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WBB - Game 23/Conference Game 10 - Binghamton University, Broadview Center, Albany, NY, Thursday February 8, 2024, 11:00 AM

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I have an understanding that if you attend, you will be joining 3200 screaming elementary school children.  I have attended Commitment to Education Day before.  It is worth the price of admission to see and hear the young ones.

Feb 8 (Thu) 11:00 AM
Commitment to Education
Albany, N.Y. Broadview Center
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UAlbany is ready for a loud crowd


By Pete Dougherty

Jim Franco/Times Union archive

UAlbany coach Colleen Mullen said of Binghamton, which has won four of its past five games: “They’re playing their best basketball.”

ALBANY — Each season a handful of America East women’s basketball games are played in the morning, granting local grade-school students a field trip to watch a Division I game.

Noise levels for the “kids games” can be deafening as pre-teens pack the arenas, but the general tones are much higher-pitched, and the timing of some of the cheering is far from traditional.


The University at Albany will get another taste of that at 11 a.m. Thursday on what the school calls “Commitment to Education” Day. The Great Danes play host to Binghamton in front of what is expected to be a near-capacity crowd at 3,899-seat Broadview Center.

“It’s way different,” said UAlbany coach Colleen Mullen, whose team (19-3, 8-1 America East) played a similar game Jan. 18 at UMass Lowell. “It’s screaming kids every play, whether you’re playing defense or playing offense. When you have a (regular) crowd, they make the noise when a big play happens or a momentum change. This is just constant yelling.”

In essence, a vast majority of kids know how to make noise but not always when.

“Hopefully we play well, because if you don’t, the kids might start rooting for the other team,” said UAlbany point guard Sarah Karpell, who experienced some of that last year when playing for Fordham. “It was a home game. You think the kids are going to root for you, but if the other team gets out to a lead, they totally turn their backs on the home team.”

Fordham won that game 60-59 over Virginia Commonwealth, but the kids likely were happier about getting out of class than the game result. “The Bronx kids are a little crazy,” Karpell said.

The noise factor also can disrupt teams trying to run offense.

“You can’t hear the play calls Sarah is saying,” Danes guard Meghan Huerter said.

“When we played our last kids game,” Karpell said, “(Mullen) gave me four or five plays every timeout that she would want to see. I just went off of that and depended a little less on what she was calling.”

There are other adjustments, as well. Most Thursday games begin at 7 p.m. The start time for this game shifts each team’s routine eight hours earlier.

“Our practices we’ve been doing earlier time slots,” Huerter said.

Binghamton (9-13, 4-5) presents a challenge for the Danes. The Bearcats lost a 60-58 decision Jan. 13 at home to UAlbany, ending the Danes’ streak of nine consecutive double-digit victories.

The Bearcats have won four of their past five, including a 66-57 triumph Saturday over Vermont.


When: 11 a.m. Thursday

Where: Broadview Center, Albany

TV: ESPN+ (streaming)

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5 hours ago, tnehurley said:

Meghan Huerter’s shooting arm is in a sling!


4 hours ago, UAalum72 said:

God it’s loud in these floor seats 

Thank god, we started to play better defense and shoot better in the second half for the 60-52 win!!!

I hope Mark Benson bottled some of the excess excitement the young ones generated.  Something that I have rarely seen in the Broadview Center this season.

Edited by cwdickens
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Watched the whole thing. Bing came out energized and UA kept forcing passes. The coach got them straightened out at the break and they turned up the defensive heat. So nice to have a number of skilled players that can step up. Very nice game by Gabby F. The kids voices were great, but a bit shrill. 

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