Lia Richter/Editor-in-Chief Junior forward Genevieve Coleman led all scorers with 16 points in BU’s 52-44 win against UMBC on Thursday night.

Coming off two road losses to Albany and Bryant, the Binghamton women’s basketball team bounced back to defeat UMBC on Thursday night 52-44. Binghamton was able to capture a lead early in the first quarter and held it for the rest of the contest. In the second half, despite a comeback effort from the Retrievers, the Bearcats’ defense fended them off and came out on top to secure the victory.

“It’s the end of the year so, we’re in a hunt right now for [America East (AE)] conference tournament seeding and obviously wins,” said Binghamton head coach Bethann Shapiro Ord. “We got to just worry about one game at a time, and I was really proud that they did that.”

Binghamton (10-15, 5-7 AE) started off hot, getting on the board first with two layups from junior forward Genevieve Coleman and graduate student guard Denai Bowman to give BU a 4-0 lead. UMBC (8-16, 4-8 AE) responded, quickly knotting the game at four. However, BU created some separation, going on a 6-0 run to make it 10-4. The remaining minutes of the first quarter saw both teams exchange baskets with the Bearcats leading 15-13 after the first ten minutes of play.

“Basketball is a game of runs, and the girls just kept attacking,” Shapiro Ord said. “They didn’t let [up], they just kept their composure and they just kept battling.”

Binghamton got on the board first in the second quarter after freshman forward Kendall Bennett made a layup that gave BU a four-point lead over UMBC. The Retrievers stayed in it, finding ways to score to keep the score close. Not long after, another layup from Bennett helped the Bearcats gave BU a 19-15 lead. The Bearcats held most of the momentum, keeping UMBC’s offense at bay, as a layup from freshman guard Bella Pucci with 22 seconds left in the period gave Binghamton a 32-24 lead going into halftime.

“We had a big shot or we got a couple,” Shapiro Ord said. “We got some stops, and we did a really good job of getting involved in the paint. We got 32 points in the paint which was great.”

BU wasted no time as redshirt sophomore guard Jadyn Weltz built BU’s lead to double digits at 34-24 after quickly scoring a layup. For the next few minutes, both teams were held scoreless. With just over six minutes remaining, UMBC ended the scoring drought to make it a 34-27 game. As the period went on, Binghamton continued to maintain its lead with buckets from sophomore forward/guard Camryn Fauria and sophomore guard Meghan Casey. Going into the final period, the Bearcats held a 43-32 lead.

“We got them to turn it over quite a bit,” Shapiro Ord said. “I think it was really important for that, and I felt that was crucial that we knocked down [shots] and we got some stops.”

The Retrievers cut the BU lead to nine with a quick layup, making it a 43-34 game. After Binghamton was held scoreless for the first 3:19 of the period, Bowman layed one in to extend the lead back to 11. The Retrievers strung together a 7-0 run to close the gap with BU still leading 49-43. However, three free throws from Weltz in the final 30 seconds allowed the Bearcats to hold on just long enough to secure a 52-44 win.

“[We] didn’t give up,” Shapiro Ord said. “They didn’t get down when [UMBC] got close and it’s all about adversity and they overcame [it] this time which is great.”

Coleman led the Bearcats with 16 points. Behind her was Weltz and Bennett with eight. Weltz also had four assists and four steals in the winning effort. As a team, the Bearcats shot 40 percent from the field while holding the Retrievers to just 34 percent shooting from the field.

“[Coleman] did a great job,” Shapiro Ord said. “[UMBC] couldn’t stop her. She did a great job on the floor and playing defense and rebounding. [Coleman] had an assist. She did a really good job. Then I know [Bowman] didn’t score a lot of points. She put her defensive first … that was huge — her blocks and her defense.”

The Bearcats will return home to take on NJIT on Saturday, Feb. 17 as they come closer to the end of AE play. Tipoff is set for 2 p.m. at the Dr. Bai Lee Court at the Events Center in Vestal, New York.