Sarah Teper/Managing Editor Junior guard Denai Bowman tallied 23 points, nine rebounds and five assists in Binghamton’s win against Pittsburgh Johnstown on Tuesday.

In spite of a slow start to the game, the Binghamton women’s basketball team managed to pull out a win over the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown at home. The 62-51 victory over the Mountain Cats now puts the Bearcats at an even 4-4 record with three more nonconference games to play before America East (AE) competition begins.

“[Pittsburgh at Johnstown] came in here fired up, that’s a really good team and they gave us everything they had for us to handle,” said Binghamton head coach Bethann Shapiro Ord. “We battled. We were better in the second half, but it would’ve been nice to see our basketball … [We’re] still a work in progress.”

After taking the lead over Pittsburgh (3-4, 1-1 Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference) in the eighth minute of the game, Binghamton maintained its advantage for the remainder of the first half. However, the Bearcats struggled to stretch out their lead after shooting 31.3 percent from the field in the first two quarters. Junior guard Denai Bowman tallied 13 points in the first half, accounting for exactly half of BU’s 26-22 lead at the halftime buzzer.

“I think we played down to their level, so it just limited us,” Bowman said. “When we attacked them, we really broke them down, but we were shying away from that in the first half, and it really showed.”

Binghamton played a more promising third quarter, shooting 60 percent from the field and driving 19 points past the Mountain Cats. The four-point lead at halftime developed into an eight-point lead by the end of the period, finishing 45-37 heading into the final quarter of the game.

“We were giving them opportunities [in the first half],” Shapiro Ord said. “Our defense wasn’t as good as I would’ve liked it to be, so they were having a lot of opportunities … But I like the fact that the adversity hit, and we didn’t hang our heads. Second half, we came out and played better.”

In the last period, Binghamton finally put the game out of reach. Pittsburgh was unable to keep up with the Bearcats’ offensive pressure and struggled to contain Bowman, who had tallied 23 points by the game’s end. BU grew its lead out by 17 points with just over five minutes remaining on the clock and went on to secure its fourth win of the season.

“We had a slow start, but we pulled it together in the end,” Bowman said. “We were lacking communication in a lot of areas, so we definitely tried to pick that up during the second half, and we definitely did a better job of bringing the team together.”

While freshman guard Ella Wanzer and junior forward Birna Benonysdottir contributed 11 points apiece for the Bearcats, Bowman’s points accounted for over a third of BU’s overall score. The Bearcat also posted nine rebounds and was one away from earning her second career double-double. Bowman has also averaged 14.5 points per game thus far, good enough for second among all starting players in the AE.

Binghamton is set to hit the road again for its next matchup against Eastern Michigan. The Bearcats have only faced the Eagles once in their Division I history, and the game concluded in a 78-67 victory by BU.

“Eastern Michigan, we’re gonna have our hands full with them,” Shapiro Ord said. “They’re a very good athletic team that’s waiting for us to come back up and see them.”

The game is scheduled for Friday, Dec. 10. Tipoff is set for 4 p.m. at the EMU Convocation Center in Ypsilanti, Michigan.