Jan. 17, 2009

Courtesy of Albany

ALBANY, N.Y. - Sophomore Tonya Young (Canaan, N.H.) scored a career-high 24 points and grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds to record her first career double-double to lead Vermont past Albany, 77-54, in America East women's basketball action on Saturday afternoon at SEFCU Arena.

Vermont improves to 9-8 overall and 3-1 in America East, while Albany falls to 3-13 on the year and 1-2 in league play.

"We played some great team defense in the second half to get this win," said Vermont head coach Sharon Dawley.

"I wasn't pleased with how we started the game, but we made it through the first half and was able to head to the locker room with a tie score. Our trademark has been to create offense off defense and we focused on that coming out of the locker room."

The first half was fast paced as both Albany and Vermont shot over 40 percent from the field for the stanza. The Great Danes took a six point lead, 23-17, behind the hot shooting of Britney McGee, as she went 4-for-4 from three-point range. The lead would grow to eight, 29-21, on a jumper by Janea Aiken at the 6:25 mark.

The Catamounts mounted a 17-9 run to close out the half and knot the game up at 38 as the two teams headed into the locker room. Courtnay Pilypaitis (Ottawa, Ontario) (9 points) and Young (8 points) combined to score UVM's 17 points down the stretch.

Vermont's defense took over in the second half. The Catamounts scored 13 straight points, including the first seven from Young, to break the game open and pull out in front 51-38 at the 13:47 mark. UVM held Albany scoreless for the first seven minutes (0-9 FG) of the first half and forced the Great Danes into five turnovers. The Catamounts' lead ballooned to 20 at the 4:59 mark on a three-pointer by Rosenkrantz.

Albany finished the half shooting 26.9 percent from the field and went 0-for-7 from long range. McGee was held scoreless in the second stanza and finished the game with 12 points, all from beyond the arc. Felicia Johnson also added 12 points and a team-high six rebounds for the Great Danes.

Pilypaitis added 17 points, six rebounds, six assists and five steals to fill out the stat sheet. May Kotsopoulos (Waterloo, Ontario) contributed 15 points and Amy Rosenkrantz (Tempe, Ariz.) added nine points and nine rebounds for the Catamounts.

"Tonya had a great effort today. We are very proud of her being able to get her first career double-double. She has been on the cusp the last few games and finally got over that hurdle. Alissa Sheftic was key for us in the second half with her help defense and May and Courtnay were able to hold Albany's top two scorers (McGee and Aiken) scoreless in the second half. We played really well as a team today and this gives us confidence going into two home games in the next two weeks."

UVM had one of its best overall shooting efforts of the season, finishing the game shooting 47.8 percent from the field, including a stellar 53.6 percent in the second half. Vermont also controlled the boards, posting 40-plus rebounds for the sixth straight game and out rebounding UA 44-30 overall and 14-7 on the offensive glass.

Vermont returns to action on Wednesday (Jan., 21) when it hosts Maine at 7 p.m. The game promotion scheduled for Wednesday is a product giveaway from Green Mountain Coffee.

Tickets can be purchased online at UVMathletics.com, by calling the UVM Athletic Ticket Office at 802-656-4410, or in person the day of the game.