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WBB: 2022-2023 Season is over

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Hahne ends college career

Loss in WNIT was final game for fifth-year guard


By Abigail Rubel

Jim Franco / Times Union

UAlbany graduate student Ellen Hahne helped change the culture for the Great Danes in her three seasons with them.

Ellen Hahne has played her last game for the University at Albany women’s basketball team.

A fifth-year guard from Sweden, Hahne was the only one of last year’s starters healthy at the beginning of the season and led the Great Danes through the nonconference schedule, when they played just two games at their temporary home of Hudson Valley Community College.

The Wake Forest transfer averaged 11.2 points and 5.6 rebounds in her final season of basketball, helping UAlbany to a share of the regular-season America East title, its first in seven years.

But the Great Danes (22-12) couldn’t repeat last year’s postseason success, falling to Vermont by two points in the conference championship game and losing at UMass 73-48 Friday night in the first round of the WNIT.

“We’ve been through a lot of adversity (with injuries and not having a home gym), but not a single time have we complained or thought about quitting or anything like that,” Hahne said following the UMass game. “I’m very proud of my team for everything that we’ve done, and everything everyone has done individually to be prepared and just stay together and stay positive.”

Hahne committed to transferring to UAlbany ahead of the 2020-21 season, during the COVID-19 pandemic. She never visited the school.

“I simply had another Swede (now-senior forward Helene Haegerstrand) here that I talked to a lot, and then I talked to coach (Colleen) Mullen on the phone two times and I was like, OK I’ll come here,” Hahne said.

“She completely changed our culture,” Mullen said of Hahne. “All these seniors and these juniors that I recruited in my first recruiting class, they all decided to commit to a losing program. ... It speaks volumes to their commitment of buying into their roles, being unselfish, sacrificing their personal glory for the team.”

Fifth-year forward Lucia Decortes has also exhausted her eligibility. Seniors Haegerstrand, Grace Heeps, Taniya Hanner and Fatima Lee all have another year left, but haven’t declared their intentions for next season.

Hahne and the rest of UAlbany’s scorers struggled in both the championship game at Vermont and against UMass.

Junior guard Kayla Cooper posted a double-double of 18 points and 11 rebounds, nine on the offensive glass, and Haegerstrand added nine points. Hahne and red-shirt junior guard Morgan Haney, UAlbany’s third-and fourth-most prolific shooters, combined for five points. The Great Danes shot 23 percent (16-for-69) from the field.

“We had open shots that we didn’t knock down. Similar to our championship game, we kind of went cold offensively, but we got great looks,” Mullen said. “This team has no quit and they just fought to the end.”

The teams traded blows early, but senior guard Sydney Taylor drained a 3 to start a 9-0 UMass run that gave the Minutewomen the lead for good. UMass pushed the advantage to as many as 30 points late in the fourth quarter.

Taylor had 19 points, and senior forward Angelique Ngalakulondi had 17 points and 15 rebounds for the Minutewomen.

Atlantic 10 Player of the Year Sam Breen had 16 points on 7-for-12 shooting.

The Great Danes trailed 36-26 at halftime after allowing just 13 points in the second quarter.

“When we’re all on the same page it really shows, and I think when we started to come together and talk more, it was really effective,” Cooper said of the defensive effort.

She started the second half with two free throws, closing the gap to eight, but Taylor got the Minutewomen rolling again with a fast-break layup, sparking a 10-0 run, and UAlbany never got back within single digits.

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

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The Vermont WBB follow up the Vermont MBB one and done game with one of their own:



Huskies knock out Catamounts

UConn wins 29th straight game in the opening round


By Pat Eaton-Robb Associated Press

Jessica Hill / Associated Press

UConn's Aaliyah Edwards, left, guarded by Vermont's Anna Olson, looks for a shot Saturday. She scored 28 points.

STORRS, Conn. — Aaliyah Edwards scored a career-high 28 points, Dorka Juhasz added a double-double and No. 2 seed UConn routed 15th seed Vermont 95-52 on Saturday, giving the Huskies a 29th straight win in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament.

Juhasz scored 15 points and pulled down 10 rebounds, the Hungarian’s 13th double-double this season for the sixth-ranked Huskies.

Caroline Ducharme added 12 points, helping Connecticut (30-5) to its 26th 30-win season during Geno Auriemma’s 38 years as coach.

Catherine Gilwee scored 14 points, while Emma Utterback and Maria Myklebust each had 13 for Vermont (25-7), which had its 17-game winning streak snapped.

UConn will play either No. 7 seed Baylor or 10th-seeded Alabama on Monday.

This was the fourth straight game the Huskies have had 10 available players, after spending much of the season with just seven.

Azzi Fudd (five points), who missed 22 games, including the final 14 of the regular season, with knee injuries made her first start since Dec. 4 and scored the first basket on a short jumper from the lane. That started a 7-0 run and the Huskies never trailed.

Edwards had 12 of her points in the first 10 minutes as the Huskies led 27-12 after a quarter.

UConn took its first 20-point lead at 32-12 and a fast-break layup from Aubrey Griffin made it 48-18. The Huskies shot 67 percent over the first 20 minutes (62 percent for the game) and it was 53-20 at halftime.

The Huskies extended that to as many as 46 in the second half.

UConn’s Lou Lopez Senechal (nine points) left the game with a leg injury in the third quarter. She jogged off the court, but did not return to the game.

Big picture

Vermont: The Catamounts last lost on Jan. 1 to UMBC. Vermont’s defense had been holding opponents to an average of 52.8 points per game. UConn had 53 at the half.

UConn: This is UConn’s 34th straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament, where it is now an almost incomprehensible 131-22. The Huskies improve to 22-4 as a No. 2 seed.

Up next

Vermont: With a young team, coach Alisa Kresge is hoping for more success next season, though she is aware that with the portal, some of her players may be given opportunities at larger schools.

“When you make it to the Big Dance obviously you’re in the spotlight,” she said. “At the end of the day we’re going to stay true to who we are and we take care of people and we give everything to them. If they decide that they need something else, I’ll be their biggest supporter.”

UConn: The Huskies haven’t lost in the second round of the NCAA Tournament since 1992 and will be looking to make a 29th appearance in the Sweet 16.

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