Princeton runs away with win over women’s basketball

The flu relegated Morgan Murphy to the bench for Wednesday night’s home game against Princeton. But even if the sophomore forward had played, the Binghamton women’s basketball team would have needed more help against a Tigers team that left the Events Center with a 75-49 win.

Binghamton head coach Nicole Scholl credited Princeton’s solid team effort.

“They’ve got a good winning tradition down there,” Scholl said. “Right now, this team is struggling to find some wins, and we have a couple games coming up before the Christmas break. We are going to keep working hard and get a couple of wins in the books, if possible.”

The Bearcats (1-8) controlled the tempo early. Two jump shots by senior forward Julia Barac and a 3-pointer by senior guard Stephanie Jensen staked BU to a 7-3 advantage. Binghamton could not maintain the lead however.

Princeton guard Michelle Miller’s 3-pointer and a lay-in by guard Amanda Bernsten gave Princeton an 8-7 advantage. Another Stephanie Jensen 3 gave the Bearcats a brief lead, but the score was quickly tied at 10.

From there, things got ugly for Binghamton. An abundance of BU turnovers and poor defense allowed  many open looks at the basket and on the 3-point-line, and Princeton used a 25-9 spurt to gain a 35-19 lead. The Bearcats did not recover and went into the locker room trailing by 15, 42-27.

Jensen said the Bearcats did not rotate well in their zone.

“Our two zone is a good zone whenever it is working, but right now it’s just not working,” she said. “We aren’t urgent enough on shooters and we’re not doing the things we are talking about in practice. We went through rotations yesterday and today in shoot around and some of the looks we were talking about not giving them were open tonight.”

The second half proved more disastrous for the Bearcats, who continued to turn the ball over and continually allowed Princeton’s bigs into the paint. They either finished open layups or kicked to open jump shooters. Princeton pushed the lead to 20 with nine minutes to go in the half, and ultimately won by 26.

“They’ve got a good balance between their inside play and their outside playing,” Scholl said. “Princeton is a very good team. They moved the ball well. Our rotations were sometimes slower than we could afford.”

Binghamton was led by senior guard Vaneeshia Paulk, who finished with 15 points. Jensen also contributed 12 points on four 3-pointers.

Princeton had no players in double figures but had six players contribute at least four points. Sophomore guard Michelle Miller had a team-high nine points.

The Bearcats return to action Saturday at Rider. Tipoff is set for 1 p.m.