Down by 11 at the end of the third quarter, the Binghamton women’s basketball team rallied in the final period when three 3-pointers made by sophomore guard Hayley Moore helped tie the score at 51-51. Neither team was able to score in almost three minutes, but with just 36 seconds left, Stony Brook graduate student guard Kaela Hilaire nailed a key 3-pointer off of a steal from junior forward India Pagan. The Bearcats scrambled to try to tie up the game, but even with a 3-pointer from senior guard Kai Moon, the Bearcats ultimately fell to the Seawolves, 58-54.
“I’m so proud of them,” said BU head coach Bethann Shapiro Ord. “At any point we didn’t put our heads down, especially when they went on that run in the third quarter.”
With Moon shut down late by the defense of Stony Brook (24-1, 12-0 America East), the ball was given to Moore, who narrowly missed the final 3-pointer, sealing Stony Brook’s victory. Despite missing the shot, Moore had a season-high 12 points, and Shapiro Ord said the reason the Bearcats (16-8, 5-6 AE) were in the game at all was because of Moore’s 3-pointers in the fourth.
“[Moore] is my player of the game for both teams,” Shapiro Ord said. “She came in, did her job, and I’m talking offensively and defensively, and I’m so proud of her. I know it was really hard because she took that last shot, and I just grabbed her right after, and I said, ‘If [Moon] didn’t get it, you were the one I wanted to have shoot that shot.’ And you know what? Next time it’s going in.”
There were three Bearcats in double digits Wednesday night on the score sheet: Moore, Moon and senior guard Carly Boland. Moon had 20 points and four steals, which marks the 15th time this season Moon has scored 20 or more points in a game. She is averaging 20.2 points a game, and sits at first in the AE in both scoring and steals. Boland had 10 points, the 13th time this season she has been in double digits.
While Moon, Moore and Boland had most of the buckets, several other Bearcats contributed in different ways. Junior forward Olivia Ramil had seven rebounds, five points and two blocks, while senior guard Karlee Krchnavi had six rebounds and three steals. Freshman guard Denai Bowman also contributed four steals, and freshman guard Cassidy Roberts had an important block at the end of the first half — the first of her career.
Although Stony Brook and Binghamton were fairly even competitors in the contest, the Bearcats were completely out-rebounded by the Seawolves. Stony Brook had 46 rebounds, while Binghamton had 27. Of Stony Brook’s 30 rebounds, 16 were offensive, while just seven of Binghamton’s rebounds were offensive. Stony Brook graduate student forward Cheyenne Clark had nearly a third of the team’s rebounds and is first in the AE in rebounding.
“We had some opportunities to advance, but we gave them some second-chance buckets,” Shapiro Ord said. “But I really believe it’s going to happen when it’s supposed to happen. We’re gonna go back to the drawing board and keep building on what we’ve been doing.”
With the victory, Stony Brook extended its winning streak to 21 games, the longest winning streak in the nation. Binghamton, meanwhile, fell to fifth in the conference and will take on fourth-place Vermont in its next game. Binghamton narrowly lost to Vermont on Jan. 15.
“We’ve gotta get back home and battle,” Shapiro Ord said. “I’m excited to get back home on Saturday, but it’s gonna be another war.”
The Bearcats will return home on Saturday, Feb. 15 to take on Vermont (12-13, 6-6 AE). Tipoff is scheduled for 2 p.m. from the Events Center in Vestal, New York.