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For Immediate Release: February 14, 2007
Contact: David O'Brian (dobrian@binghamton.edu)
Phone: 607-777-6478

Binghamton women's basketball hangs on for 68-65 win over UMBC
Sario, Kurpniece net 14 points apiece; BU wins fourth straight at home

Box Score

VESTAL, N.Y.-- Junior guard Laura Sario (Espoo, Finland) nailed a key three-pointer with 2:34 to play and Binghamton (9-15, 5-6 AE) sank three free throws in the final 32 seconds to hold off visiting UMBC (11-14, 4-8 AE) 68-65 in an America East Conference women's basketball game Wednesday night at the Events Center. Sophomore forward Laura Franceski (Moscow, Pa.) preserved the win by blocking two Retrievers three-point attempts in the final five seconds.

Neither team led by more than six points in this see-saw affair that was played in front of a sparse crowd, due to a heavy snowstorm swirling throughout the Northeast. UMBC led 36-31 at intermission but shot just 26% over the final 20 minutes.

The Bearcats took the lead for good with a 7-0 run in the final 4:30. With the Retrievers ahead 59-58, junior forward Laine Kurpniece (Riga, Latvia) sank a pair of free throws with 4:12 left. Sario followed with two free throws of her own with 3:43 remaining to extend the lead to 62-59. After the teams traded two turnovers apiece, Sario nailed a three-pointer from the right corner to double BU's margin. UMBC cut its deficit to one, 66-65, on a three-pointer but senior guard Rebecka Lindgren (Oskarshamn, Sweden) made 2-of-2 from the line with 21 seconds left to restore a three-point margin. With the Retrievers looking for a three-pointer to tie in the closing seconds, Franceski stepped out to block back-to-back shots.

"We really asked our players to respond tonight," head coach Rich Conover said. "I thought we did a nice job getting the lead in the second half and then hitting some free throws at the end."

Sario, who was selected as the America East Player of the Game, and Kurpniece sharing scoring honors with 14 points. Junior forward Brianna Thompson (Chehalis, Wash.) contributed nine points (all in the second half) and 10 rebounds, Lindgren chipped in 10 points, four assists and three steals and senior guard Shea Kenny (Miller Place, N.Y.) added eight points, eight rebounds and three assists.

UMBC senior forward Sharri Rohde led all scorers with 19 points and was named the Retrievers' America East Player of the Game. She also pulled down 12 rebounds and had three steals.

Binghamton next plays at Vermont on Saturday, February 17. Tip-off is set for 1 p.m.

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