Immediate Release: December 20, 2003
VESTAL, N.Y. - Binghamton (5-3) shook off the cobwebs after 10 days off and eased past visiting Lehigh (1-7), 62-55 Saturday afternoon at West Gym. After seeing an 11-point lead disappear in the closing minutes, the Bearcats sank 11-of-12 free throws in the final 2:40 to earn the victory.
Sophomore guard Rachel Laws (Wyncote, Pa.) struck for career-highs in scoring (19 points) and rebounding (11), and overcame a blow to the nose and returned to help clinch the victory at the free throw line. It was the third double-double of the season for Laws, who hit on 7-of-14 from the floor and made 5-of-6 free throws. Twice in the game's final 90 seconds, Laws sank a pair of free throws to put BU back on top.
Binghamton led by 11 with 12:16 to play, and held a 49-41 margin with 7:31 remaining before the Mountain Hawks used a 12-4 run to knot the score at 53-53 with just 1:46 left. Laws was fouled driving to the basket, however, and her foul shots gave BU a 55-53 lead with 1:29 left. Lehigh junior forward Jessica DePalo (Rumson, N.J.) made a layup to tie the score with 0:59 to play, but 13 seconds later, Laws was sent to the line again, and swished both free throws. A free throw from senior center Nicole Dypolt (Calgary, Alberta) boosted Binghamton's lead to 58-55 with 25 seconds left, and Lehigh rushed a three-point attempt with 12 seconds left, setting the stage for BU's final four free throws.
"I'm happy to get the 'W' today," head coach Rich Conover said. "I thought defensively we were solid for most of the game, and Rachel gave us some baskets at key times. She's been our best option when we need a hoop."
Sophomore guard Jen Blues (Overland Park, Kan.) scored 10 points, and senior point guard Kate Townley (St. Paul, Minn.) chipped in nine points, seven rebounds and four assists in 37 minutes. Lehigh was led by senior forward Jana Ransom (Shawnee, Okla.), who converted 8-of-12 from the floor for 18 points. DePalo added 16 points, 11 rebounds and five blocks.
Binghamton next heads to Maine on January 7 to begin the team's 18-game America East Conference slate.
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