For Immediate Release: November 10, 2007
Contact: David O'Brian (
Phone: 607-777-6478

Women's basketball opens season with 62-60 loss at Portland State

Box Score

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Freshman forward Kelli Valentine scored the go-ahead basket with 50.7 seconds left, leading Portland State (1-0) to a 62-60 win over Binghamton in a non-conference women's basketball game on Saturday night at the Stott Center. The game marked the season opener for both teams.

The loss overshadowed a 22-point, nine-rebound performance by senior center Laine Kurpniece (Riga, Latvia). She led all players in scoring and posted the most points by a Binghamton player in a season opener since the program moved up to the Division I level in 2001. Junior forward Laura Franceski (Moscow, Pa.) added a career-high 15 points and a pair of blocks while senior guard Laura Sario (Espoo, Finland) chipped in 10 points, six rebounds and five assists.

Junior forward Kelsey Kahle was the lone Portland State player in double figures with 18 points.

Binghamton appeared to be in control of the game, leading 55-45 with 8:19 left in the second half. From there, however, the Vikings reeled off 10 unanswered points to deadlock the game with 3:56 remaining.

Kurpniece coverted a three-point play with 3:36 left, reclaiming the lead for Binghamton. After Erin Yankus hit one of two free throws at the 3:09 mark, Valentine hit her game-turning jumper.

Down 62-60 with 8.7 seconds left, Kurpniece had a chance to tie the game when she was fouled in the paint. Unfortunately, she missed both of her attempts after making all of her previous 12 tries during the game.

Until the final eight minutes of the game, the Bearcats were on the verge of successfully overcoming an 11-point deficit. Down 34-23 with 3:27 left in the opening half, the Bearcats clawed back to take a 39-38 lead on a Franceski jumper exactly four minutes into the second half.

Defensively, the Bearcats held the Vikings to just five field goals in the second half. Three of Portland State's field goals, however, came during the decisive run of the game.

Binghamton faces St. Bonaventure next Saturday at the Elmira BC Arena. The starting time has been changed from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.

NOTES: Kurpniece has now reached the 20-point mark eight times during her career. Her 12 made free throws is a new career high ... the previous Division I record for the most points in a season opener by a Binghamton player occured when Rachel Laws netted 20 points against Kansas on Nov. 20, 2005.

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