The Binghamton women’s basketball team pulled off an overtime victory in a highly contested match with Cornell on Monday night, 66-58. The Bearcats (7-4) appeared to lose momentum toward the end of the fourth quarter, but redshirt junior guard Jasmine Sina sank three free throws to tie the game at 58 with 19 seconds remaining, sending BU and the Big Red (2-7) into overtime.
“We needed a game like this — we’ve been on the losing side of too many of these games,” said BU head coach Linda Cimino. “For [Sina] to come off the bench and hit three huge free throws for us and then a couple more in overtime — that was just incredible.”
Senior guard Imani Watkins demonstrated the full potential of her scoring abilities, netting a game-high and career-high 36 points. Only five Bearcats, however, contributed to their 66-point output.
“Just like the men have [junior guard J.C. Show] the other night helping them pull out that win at Sacred Heart — when you have someone like [Watkins] on your team it makes it a lot easier to try and get these wins,” Cimino said.
Junior forward Rebecca Carmody earned the start and shined in her opportunity. The Pennsylvania product recorded a double-double, as she scored 15 points and grabbed 13 boards. Carmody also contributed three assists and a block in a well-rounded performance.
“We knew that this was a big game for us, and coach Cimino really wanted it, so I just … did what I could,” Carmody said. “I had four points [in overtime], which helped the team, but I have to give all the credit to [Sina] who got us there in the first place, I’m very proud of her.”
Despite only having five scorers, Binghamton turned the momentum in its favor late by drawing some key fouls. The Bearcats shot 18-for-22 from the line, finishing just over 80 percent from the charity stripe.
BU held the Big Red scoreless while Carmody converted two critical layups early in overtime. Watkins nailed a jumper after collecting her eighth rebound of the game to extend Binghamton’s lead to six. Sina was subsequently fouled and sunk both of her shots to put the game out of reach for Cornell. All five of Sina’s points came from the foul line, where she is a perfect nine-for-nine this season.
“[Watkins] is the heart and soul,” Cimino said. “She wants to win. She’s the most competitive person I’ve ever met. And I know going into each game that she’s going to give us her best effort and she’s going to do whatever she can both offensively and defensively to help this team.”
Senior center Alyssa James kept up with her standards and dominated defensively in the paint. The towering senior earned 10 rebounds, while blocking four shots, forcing three steals and scoring three points.
Sophomore guard Kai Moon also contributed to the scoring effort with seven points, even though she went just one-for-10 from the field. She managed to hit four of her six free throws and collect three steals in 43 minutes on the court.
The Bearcats will look for another nonconference victory, as they are set to take on Rider in another road game on Thursday night. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. from Rider University Alumni Gymnasium in Lawrenceville, New Jersey.