For Immediate Release: December 21, 2007
Contact: David O'Brian (
Phone: 607-777-6478

Women's basketball loses to Lehigh 68-67 in double overtime

Box Score

VESTAL, N.Y.- Sophomore guard Alex Ross made three three-pointers in the second overtime period to help Lehigh (5-6) defeat Binghamton (2-9) 68-67 in a non-conference women's basketball game on Friday night at the Events Center. The game marked the second of a season-high five game home stand.

Binghamton led 64-57 with 2:28 left in the second overtime when Lehigh went on a 9-2 run on Ross' three treys to get within 67-66 at the 1:02 mark. From there, senior guard Kaela Pearce and junior guard Tricia Smith each went 1-for-2 from the free throw line put the Mountain Hawks ahead 68-67 with 13 seconds to go. The game was sealed when Pearce drew a charge with two seconds left.

"When you have a close game like that it becomes a smash-mouth grind it out mentality," said head coach Rich Conover. "You have to find a way to win."

Binghamton was down 48-43 with 1:50 left in the regulation when junior forward Laura Franceski (Moscow, Pa.) made three free throws to close the gap to 48-46 with 1:14 remaining. A Lehigh foul with seven seconds sent senior center Laine Kurpniece (Riga, Latvia) to the free throw line where she knocked down both her free throws to tie the game 48-48 and send it into overtime.

In the first overtime period, the Bearcats trailed 54-52 with time winding down, but were able to convert again, this time on a lay-up by senior guard Laura Sario (Espoo, Finland) with six seconds to go. Franceski was then able to block a desperation three-point attempt by Melissa Rich as time expired to insure the game going into the second overtime.

Ross, however, took over down the stretch and finished with a team-high 17 points on 5-of-9 from beyond the three-point arc. Smith also poured in 17 points as she shot 8-of-10 from the free throw line.

Binghamton was led by Kurpniece who scored a game-high 22 points. Sario had her first career double-double as she knocked in 18 points to go along with 11 rebounds.

Binghamton hosts St. Bonaventure next Saturday, Dec. 29, at 2 p.m.

NOTES: Kurpniece, who was named the America East Player of the Game, reached the 20-point mark for the third time this season and 10th time in her career ... Sario's 11 rebounds set her new career-high. She also played a career-high 49 minutes ... senior forward
Juta Jahilo (Helsinki, Finland) pulled down 10 rebounds ... the last time Binghamton played in a double overtime game was a 73-72 setback against St. John's at home on Dec. 7, 2004.

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