For Immediate Release: February 2, 2005
Contact: David O'Brian (
Phone: 607-777-6478

Hartford rallies to defeat Binghamton 51-46

Box Score

HARTFORD,Conn. --- Junior guard Erika Messam scored a game-high 18 points as Hartford (13-5, 7-2 AE) rallied for a 51-46 win over Binghamton (6-12, 5-4 AE) in an America East Conference women's basketball game at the Chase Family Arena on Wednesday night. The defeat snapped the Bearcats' two-game winning streak and the Hawks remained tie in first place in the America East Conference.

Binghamton led by as many as 10 points but a 20-5 rally in the second half by the host Hawks proved to be the difference in the game.

"I thought we played a great 30 minutes but Hartford is a great defensive team and they put a run on us in the second half," head coach Rich Conover said. "We weren't able to respond."

Junior forward Rachel Laws (Wyncote, Pa.) had a team-high 15 points, five rebounds and two steals. Freshman guard Laura Sario (Espoo, Finland) added 11 points and a team-high eight rebounds and three assists

Binghamton jumped out a 14-4 lead with 8:30 left to go in a first half dominated by both defenses. Laws went 6-for-6 at the free throw line and scored eight points during that span. The Hawks, however, responded with a 5-0 run in the next 1:30 to cut the margin to 14-9 with 7:00 left to go.

From there, the Bearcats managed to stretch their lead back to 26-17 at the half. Laws and freshman center Laine Kurpniece (Riga, Latvia) went a combined 4-for-4 at the free throw line during the last 5:00 of the half.

Overall, the Bearcats went a perfect 10-for-10 from the free throw line in the opening 20 minutes.

In the second half, Hartford went on a 6-3 run in the opening 3:49, prompting Binghamton to call a 30-second timeout. Later one, the Hawks went on an 10-0 run to tie the game at 35-35 with 7:31 remaining. Harftford then reclaimed the lead for good at 37-35 with 6:00 remaining on a basket by Messam.

Binghamton got to within 41-40 with 3:53 remaining but Harftord went on a 6-2 run in the next three minutes to seal the game.

Binghamton travels to Maine on Saturday for a 7:30 p.m. game.

NOTES: Hartford came into the game unbeaten in eight previous home games.

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