Duke may have had an impressive comeback the other night, but the Binghamton women’s basketball team’s comeback last night against UMBC may have been even better. Junior guard Karlee Krchnavi helped propel the Bearcats (10-15, 5-7 America East) to a 20-point comeback victory over the UMBC Retrievers (8-16, 1-10 AE). BU head coach Bethann Shapiro Ord enjoyed a stunning Bearcats comeback victory over her alma mater, as the Bearcats sunk UMBC, 58-46.
“This one feels great,” Shapiro Ord said. “I’m in my alma mater, all my college teammates are here.”
At first look, this game did not appear as if Binghamton was in any position to come out on top. BU seemed destined to be on the wrong end of a surefire rout. The Bearcats entered the game in the midst of their worst AE losing streak of the season, dropping three games in a row. They just came off of a narrow loss to lowly New Hampshire, and before that, an implosion in the fourth quarter against Stony Brook. After the first quarter of this game, it looked like the Bearcats had finally reached their breaking point.
Binghamton faced its worst start of the season against UMBC, the last-place team in the AE Conference. In fact, it would have been hard for the Bearcats to have started off worse, as they scored just one point in the entire quarter. BU finished the period down 17-1 against the Retrievers, and it looked like BU would have trouble scoring a basket, let alone ending its three-game losing streak.
Then, BU pulled a Duke and throughout it all, the Duke comeback was on everyone’s minds.
“Before the game, we all watched it [the Duke game] as a team,” said freshman guard Hayley Moore. “So before the game, we were just kind of thinking about that and then after the first quarter, we were still thinking about that and we just kinda kicked it into gear and kept playing.”
Moore and Krchnavi played the role of freshmen forwards Zion Williamson and Cam Reddish, the heroes for Duke the previous night, pushing BU right back into this game. Binghamton was down by as many as 20 points with 2 minutes and 38 seconds left in the second quarter, but the way it played following that point made it seem like they were hustling UMBC for all its money, pounding the Retrievers from that point forward. A trio of Krchnavi, senior forward Rebecca Carmody and junior guard Carly Boland led the beginning of the comeback, producing an 11-0 run to end the second quarter. The score was now a manageable 30-21 going into the half.
“We just all kept missing, and I think it just affected each and every one of us,” Krchnavi said. “So once we got one, it just kinda flowed from there.”
Krchnavi had already posted 10 rebounds by the half and she was far from done. The junior exploded in the third quarter on her way to a career night. Krchnavi and Moore combined for 16 points in the period, helping Binghamton surpass the Retrievers at the end of the quarter behind a combined four 3-pointers. Krchnavi led the team with 16 points and 19 rebounds, while Moore posted an impressive 14 points on four treys. Krchnavi’s 19 rebounds were the most by a BU women’s basketball player since 2001.
“[Assistant coach Matt Thune] told me at halftime that I had 10 [rebounds], so he gave me the goal to get 10 more,” Krchnavi said. “So, in my head, every time a shot went up, I was like ‘That’s my board.’”
After the solid third frame, Binghamton quickly pulled away from UMBC, finishing the game 58-46 and ending its three-game losing streak in emphatic fashion. With that 20-point comeback, the Bearcats officially pulled off the greatest comeback in the team’s Division I history.
As if that wasn’t enough, the game also saw senior forward Rebecca Carmody reach her 1000th career point with a lay-up at the 2:42 mark of the third quarter. She is the 17th player in Binghamton women’s basketball history to reach that mark.
“It’s an amazing feeling,” Carmody said. “I’m very happy, I worked really hard. It just shows that it pays off, but, I’m more excited that we got the win tonight. It was a little scary in the beginning, but we pulled it off.”
Carmody, one of the leaders of this team, drew a lot of praise from her teammates following her 1000th point.
“I am beyond grateful for her and so happy for her,” Krchnavi said. “She deserves it. She works her butt off every day in practice, she makes her teammates better. She’s just a great person all around.”
BU hopes to keep the momentum going against University of Massachusetts Lowell next Wednesday, Feb. 20. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. from the Events Center in Vestal, New York.