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WBB Game 21 - Conference Game 7 Jan 18 (Wed) 7:00 PM Dr. Bai Lee Court, Vestal NY

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Looking to keep team on roll

Haegerstrand says health, chemistry big part of fast start for herself and team


By Abigail Rubel

Jim Franco / Times Union

UAlbany’s Helene Haegerstrand (21) set a new career high of 28 points on 10-for-11 shooting against NJIT on Saturday.

Jenn March / Special to the Times Unions

UAlbany’s Helene Haegerstrand, center, poses for a photo after receiving recognition for reaching 1,000 points prior to a game against UMBC.

ALBANY — Helene Haegerstrand hasn’t spent much time reflecting on her success so far this season.

That’s part of what’s helping the University at Albany senior forward be so dominant, according to women’s basketball coach Colleen Mullen.

“She doesn’t overthink things. She’s just going out there and playing,” Mullen said.

Haegerstrand, who scored her 1,000th career point five games ago at the University at New Hampshire, leads the Great Danes (12-8, 6-0 America East) with 14.8 points per game, tied for second in the America East with Maine’s Adrianna Smith. The Stockholm native is shooting a conference-best 52.9 percent from the field and 44.1 percent from 3.

“I think it helped me a lot to play a lot during the summer, coming back, being more healthy than I’ve been and just getting into the work. And also we know each other so well on the court, that I know where Morgan (Haney) is going to move, she knows where I’m going to move, and that just helps our chemistry a lot,” Haegerstrand, who spent part of the summer working out with Sweden’s national team, said.

“I think it just boosts our overall morale, the confidence on the team, especially if we’re in a little funk or we have a few mistakes or something, just knowing we can get the ball to (Haegerstrand), just very reliable as a player and a great teammate,” Haney, a redshirt junior guard, said.

Haegerstrand is coming off scoring 20-plus points in UAlbany’s last two games, setting a new career high of 28 points on 10-for-11 shooting against NJIT on Saturday.

The biggest factor, Haegerstrand said, is “definitely our team play and how we facilitate the ball, and we’re finding the hot hand, and that happened to be me, but any other night that could be someone else.”

The task of stopping Haegerstrand and the Great Danes falls next to Binghamton (10-8, 3-2), which hosts UAlbany at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

“If you have the answer, that’d be awesome,” joked Bear-cats coach Bethann Shapiro Ord when asked how to defend Haegerstrand. “She knocks down shots, she’s always moving, she’s rebounding, she’s dominant in the post. So we just have to make sure that we’re working on her.”

Binghamton is led by senior guard Denai Bowman, who also scored her 1,000th career point earlier this season. Bowman averages 11.6 points and 4.5 rebounds per game. She’s one of a handful of older players on the team, which has eight players who saw their first collegiate action this season.

“Denai stepped into more of a vocal leader which has been really good,” Shapiro Ord said. “If she’s not getting buckets, she’s doing everything else. Steals, blocks, assists, turnovers. I think that’s a big thing right now because everyone’s honed in on her, which is fine, because other people hopefully step up. She doesn’t just score for us, she does a lot of different things.”

Senior forward Clare Traeger leads the Bearcats with 8.5 rebounds per game, tied for first in the conference with Maine’s Smith.

Binghamton is 7-1 at home. UAlbany is 7-4 on the road, with three of those losses coming at Power Five opponents, but has yet to lose an America East game.

“It’s important to continue to remind the players that just because you’re 6-0 doesn’t mean that you’re going to win a game. You have to prepare to win before you step on the floor,” Mullen said. “When you come into somebody’s home floor, they want to win, and they certainly want to take down the top team, so we’re going to get their best game and we’ve got to be ready to play.”

▶› Abigail.Rubel@- timesunion.com A @abigail_rubel

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Well, hope Helene will be o.k. She and the team now get a week off before their next game, home vs. N.H. Also, I’m hoping Bing. can play this well Sat. and hang another loss on Maine. Bing.’s starters played a ton of minutes and their bench scored 2 points. Having said that though, they are dangerous.  Hopefully things will be different when we get them at home. 

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Last night's conference scores:

Wednesday, January 18, 2023 Women's Basketball
  Away Home Result Location Links
Baltimore, MD (Conf.) Box Score Full Game Archive
Newark, NJ (Conf.) Box Score Full Game Archive
Vestal, NY (Conf.) Box Score
Orono, ME (Conf.) Box Score Full Game Archive
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2022-23 Women's Basketball Standings
UAlbany 7-0 1.000 13-8 .619 W7
Maine 4-1 .800 8-9 .471 L1
Vermont 4-2 .667 12-6 .667 W4
NJIT 4-2 .667 9-9 .500 W1
UMBC 4-2 .667 7-10 .412 W1
Binghamton 3-3 .500 10-9 .526 L1
Bryant 1-6 .143 6-13 .316 L1
New Hampshire 0-5 .000 5-12 .294 L5
UMass Lowell 0-6 .000 1-15 .062 L8
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