Immediate Release: January 21, 2004
Contact: David Berman (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Bearcats roll over Northeastern in second half, 44-29
VESTAL, N.Y.--In the team's lowest scoring game in the past 26 years, Binghamton (9-4, 4-1 America East) broke out of a first-half slump by shooting 55 percent over the final 20 minutes, and rolled to a 44-29 victory over Northeastern (9-5, 3-2 AE) in an America East Conference game on Wednesday night at West Gymnasium.
"We were determined to get to the basket and make shots in the second half, and that made the difference in the game," BU head coach Rich Conover said. "It was a terrific all-around defensive effort."
The Bearcats opened the second half with a 12-2 run in the first 4:45 and later stretched their lead with a 15-3 run that spanned eight minutes. Sophomore guard Jen Blues (Overland Park, Kan.) scored 10 of her 12 points in the second half and classmate Rachel Laws (Wyncote, Pa.) netted a game-high 14 points as the Bearcats won their fourth straight game and fifth in the past six outings.
Blues opened the second half with a three-pointer and added four more points during the run to start the half, and the Bearcats pulled out to a 25-16 lead with 15:15 remaining. The teams traded baskets over the next few minutes, but after connecting on a shot with 11:56 left to pull within 27-21, the Huskies made just two field goals and scored only eight points the rest of the way. Back-to-back layups by senior forward Leala Wegwerth (Roseville, Minn.) kicked off the decisive run. She had all five of her points and senior guard Kate Townley (St. Paul, Minn.) got all four of hers during the spurt, and Binghamton led 42-24 with 2:20 to play.
The tone of the game was set in the first half, when the teams combined for 28 turnovers and just 27 points, with Northeastern holding a 14-13 lead at intermission. Binghamton made just three field goals in the first stanza, and was shutout until a layup by junior center Erin Forkey (Freedom, N.Y.) with 12:36 left in the period put BU on the scoreboard. The Huskies scored the first seven points of the game and led 13-8 with 4:08 left in the half, but went scoreless for nearly seven minutes until scoring their first points in the second half.
Senior forward Joi Jefferson (Bowie, Md.) and sophomore guard Maralene Zwarich (Merriam, Kan.) each had seven points to lead Northeastern, which was limited to 11 field goals and 28 percent shooting for the game. The Huskies had just one more point than turnovers on the night. Binghamton's defense held Zwarich to a 2-of-12 performance from the floor, a far departure from the 39 points on 17-of-26 shooting she put up against UMBC in her previous game.
Binghamton will hit the road for its next game, taking on Stony Brook at 2 p.m. Saturday from the USB Sports Complex. The Bearcats return home next Wednesday to take on UMBC in their final game at West Gymnasium before making their debut in the Binghamton University Events Center against Maine on February 7.
NOTES: The last Binghamton game in which the two teams combined for fewer points came on Dec. 8, 1978 in a 33-32 loss to Elmira ... the last time Binghamton won a game with fewer points was a 43-39 decision over Potsdam on Feb. 2, 1996 ... the 29 points allowed were the fewest since a 74-29 triumph over New Haven on Feb. 3, 2001 ... Laws has now reached double figures in 10 straight games.
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