For Immediate Release: March 14, 2008
Contact: Matt Muzza (
Phone: 607-777-6478

Women's basketball falls to Albany 64-57 in AE Quarterfinals
Bearcats squander nine-point halftime lead

Box Score

WEST HARTFORD, Conn. -- Fourth-seeded Albany (13-17) went on a 23-4 run to start the second half, overcoming a nine-point halftime deficit to defeat fifth-seeded Binghamton (11-19) 64-57 in an America East quarterfinal game at Chase Arena in Hartford on Friday night. Albany's high pressure full-court defense forced 27 Binghamton turnovers, 16 of which came in the decisive second half.

"We knew Albany would come back at us with their pressure," head coach Rich Conover said. "I'm disappointed in the outcome but I'm proud of the way we fought back at the end ... their pressure was just too much for us to get the lead back."

Senior center Laine Kurpniece (Riga, Latvia), an all-conference first team selection, paced Binghamton with her third double-double of the season, scoring 14 points and grabbing a career-high 15 rebounds. Kurpniece's 15 rebounds were the most ever for a Bearcat in the America East tournament.

"Laine [Kurpniece] was unbelievable in her last game in a Bearcat uniform," Conover said.

Albany stormed out to a 23-4 run to start the second half, quickly erasing their nine-point halftime deficit. The Great Danes held the Bearcats scoreless until senior guard
Laura Sario (Espoo, Finland) sunk a three-pointer at the 14:23 mark to knot the game at 39-39.

Albany then stepped up on the offensive side and used a 8-1 run over a three-minute span to take a 10-point lead, the largest of the game, with a score of 50-40 with 9:52 remaining in the game.

Binghamton fought back in the waning minutes of the game, closing the gap to three with 3:27 left but was unable to get any closer.

Binghamton trailed 25-16 with six minutes remaining in the first half before going on a 20-2 tear to close out the period. Sophomore guard Erica Carter (Naperville, Ill.) knocked down three consecutive three pointers to start the burst for the Bearcats. Sario contributed eight points on the run, including a three pointer of her own and added a free throw with under a second left in the stanza to push the halftime lead to 36-27.

Sario scored a game-high 16 points and pulled down seven rebounds. Carter scored 14 points, 12 of which came in the first half on 3-of-4 shooting from beyond the arc.

Albany had four players score in double figures and was lead by freshman guard Janea Aiken's 14 points. Sophomore guard Charity Iromuanya tallied a double-double of her own with 10 points and 10 rebounds.

Notes: This was the Bearcats first America East game in which they lead at halftime ... Kurpniece is just the second Bearcat to record a double-double at the America East tournament, joining Rachel Laws who did it twice ... Kurpniece finishes her Binghamton career with 1,188 points, good for eighth on the all-time list ... senior classmate Sario ends her career with 1,088 points, which ranks her ninth.

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