the arc, leading UAlbany in 3-pointers on the night.
Overall, UAlbany shot 50.5% from the field. “As a collective, we work on our shots a lot,” Lee said. “We take it pretty seriously, and then the reward is during the game where we’re hitting our shots like [we did] tonight.”
Hailee Ford led the Great Danes with eight rebounds in her first game as a freshman, including a team-leading six offensive boards. As a team, UAlbany collected 29 offensive rebounds, with a game total of 56. Abby Ray, a Saratoga Springs native, led the team in assists with eight, a career best for the junior guard.
UAlbany’s defense shined, collecting 29 steals and 59 points off turnovers. Kayla Cooper led with five steals, and Sarah Karpell, Phillips, and Falcão recorded four each. The only player on Sarah Lawrence who recorded double digit points was senior forward Kendall Haymore with 10. As a team, the Gryphons shot 29.3% from field goal range.
“We had some specific goals that we wanted to accomplish, and we accomplished all of them,” UAlbany head coach Colleen Mullen said. Some of these goals included holding the Gryphons to less than 28 points and grabbing more than 20 offensive boards. “I’m really just proud of the team.”
Now 2-1, Mullen and her team come out of this game with some renewed confidence after a down-to-the-wire 66-63 loss at Fordham on Friday. The Great Danes hope that Monday’s success will translate at St. Bonaventure on Thursday.
“The message was sent tonight,” Lee said. “I hope everybody is catching that one and understanding that we’re going to feed off of that and just keep what we got going.”