The Binghamton women’s basketball team ranks third in scoring offense among all America East (AE) teams, averaging 63.2 points per game. On Wednesday night against conference rival UMBC, though, the Bearcats (10-12, 5-4 AE) failed to score a single point for over four minutes in the final quarter. The scoring drought proved to be the nail in BU’s coffin, as the Retrievers (10-12, 5-4 AE) took full advantage of BU’s inability, taking the contest, 53-45.
In early January, BU defeated UMBC to start conference play on a winning note, defeating the Retrievers, 69-62, at home. In the rematch, BU couldn’t repeat its early-season success, starting off the latter half of conference play with a loss.
Despite getting off to an 11-4 lead halfway through the first quarter, the Bearcats’ offense couldn’t keep the pressure on; UMBC went on its first run to narrow the gap to 13-11 by the end of the period. Both squads had trouble holding onto the ball early on, with each committing 10 turnovers in the first half.
With the score up by one heading into the second half, the Retrievers seized control of the game, going on a 14-3 run to take a commanding 41-29 lead. Freshman guard Allison McGrath kicked off the scoring frenzy with two back-to-back three pointers before freshman guard Te’yJah Oliver landed a free throw and layup. McGrath capped off the quarter with yet another three to send UMBC into the final 10 minutes of play with a sizeable advantage.
Carrying Binghamton’s offense was junior guard Imani Watkins, who tallied 22 points. She currently ranks second in the league with 18.7 points per game and was the only Bearcat to reach double-digit scoring in the contest. Sorely missing from Binghamton’s offensive efforts against UMBC was its usual ability to get to the free-throw line. The Bearcats, who have averaged 12 made free-throws per game this season, failed to even take one shot from the charity stripe.
The Bearcats made a greater impact on the boards, grabbing just one fewer (36) than the Retrievers (37). Although BU was out-rebounded for the ninth consecutive time this season, the parity on the boards is a notable improvement, as the Bearcats have grabbed eight fewer rebounds, on average, than their opponents this season.
Both teams struggled from the field; Binghamton made just 31 percent of its shots from the field while UMBC recorded a 31.4 percent clip.
The Bearcats’ best chance at a comeback came at the end of the third quarter, when Watkins scored eight straight to cut the deficit to 41-37. Binghamton couldn’t come any closer, though, going just 1-for-14 from the field in the final quarter.
BU is set to return to the court on Saturday against UMass Lowell. Tipoff is scheduled for 4 p.m. from the Events Center in Vestal, New York.