Immediate Release: March 10, 2006
Contact: David O'Brian (email@example.com)
Binghamton women's basketball rallies to defeat UMBC 72-66 in America East quartferfinals, will face No. 1 Hartford on Saturday at 3:30 P.M.
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HARTFORD, Conn.-- Senior guard Rachel Laws (Wyncote, Pa.) scored 12 of her game-high 26 points in the final 44 seconds of regulation and in overtime, leading No. 4 Binghamton (17-11) to a 72-66 come-from-behind victory over No. 5 UMBC (15-13) in an America East quarterfinal game at the Chase Family Arena on Friday night. With the win, the Bearcats advance to the conference semifinals for the first time and will face top-seeded Hartford on Saturday at 3:30 p.m.
Binghamton was down 58-52 with 1:05 left to go in regulation but went on an 8-2 run in the last 42 seconds to force overtime. Down 66-65 with 2:47 left in overtime, the Bearcats went on a 7-1 run to lock up their biggest win since moving up to the NCAA Division I level five years ago.
"This is a great win for our program," head coach Rich Conover said. "It's been a long time in the making. I am very happy for our seniors. It is certainly the biggest win in our (Division I) program history."
"Losing never really entered my mind," Laws said. "I was so focused during that last part of the game. We never gave up."
Laws also recorded 10 rebounds for her fourth double-double of the season and the 20th of her career. She now has 1,234 points for her career, which ranks fifth all-time in school history. In the game against UMBC, she surpassed Karen McClelland (1996-00), who netted 1,227 points, and Alicia Brennan (1986-90), who scored 1,229 points.
Senior forward Jen Haubrich (Bow, NH.) tied her career high with 18 points while senior guard Jen Blues (Overland park, Kan.) chipped in 10 points. Junior point guard Shea Kenny (Miller Place, N.Y.) added nine points and a team-high five assists.
UMBC was led by Sharri Rohdes, who scored 14 points. Brittnie Hughes and Matea Pender added 13 points each.
Things looked grim for the Bearcats as UMBC built a 58-52 lead with 1:05 remaining in the second half. Laws, however, hit a layup with 44 seconds to go and Laws drew a charge on the ensuing possession. That set the stage for a clutch three-point shot by Blues to cut the defecit to 58-57 with 31 seconds to go.
Binghamton fouled Hughes on the in-bounds play and she connected on both her free throws attempts to make the score 60-57 with 29 seconds left. Showing true grit, Laws converted another layup with 21 seconds and was fouled on the play. She sank the ensuing free throw and when UMBC missed a game-winning shot at the buzzer, the game headed into overtime.
"I usually jump up down when I have an and-one situation," Laws said. "But when I made that last shot, I was just so focused."
Down 66-65 in overtime, Laws put put Binghamton up for good when she hit a shot with 1:25 left in the extra session. She sank 1-of-2 free throws with 20 seconds left to go but Blues converted both of her attempts with five second left to seal the game.
NOTES: The win over UMBC marked the first time Binghamton won a game this season after trailing at the half ... the last conference tournament win for Binghamton came on March 11, 2001 in the finals of the ECAC Division II championship. The Bearcats won 94-52 ... Blues now has 1,017 career points. She needs one point to tie Helene Thomas (1981-85) for eighth place all time ... Binghamton is 2-0 in overtime games this season.
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