Women’s basketball suffers pair of losses, sinks to 0-5

The new-look Binghamton University women’s basketball team is still struggling to fit the pieces into place. The Bearcats (0-5) fell to Belmont University on Nov. 20, 66-47, before returning home on Saturday to suffer their first-ever loss to Siena College, 62-44.

At Belmont (2-4), Binghamton came out cold, shooting 1-for-10 from the field and falling behind 11-3 in the game’s first eight minutes. A pair of jump shots from freshman guard Kandace Newry cut the deficit to six, and the Bearcats eventually pulled within four, 23-19, later in the half. But the Bruins cruised into halftime on a 6-1 run, and the Bearcats wouldn’t recover.

Binghamton suffered its worst shooting performance of the year, posting a 28.8 percent mark from the floor while connecting on only two three-pointers.

“I thought we had moments where we played pretty well and I thought we competed hard and then it was kind of a lapse and [we] had some turnovers and shots that didn’t fall for us,” Binghamton head coach Nicole Scholl said. “I thought we were right in it up until the second half with probably about 10 minutes to go, and then we kind of let it slip away and slide away from us.”

Freshman forward Morgan Murphy led the Bearcats with 10 points, while sophomore forward Sherae Swinson and junior guard Vaneeshia Paulk added nine apiece.

On Saturday, Binghamton experienced another season worst, this time in turnovers. Siena (2-3), who entered the game averaging 23 forced turnovers per contest, got the Bearcats to commit 27 en route to its first-ever win over BU. Siena sophomore guard Tehresa Coles led the Saints with six steals in 30 minutes of play.

“Obviously 27 turnovers is way too many for anyone, and you’re not going to win very many games with that amount,” Scholl said. “And this team is still in the process of trying to find themselves, and with the young players, meshing them in, and building on that process, and we’re getting there I think.”

The Bearcats found themselves with a 17-12 lead with just over eight minutes remaining in the first half, but in the next six and a half minutes Siena forced five turnovers and put up 14 points while holding Binghamton to just three. The Saints would enter halftime up 28-24.

Siena’s momentum carried over into the second half, when the Saints embarked on a 12-3 run that lasted the first five and a half minutes and put them up 40-27. The Saints never looked back, holding a double-figure lead for the game’s remaining minutes.

Three freshmen made their way onto Binghamton’s starting lineup for the first time since February 2003. After playing just one minute in the Belmont game, freshman guard Jasmine Golden led the team with 13 points in her first career start. The rookie had the team’s only three-pointer.

“I thought [Golden] played very well for her first start and really for her first amount of significance minutes,” Scholl said. “She did some nice things, she was able to handle the basketball for us, she had some scoring opportunities she took advantage of. She’s still getting involved in our system and learning things as she goes, but I thought overall for her first start in there I thought she did a nice job.”

Junior guard Jasbriell Swain contributed 12 points, a team-high eight rebounds and a game-high four assists. Murphy, one of the three freshmen starters, chipped in with eight points.

Binghamton is set to return to action tonight against Canisius College. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Events Center.