Heading into its matchup against Hartford, the Binghamton women’s basketball team knew that no matter the outcome, the final margin between the two squads would be narrow. This proved to be the case on Wednesday night, as the Bearcats (10-10, 4-3 AE) dropped a closely contested battle to the Hawks (14-6, 5-3) in double overtime, 76-73.
It was freshman guard Carly Boland who kept the Bearcats’ hopes of taking sole possession of second place in the AE alive. Boland, who has hit a number of clutch threes this season, sunk one from the left wing with 19.2 seconds remaining in regulation to tie the score at 60 and send the game into overtime.
Boland’s last-minute heroics, though, were not enough to earn the Bearcats their fifth conference victory.
The end of the first overtime period seemed like déjà vu, except this time it was Hartford freshman guard Sierra DaCosta who landed a free throw to knot it up at 70 and keep the Hawks in the game. DaCosta led Hartford with with 23 points, including three three pointers, while sophomore guard Lindsey Abed contributed three 3-pointers and 13 points.
Although the game ended on a close note, the Bearcats trailed for much of the first half and fell behind by as many as 12 in the third quarter. As soon as the final period began, though, BU took control, mounting a 17-4 run to take a 51-50 lead halfway through the fourth quarter.
Junior guard Imani Watkins, who had been held to just 3-pointers in the first half, came through for Binghamton, nailing key jumpers to increase the Bearcats’ advantage. Providing a potent presence behind the arc was redshirt sophomore guard Jasmine Sina, who sunk five three-pointers, including one with just over a minute remaining in the first overtime period to give BU a 70-65 advantage. After starting the season slowly, Sina has found her stride of late, netting 15 and 17 points, respectively, in Binghamton’s last two games.
For the seventh consecutive time this conference season, the Bearcats were out-rebounded, grabbing 13 fewer boards than the Hawks. BU struggled with offensive rebounds, getting just 11 throughout both halves and overtime periods. Hartford junior forward Darby Lee was particularly lethal in this area, pulling down 13 rebounds of her own.
BU’s closest chance at pulling off the win came when freshman guard Kai Moon hit a layup followed by a free throw to give the Bearcats a 73-71 lead. The Hawks, however, refused to be defeated on their own turf, scoring five straight points to secure the win and second place in the AE.
The Bearcats are set to return to the court on Saturday against Maine. Tipoff is set for 2 p.m. from the Events Center in Vestal, New York.