Coming off a two-game win streak, the Binghamton women’s basketball team took to the home court for the fourth time this season to face off against Cornell. However, despite BU’s momentum from its earlier matchups this year, the Bearcats failed to post a win over the away side and took its first loss of the season 67-57.
“That was a very good Cornell team,” said Binghamton head coach Bethann Shapiro Ord. “They came in here, they’ve been working real hard, going up against some really tough competition. They came in here and battled.”
In the first period of the game, the Bearcats (2-1) struggled to move the ball into the arc and were forced to shoot from the three-point line. However, BU only sank two of its seven three-point attempts, which accounted for half of its overall field goal attempts as they went 4-14. Although the Bearcats’ few successful attempts kept them close early on in the quarter, the Big Red (2-2) soon began to pull away leading 15-10 by the end of the period.
“[Cornell] did a good job in their zone and we weren’t attacking the way we were supposed to,” Shapiro Ord said. “They did a good job stacking up against us, and our shots weren’t really falling from the outside.”
Similar to the first quarter, Cornell remained strong on the defensive end and kept Binghamton from driving to the basket. BU took five shots from the three-point line but only capitalized on one attempt. After that single three-pointer was scored, however, the Big Red went on a 13-5 run to close out the first half of play 32-22.
Binghamton trailed for the entirety of the third quarter. Despite BU increasing its offensive output to 16 points in the third period, Cornell scored 21 points and hauled in 13 rebounds. By the end of the game, the Big Red amassed 49 total rebounds with 18 coming as second-chance opportunities.
“We gave [Cornell] a lot of opportunities on the rebounding end,” Shapiro Ord said. “That was really the toughest part.”
At the start of the game’s final period, BU was down 53-38. However, in spite of Cornell’s offensive proficiency in the waning minutes of the matchup, Binghamton found its footing on the attacking front and began to knock down baskets. Although its players were still being pushed out behind the arc, Binghamton managed to shoot 50 percent from the three-point line. When BU was unable to find good opportunities from distance, the Bearcats fed the ball to freshman forward Genevieve Coleman, who posted eight points in the final quarter alone.
“At the beginning, we weren’t knocking it down,” Shapiro Ord said. “But once we started getting it inside to [Coleman], and we were getting that look, it opened it up a little bit more for some wide-open shots. They had a lot of open shots, they were just in-and-out.”
Despite BU having its best offensive quarter, posting 19 points in the final period of the game, Cornell’s lead was too large to overcome and the Bearcats failed to post a comeback. The Big Red was unable to make a single three-pointer but outscored BU 50-18 in the paint.
“We still gave up 50 points in the paint, which can’t happen,” Shapiro Ord said. “We weren’t boxing out. Defensively, we didn’t take care of business. When they shot it, we gave them so many second-chance opportunities. You never win a game like that.”
Junior guard Clare Traeger contributed 14 points to the Bearcat total, but her double-digit tally wasn’t enough to match Cornell’s offensive output. The Big Red’s top scorer of the night, senior forward Theresa Grace Mbanefo, scored 27 points and helped widen the gap between both sides.
Continuing its string of home matchups, Binghamton is next slated to take on St. Bonaventure. As with BU, the Bonnies have beaten both Siena and Canisius at home.
The match between both teams is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 20. Tipoff is set for 2 p.m. at Dr. Bai Lee Court in Vestal, New York.