The University at Albany has nice tradition over the past decade. For six of those years, in the month of March, the Great Danes women's basketball team has won the America East Conference and gone to the NCAA tournament. In that time span, a few of the head coaches benefitted from the Danes good fortune. UAlbany's head coach Colleen Mullen isn't worried about things like that. She has her team poised to cut down the nets on Maine's home floor.

Photo Credit: Kathleen Helman/America East Conference
Photo Credit: Kathleen Helman/America East Conference
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Former head coach Katie Abrahamson-Henderson won the first five championships for UAlbany, before taking over the University of Central Florida program. Next, Joanna Bernabei-McNamee replaced 'Coach Abe' and took her first team to the NCAA's. Bernabei-McNamee bolted Albany after two years for Boston College, leaving the cupboard fairly dry for the next coach, Mullen. That wasn't a big deal. The former Army assistant proceeded to build a team in her image, tough. It appears they are ready for their own banner in the SEFCU Arena.

Photo Credit: Kathleen Helman/America East Conference
Photo Credit: Kathleen Helman/America East Conference
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The UAlbany women's basketball team doesn't back down, as evidenced by their dominant 67-54 victory over Vermont in Tuesday's America East semi-final game. Talent, grit and determination are in the fabric of this team.

Photo Credit: Kathleen Helman/America East Conference
Photo Credit: Kathleen Helman/America East Conference
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Mullen has searched the globe, including the Capital Region to put together the type of team that she believes can win championships and be fine representatives of the University at Albany.

Photo Credit: Kathleen Helman/America East Conference
Photo Credit: Kathleen Helman/America East Conference
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Lucia Decortes is from Italy. Helene Haegerstrand, Freja Werth and Ellen Hahne are from Sweden. Kayla Cooper is from Frederick, Maryland, while Morgan Haney is from Piqua, Ohio. Grace Heeps and Lily Phillips, well, they are local Section 2 products. It's a mix that America East opponents are universally finding very tough to beat.

Photo Credit: Kathleen Helman/America East Conference
Photo Credit: Kathleen Helman/America East Conference
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Colleen Mullen has built a community. Her coaching staff is an amazing mix of personalities and experience that is truly beneficial to the Great Danes student-athletes and campus community in general.

Photo Credit: Kathleen Helman/America East Conference
Photo Credit: Kathleen Helman/America East Conference
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So, when you see players like Morgan Haney and Kayla Cooper pouring their hearts into every possession, you'll realize that this is the result of a culture built by an awesome basketball coach and a true treasure for the University at Albany and Capital Region.

Photo Credit: Kathleen Helman/America East Conference
Photo Credit: Kathleen Helman/America East Conference
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The UAlbany Great Danes will tip off in the America East Championship Game against the Maine Black Bears on Friday at 5pm from the Cross Arena in Orono, Maine. The game will be televised on ESPNU. Maine has defeated Albany twice this year. The last game was a 4-point victory, at the SEFCU Arena on February 23rd. It's tough to beat good teams 3 times in a season. The winner goes to the NCAA Tournament. I think Colleen Mullen and the Great Danes will be cutting down the nets in Orono. Let's Go Great Danes!

Photo Credit: Kathleen Helman/America East Conference
Photo Credit: Kathleen Helman/America East Conference
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Photo Credit: Kathleen Helman/America East Conference
Photo Credit: Kathleen Helman/America East Conference
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Great Time For A Late Winter On The Albany Rail Trail

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