For Immediate Release: January 22, 2005
Contact: David O'Brian (
Phone: 607-777-6478

Slow start costly in Bearcats' 50-46 loss to UMBC
Binghamton shots 29.8 percent as three-game win streak comes to a halt

Box Score

VESTAL, N.Y.-- Junior guard Matea Pender netted a game-high 19 points, leading UMBC (7-8, 2-4 AE) to a 50-46 victory over host Binghamton (4-11, 3-3 AE) in an America East Conference women's basketball game at the Events Center on Saturday afternoon. The win was the Retrievers' first over Binghamton in three tries and in the process, snapped the Bearcats' season-high three-game winning streak.

UMBC held the Bearcats to just five field goals in the first half as it went up 24-14 at the break. The Retrievers broke a 4-4 tie and went on an 18-7 run in a span of 8:56 to take a 22-11 lead with 5:12 left before intermission.

"Give UMBC credit," Binghamton head coach Rich Conover said. "They came in here and set the tempo early in the game. We didn't respond very well. We had our chances late in the game but they just executed better."

Binghamton came all the way back in the second half to take the lead, 41-39, on a three-pointer by freshman Laura Sario (Espoo, Finland) with 6:10 remaining. From that point, there were two ties in the next four minutes before Pender put UMBC ahead to stay, 46-45 when she sank one of two free throws with 2:00 to go.

The Bearcats were down 48-46 with 23 seconds to go and went for the win as junior guard Jen Blues (Overland Park, Kan.) launched a three pointer from the left of the basket. Her shot, however, went off the rim and the rebound was grabbed by sophomore guard Brittnie Hughes, who was promptly fouled. Hughes sank her two free throws with 19 seconds left to ice the game.

Sario and junior guard Rachel Laws (Wyncote, Pa.) tied for the team lead with 11 points. Hughes had 14 points and sophomore guard Heather Luttrell added 10 points for UMBC.

Binghamton hosts Albany on Wednesday night at 7 p.m. while UMBC hosts Maine, also on Wednesday night at 7 p.m.

NOTES: Sario has now reached double figures in her last six games ... she has averaged 13.7 points during that stretch.

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