Women's basketball’s loss of steam in the second half proves costly
By: Colton Pankiewicz
After a disappointing loss at Robert Morris last weekend, the women’s basketball team returned to Buffalo for their third home game of the year against the University at Albany on Wednesday.
Canisius and Albany were fairly stagnant through the first few minutes of play, as Albany held a two point lead. Grad student Vanessa Garrelts would change that very quickly with three steals, resulting in six points of her own in under two minutes.
The Griffs would continue their success, leading the Great Danes 15-10 by the end of the first quarter. In the second quarter Albany senior Helene Haegerstrand drained a three pointer to cut the Griffs lead to 17-15. Canisius immediately responded offensively with a second chance bucket from freshman Brooklyn Thrash, and then defensively with Garrelts, stripping Albany’s senior forward Taniya Hanner resulting in an uncontested layup for Griffs.
The fifth year guard added another steal, totaling five in the contest and propelling Canisius’ to a 27-19 lead at half, marking the first time all year Canisius outscored their opponent in both the first and second quarters. The Griffs' performance in the first half did not translate whatsoever to the second half. In the third quarter the Griffs turned the ball over eight times. The only two Canisius players to make field goals in the quarter were forwards Brooklyn Thrash and Lydia Gattozzi. The same defense that held Albany to 19 points in the first half, allowed Albany to score 19 points in just the third quarter alone. The Griffs ended the quarter trailing 38-34, marking the first time all night that they ended a quarter behind.
In the fourth, Canisius did a better job offensively and a Garrelts layup cut their deficit to just two points. Unfortunately for the Griffs, Albany showed why they were picked in the preseason poll to win the America East Conference. The Great Danes veteran forward Helene Haegerstrand scored 7 of the team's 21 total points in the quarter, which proved too much for the Griffs to overcome.
Canisius’ 20 turnovers made it tough for them to gain any traction in that second half and they fell 59-48 to Albany.
“I'm hoping we learn how to bounce back, and reset quicker. I think a lot of that has to do with maturity. Right now we’re very young and very immature. I think experience will take care of that and every game like this we can learn from and learn how to bounce back quicker and take over games,” said Canisius head coach Sahar Nusseibeh. “We need to maintain confidence and composure, trusting our reps in practice, trusting your skillset, having confidence in what you do, not allowing an opponent to rattle you, and it's a lot to do with our mentality,” added Nusseibeh.