The Binghamton women’s basketball team’s unbeaten streak moved to 9-0 after Thursday’s matchup against the Cornell Big Red. With 16 seconds remaining, senior guard Kai Moon hit a go-ahead layup to put the Bearcats ahead by two. Moon was then fouled with one second left, sending her to the free-throw line, where she secured the win for Binghamton, 59-56.
With the victory, the Bearcats are off to the second-best start in program history, only trailing behind the 12-0 start by the 1998-99 team. However, the victory did not come easily for the Bearcats, and the first half proved to be a difficult one for Binghamton. The Bearcats experienced shooting issues for the entirety of the first half, shooting a mere 29 percent from the field. On top of their shooting misfortunes, the Bearcats struggled with turnovers for much of the first half. Despite the struggles, Binghamton trailed the Big Red (5-3) by just six at the break.
Halftime, however, jump-started the Bearcats’ drive, as they were able to outperform the Big Red and take a one-point lead going into the final quarter.
In the fourth period, BU extended its lead to nine after going on a run in the first five minutes of the quarter. The Big Red were able to dismantle their lead and tie the game at 56-56 with two free throws from Cornell senior forward Laura Bagwell-Katalinich. Bagwell-Katalinich was responsible for 23 of Cornell’s 56 points and collected 16 rebounds — the only double-double of the game.
“I think we knew we had to get a stop,” said senior guard Carly Boland. “We talked about how we need to fight on every possession and I think we did that really well.”
After Moon put the team up 58-56, BU called a 30-second timeout. Cornell then fell victim to Binghamton’s defensive pressure and turned over the ball to the Bearcats.
“We did an amazing job,” Moon said. “We struggled in the first half with not turning it over and we did a better job of that in the second half. We knew it was gonna be a battle. They attacked the boards hard and that was something we struggled with for the entire game, but we stayed with it and that’s what I’m most proud of.”
Moon, who finished the contest with 15 points, was not the only Bearcat to have a standout game. Boland and senior guard Karlee Krchnavi both scored in double digits, with Boland netting 12 points and Krchnavi adding an additional 10. Freshman guard Clare Traeger made key contributions in her sixth appearance of the season, scoring six points, including multiple go-ahead layups.
“I’m so proud of this team,” said Binghamton head coach Bethann Shapiro Ord. “They knew what they had to do. They knew that they had to keep fighting.”
Moon now sits on 1,077 career points and moves into the 15th-place slot in the program’s all-time scoring history, surpassing Rebecca Carmody, ‘19, with this week’s performance. She remains first in the America East in scoring and sits in third in the NCAA in points per game.
The Bearcats are off until Tuesday, Dec. 17 when they travel to Florida to face off against the No. 21 Miami Hurricanes of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. from the Watsco Center in Coral Gables, Florida.