Despite a pair of strong showings, the Binghamton women’s basketball team dropped two exhibition games over the weekend to begin its season.
Although the Bearcats have failed to record a victory thus far, they showed potential in Friday night’s home opener against Bucknell, sinking four of their nine 3-pointers in the first quarter.
“I know we didn’t come out victorious, but I also think that we played well,” said BU head coach Linda Cimino.
BU lost to Bucknell, 57-67, despite playing the Bison (2-0) close throughout the first three quarters. The Bearcats struggled to put points on the board in the fourth quarter, though, as Bucknell outscored them, 15-9.
Junior guard Imani Watkins had an impressive scoring night with 26 points, 18 of which came from beyond the arc. Watkins was a constant presence on the court for BU, not coming off once during the 40-minute contest.
“We prepared for this,” Watkins said. “This is why we’re in the weight room, this is why we condition the way that we do. We didn’t do the little things, boxing out, crashing the boards and getting on the floor for loose balls. Those little things killed us tonight.”
Freshman guard Kai Moon also carried part of the scoring burden, tallying 13 points and playing 37 minutes.
Junior forward and reigning America East (AE) Defensive Player of the Year Alyssa James ran into foul trouble, committing her fourth early in the final quarter. This proved to be costly as Bucknell finished with 40 points in the paint to BU’s 12.
Points in the paint and second-chance points proved to be the two deciding factors in this game. Bucknell senior forward Sune Swart could not be stopped in the paint. After coming off the bench, Swart finished with a career-high 25 points, 19 of which came in the first half.
Although the result was the same, the contest was a marked improvement from the last time BU took on Bucknell. In that matchup, the Bearcats were thrashed, 76-46. Prior to this season, the Bison were picked to finish at the top of the Patriot League.
“Bucknell is an unbelievably talented team … and I think that we held our own against a really strong team,” Cimino said. “We have a quick turnaround and I think that’s good. I think it helps you move past this loss really quickly.”
The Bearcats were hoping for their first win of the season on Sunday against Yale, but the Bulldogs (1-0) refused to give it to them. BU once again kept the game close until the fourth quarter when the Bulldogs pulled ahead to take the game, 57-48.
Moon played in all 40 minutes of Sunday’s game against Yale, but tallied just three points. Sophomore guard Rebecca Carmody and freshman forward Karlee Krchnavi both contributed off the bench for the Bearcats. Carmody finished with five points, five rebounds and three steals, while Krchnavi had five points, seven rebounds and two steals.
On Friday night, redshirt sophomore guard Jasmine Sina tallied just one point — a lone free throw — against the Bison, going 0-9 from the field. On Sunday, the 2015 AE Rookie of the Year fell back into her normal rhythm, contributing 16 points in BU’s effort against Yale.
The Bearcats’ next game is set for Wednesday against Penn. Tipoff is slated for 7 p.m. from The Palestra in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.