Immediate Release: January 9, 2005
Contact: David O'Brian (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Minus two starters, Binghamton women's basketball outlasts Stony Brook 65-64
VESTAL, N.Y.-- Sophomore center Laine Kurpniece (Riga, Latvia) had a game-high 21 points and 12 rebounds, leading Binghamton (10-4, 3-0 AE) to a 65-64 win over Stony Brook (8-5, 1-1 AE) in an America East Conference women's basketball game on Wednesday night at the Events Center. With the win, the Bearcats are off to their best conference start since joining the America East prior to the 2001-02 season. In addition, the Bearcats have now won 10 straight home games, their longest such streak in four years.
Binghamton was without senior forward Jen Haubrich (Bow, N.H.) who missed her second straight game with a sprained ankle. In addition, senior guard Rachel Laws (Wyncote, Pa.) hurt her ankle while driving for a basket just three minutes into the game. She did not return and no further details were known after the game as to the extent of her injury.
"It was tough losing Rachel but we were pleased with how the rest of the team responded," head coach Rich Conover said. "Our defense was not as sharp in the second half and we turned the ball over a lot but its good to get a win over a very good Stony Brook team."
Binghamton trailed 11-4 when Laws left the game but proceeded to go on a 24-4 run to take a 26-15 lead with 4:14 remaining in the first half. Kurpniece and sophomore guard Laura Sario (Espoo, Finland), who finished the game with a season-high 12 points, each had eight points during the run.
It was a crucial Bearcat turnover near the end of the first half that marked a turning point of the game. The Bearcats were up 29-19 with 29 seconds left in the first half and were in a position to hold for the last shot. Instead, Binghamton inadvertently threw the ball away and junior guard Mykeema Ford, who led Stony Brook with 19 points, drilled a three pointer with five seconds to go.
In the second half, Binghamton was still up 48-40 but the Seawolves went on a 16-7 run to take a 56-55 lead with 4:52 remaining. From there, the lead changed hands twice before sophomore foward Juta Jahilo (Helsinki, Finland) grabbed her own rebound and put the Bearcats up for good, 59-58, with 2:49 left.
Down 65-62, Stony Brook had a chance to tie when sophomore foward Dana Ferraro scored and was fouled with 37 seconds to play. She missed the ensuing free throw and although the Seawolves got the rebound, senior guard Jen Blues (Overland Park, Kan.) came up with the steal and Binghamton got possession of the ball with 30 seconds remaining.
The Bearcats were unable to score but the Seawolves had just one second left on the clock when they got the ball back. They were unable to get the ball up court before time ran out.
Binghamton travels to Boston on Saturday for a 1 p.m. game.
NOTES: Junior guard Shea Kenny (Miller Place, N.Y.) recorded a season-high seven assists ... Stony Brook forward Jessica Smith, who leads the conference in scoring got into foul trouble and finished with 11 points ... Jahilo finished with 11 points and nine rebounds ... Kurpniece now has three double-doubles this season and has reached the 20-point mark three times as well.
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