After clinching a home quarterfinal with a win over UMBC last Wednesday, the Binghamton women’s basketball team ended its regular season on a high note, narrowly defeating New Hampshire 66-64 on Senior Day.
Prior to the game, the team’s three seniors, guards Kai Moon, Carly Boland and Karlee Krchnavi, were honored and accompanied by their families on the court. The trio now has a combined 2,696 points and 1,373 rebounds during their careers.
Moon, an Illinois native, said it is difficult for her family to come to the games.
“This was really special for me,” Moon said. “My sister got to see me play, and she hasn’t seen me play since freshman year, and I doubt she remembers that game. My grandparents got to see me play for the first time. I felt all the love they were giving me, and I wanted to play well, not only for them, but for their families and for the rest of the team.”
The Bearcats (21-8, 10-6 America East) led for almost the entire game, but were down in the early stages of the first period.
“Our adrenaline was going, and they were really overaggressive, so I think we kind of had to settle into the game,” Moon said. “I didn’t expect that but I wasn’t surprised [and] we found our rhythm and focus.”
A jumper made by Moon in the first quarter put the Bearcats up by two, and they didn’t lose the lead again until a layup made by UNH freshman guard Brooke Kane in the fourth put the Wildcats up by one. The teams battled back and forth, but a jumper by freshman guard Denai Bowman helped seal the game for BU.
“[Bowman] doesn’t play like a freshman,” Moon said. “I think that’s something that’s rare to find. I think she’s really gotten a lot better as the season progressed. To be confident enough to take shots that are big at the end of games definitely helps this team out a lot.”
Moon led the team with 17 points, and there were three other Bearcats in double digits for scoring: Boland, Bowman and junior forward Olivia Ramil. Boland had 11 points and six rebounds, Bowman had 13 points and Olivia Ramil had 14 points and seven rebounds.
Olivia Ramil and her sister, sophomore forward Annie Ramil, were the early scorers for BU, combining for 16 points in the first half and 20 overall.
“I am proud of our team,” said Binghamton head coach Bethann Shapiro Ord. “It was a tough game. New Hampshire brought it. They played a lot better since we last saw them. Nobody is going to lay down in this league.”
For UNH, redshirt senior forward Ashley Storey led the charge with a game-high 25 points, while junior forward Maggie Ahearn had a game-high 10 rebounds. Junior guard Amanda Torres also added 17 points. Storey and Torres were responsible for more than half of the team’s points.
The win against UNH marked the 21st win of the season for Binghamton, the highest number of wins in a season for the Bearcats in their Division I history.
The Bearcats won both games in the series against UNH, but the battle isn’t over yet. BU will have to take on New Hampshire once more in the quarterfinals of the AE tournament. UNH ended regular-season conference play in fifth place, while the Bearcats ended it in fourth, earning them home court advantage.
The quarterfinal matchup will take place on Wednesday, March 4. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. from the Events Center in Vestal, New York.