For Immediate Release: December 30, 2006
Contact: Joshua J. Darling (
Phone: 607-777-6478

Syracuse women's basketball holds off Binghamton for 68-65 victory
BU's Sadler nets career-high 11 points and ties career high with eight assists

Box Score
Postgame quotes

VESTAL, N.Y.- Freshman guard Nicole Michael scored a game-high 21 points leading Syracuse (7-7) to a 68-65 come-from-behind victory over Binghamton (3-9) in a non-conference women's basketball game on Saturday at the Events Center. The game marks the final contest of 2006 for the Bearcats, who will begin their conference schedule next week.

With the game tied at 60-60 with 4:56 to play, Syracuse came away with three consecutive baskets from Michael, junior forward Fantasia Goodwin and sophomore guard Cintia Johnson to take the lead 66-60 with 3:33 to play. Junior forward Brianna Thompson (Chehalis, Wash.) then netted a three-pointer and junior forward Laine Kurpniece (Riga, Lativa) added a layup to close the gap to 66-65 with 1:29 to play.

The score stayed that way until 25 seconds remained in the contest, when Michael sank two of her eight free throws to push the Orange lead to 68-65 and the Syracuse defense prevented a tying three point attempt to seal the three-point victory.

"I thought we gave a great effort but we are looking to win these close games," head coach Rich Conover said. "We have gone through some adversity this season but everyone in our locker room is ready to win."

After trailing by as many as 12 points in the first half, Binghamton ended the first half with a 6-0 run to close to 36-32 at the break. In the second half they battled back to take the lead with 15:30 to play, 42-41, and eventually led by as many six points before the late Orange run.

In addition to her 21 points Michael also added five rebounds and three steals for Syracuse while junior center Vaida Sipaviciute finished with 14 points and a team-high six rebounds and was the only other SU player in double-digits. Sophomore center Lina Lisnere added eight points, four rebounds and a game-high four steals.

For the Bearcats, Kurpniece finished with 16 points and six rebounds while Thompson added 14 points and five rebounds. Freshman guard Muffy Sadler (Cedar Rapids, Iowa) posted a career-high 11 points and tied her career mark with eight assists while adding five rebounds, a block and a steal.

"The game Muffy had today is indicative of the type of player she is," Conover said. "She did a really great job today of leading the team and knocking down big shots."

Binghamton opens up its America East Conference schedule with a 7 p.m. home game against Albany on Thursday.

Game Notes: Kurpniece was named the Binghamton Player of the Game.

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