On Saturday, the Binghamton women’s basketball team narrowly lost after missing a potential game-tying 3-pointer at the buzzer in an America East (AE) matchup with New Hampshire. Despite six lead changes in the tightly contested game, a late 10-2 run by the Wildcats put the game out of reach for the Bearcats in the 54-51 defeat.
“We just need to bring it,” said Binghamton head coach Bethann Shapiro Ord. “We need to do the little things throughout the whole game. We need to be tougher with the ball, and they were a scrappy team and played harder today.”
The Bearcats (5-16, 1-10 AE) posted a scoring flurry early on against the Wildcats (5-17, 2-9 AE) and led 11-4 early on in the first quarter. The Bearcats’ hot start was due to three 3-pointers made by junior forward Birna Benonysdottir in the first four minutes of the game. The junior finished with 16 of the team’s 18 points in the first quarter.
BU opened the second quarter with a jump shot by junior guard Cassidy Roberts, giving the Bearcats a four-point cushion. The Wildcats responded with a 6-0 run to take their first lead since the opening minute. The two teams continued to battle throughout the second quarter which resulted in New Hampshire taking a 33-31 lead over Binghamton going into the break. Despite the Bearcats’ efficient shooting in the first half, the team was only able to put up nine shots in the second quarter. Benonysdottir scored 21 of her 23 points in the first half.
“[Benonysdottir] had 21 in the first half,” Shapiro Ord said. “We need other people to step up.”
The second half started with the Bearcats giving up four points as the Wildcats took their tied-largest lead thus far at six points. Both teams continued to trade baskets throughout the third quarter. BU was able to cut the UNH lead to one point going into the fourth quarter thanks to a jumper and free throw by junior guard Clare Traeger in addition to a layup made by junior forward Jalyn Van Dyke.
The Bearcats took a one-point lead early on in the final frame thanks to a jumper by Van Dyke. That was the last lead the Bearcats would have in the game as the Wildcats went on a 10-2 run which gave them a seven-point lead over Binghamton at 51-44. With under five minutes to go, the Bearcats responded with a 7-1 run sparked by freshman forward Genevieve Coleman who nailed a jumper and made the ensuing free throw after being fouled. Bowman hit a jumper with 36 ticks to go to pull BU within one point. However, the Wildcats responded with a jumper. With six seconds left, the Bearcats took a time-out to draw a play which resulted in senior guard Hayley Moore heaving a 3-pointer at the buzzer that did not convert.
Besides Benonysdottir and Bowman, no other Bearcat scored more than five points. Benonysdottir was also the only Bearcat to hit a 3-pointer, knocking down five of her nine attempts. Despite a slow start to the game, Bowman accumulated 12 points off of clutch shots and free throws while also adding five rebounds, seven assists and four steals in the game. As a team, the Bearcats shot 38 percent from the field throughout the game whereas the Wildcats shot 43.6 percent. BU stayed close throughout the game but were bested by UNH in the paint as BU was outscored 34-18.
“I feel like we did it to ourselves,” Shapiro Ord said. “I talked to the girls about when we’re in the paint, or what I like to call the kitchen. We have to get in there. When we got in there, we were getting higher percentage shots or they were fouling us. We just weren’t converting our field goals, and we were settling for outside shots again. [UNH] did a good job of packing it in, but we needed to rotate the defense to get some breakdowns to attack the rim.”
Binghamton is scheduled to take on UMass Lowell on Monday, Feb. 14. Tipoff is set for 5 p.m. at the Costello Athletic Center in Lowell, Massachusetts.