As the majority of the Canisius campus fled back home for their Thanksgiving break, the Canisius women’s basketball team hosted the Albany Great Danes last Wednesday, 70-53.
Albany, who came into the day struggling on offense and was ranked towards the bottom of the NCAA in points per game, had an offensive explosion. For the Blue and Gold, however, who have to rely on scoring a large number of points to stay competitive in the game, did not get hot when they needed to and were not getting the open looks they are typically used to seeing because of a scrappy Danes defense.
After a tight first quarter of play with Albany taking the slight advantage, 18-15, the Danes awoke in the second outscoring Canisius 22-11. Senior Center Alexi Schecter and Helene Hagerstrand lit up the scoreboard going into the intermission, combining for 16 of the 22 points in the quarter. Seniors Tiana Pugh and D’Jhai Patterson-Ricks did not have the success on the offensive end that we are used to seeing for the Golden Griffins. At the conclusion of the first 20 minutes of play, Albany had a substantial lead, 42-26.
Albany Forward Amanda Kantzy scored 8 points to start the third and contribute to a 58-36 cushion. The Griffs were careless with the basketball, with seven turnovers that translated to 10 fastbreak points for the Danes on the other end. Being outscored by eight in the third, Canisius flipped the script taking the 17-12 advantage in the final frame. However, the comeback was just too little too late.
Albany won the game by committee, with three Schecter, Kantzy, and Hagerstrand all eclipsing over 12 points. Schecter also led with 13 rebounds on the day and helped propel them to dominate down low for rebounds and points in the paint. The Great Danes shot a respectable 48 percent from the field throughout the course of the game, while the Griffs could only muster up 39.6 percent.
In an uncharacteristic day for the Blue and Gold, they were sloppy with the basketball and accounted for 20 turnovers. Patterson-Ricks heated up in the second half netting 15 points with four steals, and redshirt senior AJ Timbers came off the bench and added 13 points on 5-9 shooting. For a team that has shot the rock well from beyond the arc through this portion of the season, the Griffs only shot 2-9 from three.
A bright spot for Canisius was how they were successful when going to the free-throw line going 13-15 from the stripe.
Their second straight loss puts the Griffs record at 1-4 with the first five games of non-conference play in the rearview.
After an off day for the Griffs, they go back to the drawing board with a whole week of preparation before they travel to Vermont to play the Catamounts.
The game will be played Saturday, December 7, at Patrick Gymnasium with tip-off scheduled for 2 p.m.