Good defense and a timely offensive attack helped the Binghamton women’s basketball team end its five-game losing streak with a 55-42 win over New Hampshire Saturday at Lundholm Gymnasium.
Despite shooting just 33.3 percent for the game, the Bearcats (5-22, 4-10 America East) held the Wildcats (10-16, 5-9 AE) to a 22.8 percent shooting mark.
BU head coach Nicole Scholl said her team did a good job containing two of the Wildcats’ best offensive players, senior forward Morgan Frame and sophomore Kaylee Kilpatrick.
“I thought from start to finish overall we had a really good defensive focus,” she said. “We did a nice job on their two starting post players. I [think] they combined for 2-of-18 from the floor. So I thought that was a real big key for us.”
Frame and Kilpatrick scored only four and two points, respectively, for the Wildcats, who saw their three-game home winning steak come to an end.
Both teams struggled to find their grooves offensively in the first half, combining to score 22 points midway through the period. Up by one in the closing seconds, Binghamton extended its lead to three by halftime after freshman guard Kim Albrecht connected on a pair of free throws.
BU senior forward Kara Elofson, who was held scoreless in the first half, scored four of her 10 points in the opening minutes of the second to push the Bearcats’ lead to 24-17. BU led by as many as 11 points at the 5:44 mark thanks to a 10-0 run in which senior guard Mallory Lawes and junior guard Jasbriell Swain accounted for five of the team’s 10 points.
The Wildcats attempted a comeback by cutting the deficit to five with a 3-pointer from senior guard Cari Reed. But Swain kept New Hampshire at bay, scoring six points in the final minutes to secure the win for BU.
Swain recorded yet another double-double, the twelfth of her career, with 11 points and 12 rebounds. Lawes also scored 11 and shot 3-of-4 from 3-point range. Elofson added 10 points.
Reed paced the Wildcats with a game-high 13 points. Junior guard Kelsey Hogan chipped in with 12 points.
In terms of free throw shooting, which was a trouble spot for BU against Maine and Stony Brook, the Bearcats shot a respectable 73.1 percent (19-for-26) at the charity stripe, while New Hampshire shot 65 percent.
Binghamton also outrebounded the Wildcats 42-38.
Scholl said she was happy that her team finally came out on top to end the losing stretch but believes the team must remain focused in order to finish the season strong.
“I think it’s a confidence booster for us,” she said. “I felt like we needed that taste of having a win again tonight.”
However, Scholl added that this win cannot distract her team as it prepares for its next opponent.
“We are continuing to focus one game at a time,” she said, ”so enjoy this win right now, but our next focus has to be Vermont.”
Binghamton is scheduled to play its last regular season road game Wednesday against the Catamounts. In the last meeting between the two teams on Jan. 16, Vermont edged past the Bearcats 61-56 at the Events Center.
UVM sophomore forward Niki Taylor and senior forward Annie Wheeler each scored 14 points and grabbed seven rebounds in that game, while BU sophomore forward Sherae Swinson led all scorers with a career-high 25 points.
Opening tip is set for 7 p.m. at Patrick Gymnasium.