Immediate Release: February 18, 2006
Contact: Anthony G. Naglieri (email@example.com)
Women's basketball drops fourth straight, loses at Hartford 66-56
WEST HARTFORD, CONN.-- Conference-leading Hartford (21-2, 13-0) jumped out to an early 14-point lead and never looked back during a 66-56 victory over Binghamton (13-11, 6-7 AE) in an America East conference women's basketball game Saturday afternoon at the Chase Family Arena. With the defeat, the Bearcats have now dropped four straight contests and five out of their last six overall. Conversely, the Hawks have now won a program-record 15 straight contests, the third longest active streak in the nation, and with today's victory, have clinched their first-ever America East regular season championship.
For the second time in as many meetings, Hartford shot out of the gate in the first half, racing to a 14-0 lead as the Bearcats misfired on their first six shots from the floor, and failed to get on the scoreboard until the 12:57 mark. But, unlike their January 18 meeting, the Bearcats were never quite able to rebound, as the host Hawks led from wire-to-wire on the strength of 51.1% field goal shooting.
"We're always disappointed with a loss but we did compete for 40 minutes, which is a plus. I thought we stayed determined and competed to the end," head coach Rich Conover said. To Hartford's credit, they came out and made every shot early on (during the opening 14-0 run). We had some miscues on the defensive end and were unfortunate offensively in the early going."
Junior guard Ikea Witt led three Hartford players in double figures with a game-high 21 points on 6-for-9 shooting and a perfect 9-for-9 at the charity stripe. Her fellow backcourt-mate senior Erika Messam added 16 points.
The Bearcats were paced by senior forward Jen Haubrich (Bow, N.H.) who netted a team-high 12 points and grabbed four rebounds. Sophomore forward Juta Jahilo (Helsinki, Finland) added 10 points off the bench.
Perhaps the most promising sign on this afternoon, however, was the play of senior forward Rachel Laws (Wyncote, Pa.), who made her most significant contribution since returning to the Bearcats lineup, scoring 6 points and grabbing a team-high 7 rebounds.
"Some of the pieces are coming together and hopefully we can start to mesh at the right time," emphasized Conover. "Now we get a couple days off and can get everyone healthy and get some good practices in."
The women return home one week from today, to wrap up the home portion of their schedule with an afternoon tilt against UMBC at 1 p.m. Saturday's contest will also serves as Senior Day as the athletic department recognizes the tremendous contributions made by the members of this year's senior class (Rachel Laws, Jen Blues, and Jen Haubrich) .
NOTES: With the season sweep in 2005-06, Hartford now owns a 6-4 advantage in the all-time series versus Binghamton ... The Bearcats are now 1-4 lifetime at Chase Family Arena, with their lone win coming back on Jan. 15, 2003 ... Jen Blues now finds herself just 20 points shy of 1,000 career points.
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