Second-half shooting woes doomed the Binghamton women’s basketball team on Wednesday night.
The Bearcats (4-19, 1-9 America East), who have lost eight straight, hit a wall after a decent start and scored just 16 points in the final 20 minutes, as Stony Brook ran out to a 62-42 victory on Long Island.
“It’s a matter of us and just being able to knock down open shots. It’s pretty much that simple,” BU head coach Nicole Scholl said. “Our players just need to have the confidence. We’ve had our opportunities, we just need the confidence.”
The Bearcats started off neck and neck with Stony Brook (16-7, 7-3 AE), never trailing by more than six points. They pulled in especially tightly in the final two minutes of the first half, when with 1:15 remaining, senior guard Vaneeshia Paulk converted a 3-pointer to tie up the score, 24-24. The half ended 26-26 with Binghamton on an 8-2 run.
Opening the second half, the tit-for-tat rhythm continued, culminating in a 32-32 tie after sophomore guard Kim Albrecht drained a shot with 15:09 remaining. The remainder of regulation, inefficiency and poor shooting plagued Binghamton. From 45.8 percent accuracy on an 11-of-24 clip in the first half, the Bearcats plunged to just 23.8 percent on 5-of-21 in the second.
“We had a lot of good looks at the basket, and we just couldn’t knock down our shots. We had the position to get to the free throw lines and our free throws [Wednesday] night weren’t good either,” Scholl said. “So I think a combination of the two, and then Stony Brook was doing a good job of capitalizing on our missed free throws and missed shots and got some of these transition buckets and kind of just built a lead from there.”
That sudden shift gave the Seawolves the opportunity for an 18-1 run spanning 10:44. Freshman guard Kori Bayne-Walker netted 16 of her game-high 18 points during the half, seven of which came during the game-changing run. The 5’5” freshman completed all four of her attempted field goals and put away 10 of 11 free throws.
“[Bayne-Walker]’s a good player. She’s very deceiving in her size and how she plays,” Scholl said. “We didn’t do a good job defending her, and we kind of let her get out in transition a little bit.”
BU experienced its own individual successes, however, highlighted by Albrecht’s team-high 16 points, also a career-high. After missing Sunday’s loss at New Hampshire, Albrecht finished Wednesday night with four treys and a pair of rebounds.
“It’s great to see her back in action,” Scholl said. “She suffered a little bit of an ankle sprain and has been out for a few days. I thought she came back and looked fresh and was very shot-aggressive.”
Paulk and junior guard Sherae Swinson each contributed nine points to follow Albrecht. Additionally, sophomore guard Kandace Newry posted a game-high and career-high six assists.
Next up, BU heads to Maine on Sunday. Tipoff is set for 2 p.m. at Cross Insurance Center in Orono, ME.