On Saturday afternoon, the Binghamton women’s basketball team continued their homestand against St. Bonaventure. After trailing by as much as 13 points, the team climbed back from a double-digit deficit but never completed its comeback as the Bonnies closed the game out to win 63-55.
“Basketball is a game of runs, I thought we did a great job coming out in the second half,” said Binghamton head coach Bethann Shapiro Ord. “We needed to string more stops up … we couldn’t keep trading baskets with them.”
The Bearcats (2-2) got off to a sluggish start in the first period, as the team shot 30.77 percent from the field and scored nine points in the period. The Bonnies (4-1) shot 57.14 percent in the first, outscoring BU by 10 and controlling the lead for the entirety of the period.
Less than two minutes into the second quarter the Bonnies extended their lead to 13 points. Then, junior forward Birna Benonysdottir knocked down a 3-pointer sparking a 16-5 run and shift the momentum back into the favor of the Bearcats, which shrunk St. Bonaventure’s lead down to two points at the sounding of the halftime buzzer.
“We’re not gonna have a shot that’s gonna be 10 points, it’s just gotta be two points at a time,” Shapiro Ord said. “We gotta string up the stops … Our defense came in strong. You don’t focus on the score at that point, you just got to chip away.”
Through the third quarter, the game remained tight as BU went into the final period only down four points. With just over three minutes left, junior guard Denai Bowman nailed a jumper in the paint, making it a one-possession game. The Bonnies then scored six straight points in the next minute to take an eight-point lead with two minutes to go. Binghamton was unable to cut down the lead, however, and the Bonnies put five more points past the hosts in the closing seconds of the matchup.
“[St. Bonaventure has] got some great players,” Shapiro Ord said. “They’ve got some really good pieces and some very good athletes, and I’m looking forward to seeing how they do.”
Binghamton heavily relied on its bench as it accounted for the bulk of the scoring, outscoring the starters 33-22. Coming off the bench, junior forward Clare Traeger grabbed a team-high seven rebounds while also scoring nine points.
“We’ve been bringing [Traeger] off the bench all season, and she’s been that spark that has been tremendous all year long,” Shapiro Ord said. “It’s just nice to have and nice to see them getting scoring opportunities.”
Benonysdottir also came off the bench and scored a team-high 14 points while shooting 50 percent from the field. Ten of her points came during BU’s 16-5 run in the second quarter of play. This was Benonysdottir’s first game of the season after returning from injury.
“[Benonysdottir’s] a great scorer outside,” Shapiro Ord said. “Also she can be a big presence inside as well which is really nice … She makes things happen on the defensive end because of her length.”
Binghamton is scheduled to take on Mansfield University on Tuesday, Nov. 23. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Dr. Bai Lee Court at the Events Center in Vestal, New York.