Prior to Sunday afternoon, Binghamton women’s basketball redshirt sophomore Jasmine Sina had scored just six points over BU’s last two games — its first two losses after starting America East (AE) play with three straight wins. Against Stony Brook, Sina returned to form, tallying 15 points, including four 3-pointers, to lead the Bearcats (9-10, 4-2 AE) to a 48-40 victory over the Seawolves (9-10, 2-4 AE).
“I’ve been a little sloppy these past few games, but my teammates kept confidence in me, and so did my coaches,” Sina said. “I just kept shooting and once they went in, I was confident in myself, and we just played off of each other.”
Binghamton’s victory over SBU — which had won its last six home games — puts them into a tie with Hartford for second place in the conference.
“[On the road], we try not to play differently wherever we are,” said junior forward Alyssa James. “There [were] a thousand kids here today, so we can’t let them get into our heads,”
In the first quarter, BU quickly set the pace of the game. After five minutes of play, the Bearcats mounted a 6-0 lead and were able to finish the quarter with a 12-4 lead. Toward the end of the period, frustration escalated as both teams struggled to find scoring opportunities.
The drought continued well into the second quarter. With less than two minutes in the half, however, Sina and freshman guard Carly Boland landed two consecutive 3-point shots to give BU a 20-10 lead going into halftime. BU sunk six threes in the contest and currently leads the conference with 140 made 3-pointers.
“We have great 3-point shooters on our team, and when we need them to hit shots, they do,” James said.
While Sina’s hot hand kept the Seawolves on their heels, the Bearcats’ defense, which allowed 42 points in the paint against Albany, refused to give its opponent easy looks; the Bearcats allowed just 16 points in the paint.
“Today we played really good zone defense,” said BU head coach Linda Cimino. “We did a good job pressuring their shooters, and then being in position to get rebounds.”
Bolstering BU’s defensive effort was James, who asserted her dominance above the rim. She finished with 11 points and 13 rebounds.
Junior guard Imani Watkins, the AE’s leading scorer, didn’t dominate the stat sheet like she usually does, netting just seven points. Instead, she opted to make her presence felt defensively.
“She’s a complete player; she’s just not one-dimensional,” Cimino said.
In the fourth quarter, though, Stony Brook cracked through BU’s stingy defense. The Seawolves went on a 10-3 run, beginning to threaten BU’s lead. It was a familiar Bearcat, however, who rose to the occasion to secure the win.
With 1:45 left on the clock, James settled into the post, got the feed from her teammate, spun around an undersized defender and laid the ball into the net while simultaneously drawing a foul. The successful and-one play put the Bearcats up by nine and they ran the clock.
BU is set to play another road game on Wednesday against Hartford. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. from the Chase Family Arena at Reich Family Pavilion in West Hartford, Connecticut.