For Immediate Release: December 18, 2004
Contact: David O'Brian (
Phone: 607-777-6478

Binghamton rally falls short in 82-79 overtime loss at Lehigh

Box Score

BETHLEHEM, Pa.-- Visiting Binghamton (1-6) came back from an 18-point deficit, only to lose to host Lehigh (5-2) 82-79 in overtime on Saturday night at Stabler Field House. The loss is the Bearcats' third straight by three points or less as well as the second in overtime.

"I feel disappointed," head coach Rich Conover said. " We put fourth a great effort to come back but it was inexcusable to start the game the way we did. We need someone on the perimeter to come out and lead us on the floor at the start of the game."

Binghamton had three players in double figures, led by junior forward Rachel Laws (Wyncote, Pa.), who posted a game-high 24 points. She also grabbed a team-high five rebounds. It marked the third consecutve game in which Laws has scored at least 20 points, something no Binghamton player has done since Bess Greenberg during the 2000-01 season.

Junior guard Jen Blues (Overland Park, Kan,) added 17 points and freshman center Laine Kurpniece (Riga, Latvia) chipped in a career-high 16 points.

For Lehigh, Sara Ellis had a team-high 23 points and Sara DePalo added 22 points.

Lehigh led by as much as 31-13 with 5:37 to go in the first half. The Mountain Hawks connected on their first six three-point attempts and shot 65.2 percent from the field (15-of-23) during the first 20 minutes.

The Bearcats, however, clawed back to within 38-30 at the half. Kurpniece scored nine points, including six alone from the free throw line, during the final five minutes before intermission.

In the second half, Binghamton stormed back and reclaimed the lead, 59-57 on a three-pointer by Blues with 5:25 to go in regulation. It was the third of four three pointers that she nailed in the second half.

Lehigh was up 68-65 with time running out in the second half. Laws, however, made a layup with 27 seconds left to go and was fouled on the play. She then converted her 20th point of the game on the ensuing free throw to tie the game. The Mountain Hawks were unable to get a shot off in their final possession of the second half.

In overtime, Binghamton never had the lead. The Mountian Hawks went ahead for good, 72-70, on a jumper by Ellis with 3:24 remaining. The Bearcats were down 82-79 with three seconds left to go after Lehigh's Chantel St. Laurent missed a pair of free throws. Freshman guard Nicole Lobach (Hanover, Pa.) got the rebound after the second miss but her desperation shot from well beyond half court fell way short at the buzzer.

Binghamton is idle for a week before hosting Harvard on Dec. 30 at 7 p.m at the Events Center.

NOTES: In the past three games, Laws has averaged 24.7 points, 9.7 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 1.0 blocks and 2.7 steals. She has now scored 20 or more points four times this season and is averaging 16.6 points and 7.4 rebounds per game ... Blues is averaging 14.3 points during the past three games ... so far this season, Binghamton's opponents have a combined record of 36-15 ... freshman forward Juta Jahilo (Helsinki, Finland) netted a career-high eight points and freshman guard Laura Sario (Espoo, Finland) had a career-high five steals.


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