Facing an aggressive Eastern Michigan team, the Binghamton women’s basketball team extended its season-opening winning streak to eight, knocking off a tough opponent from the Mid-American Conference (MAC). The Bearcats (8-0) defeated the Eagles (2-5), 78-67.
“The team that we played today, Eastern Michigan, was very scrappy, very athletic and I think we did really good at staying together as a team and getting this big win,” said sophomore forward Annie Ramil.
Ramil was fierce from the get-go, scoring six points in opening four minutes to contribute to the Bearcats’ 14-3 game-opening run. She finished the game with 10 points and 11 rebounds, BU’s first double-double of the season, and Ramil’s second in her career. Ramil is now fourth in the America East in rebounding.
“I’ve been working with [assistant] coach [Devan] Newman and all the other coaches on attacking stronger and more aggressively, and I think that just worked for me this game,” Ramil said.
Three Bearcats, including Ramil, senior guard Kai Moon and junior forward Kaylee Wasco, were in double figures, and nine players contributed to scoring overall. Prior to the game, Moon was honored for scoring her 1,000th career point on the road in the team’s previous game. Senior guard Carly Boland and senior guard Karlee Krchnavi each had eight points. Boland also had two blocks, putting her in seventh in the America East in blocks.
Sophomore guard Hayley Moore saw the court for just 39 seconds, but in that time, she was able to secure a 3-pointer with seven seconds left in the third quarter, putting BU up 62-44.
“We call [Moore] ‘Bang Bang’ because she can shoot it,” said Binghamton head coach Bethann Shapiro Ord. “She can knock it down, and [Eastern Michigan] hadn’t really seen her very much, and we just knew that she’d be open.”
Moon led the Bearcats with 21 points, marking the seventh time that Moon has seen more than 20 points in a game. She leads the America East with 194 points and finds herself tied for second in the NCAA for points per game, averaging 24.3.
Things were up in the air at the beginning of the match for Moon, as she committed two fouls in less than four minutes, sending Eastern Michigan’s sophomore guard Jenna Annecchiarico to the free-throw line. But the tables turned when Annecchiarico sent Moon to the free-throw line twice and fouled out with just under three minutes left in the game.
The Bearcats were strong from the free-throw line in their victory. Eastern Michigan committed 26 fouls, resulting in 27 BU free-throw attempts. The team made 21 of them.
Freshman guard Zahra Barnes was sent to the line three times, going five-for-six and ending the game with seven points, one rebound and one steal. Wasco was sent to the line three times and went six-for-six, contributing to half of her 12 points. This marks the second time this season Wasco has gotten to double digits in scoring.
“They were a scrappy team,” Wasco said. “They were sending us to the line, and seven minutes into the first half, we were shooting at the line, so we took advantage of that. Every day in practice, every time we finish a drill, someone is shooting free throws, so we’re just constantly getting reps in. Free throws make a game.”
The Binghamton win overshadowed the performance by Eastern Michigan’s redshirt junior guard Areanna Combs, who scored a game-high 29 points. This was Combs’ Eastern Michigan debut, and she recorded the highest-scoring game by an opposing player at the Events Center so far this season.
The victory over the Eagles marks BU’s second-best start in program history. Shapiro Ord attributed the successful start to the team’s camaraderie.
“We have kids who trust each other, who take care of each other,” Shapiro Ord said.
The Bearcats will look to extend their winning streak in a matchup against Cornell on Thursday, Dec. 5. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. from Newman Arena in Ithaca, New York.