Release: January 19, 2008
VESTAL, N.Y. -- Senior guard Laura Sario (Espoo, Finland) poured in a season-high 20 points and senior center Laine Kurpniece (Riga, Latvia) added 16 points, leading Binghamton (5-11, 3-0 AE) to a 82-74 win over New Hampshire (3-12, 0-3 AE) in an America East Conference women's basketball game on Saturday night at the Events Center. With the victory, the Bearcats tie their best conference start (set by the 2005-06 squad) since joining the America East seven seasons ago.
While Sario notched her third career game with at least 20 points, Kurpniece moved to within two points of becoming the 10th player in program history to reach the 1,000-point mark for their career. Sophomore point guard Muffy Sadler (Cedar Rapids, Iowa) tied her career high with 11 points and sophomore guard Erica Carter (Naperville, Ill.) also finished with 11 points.
"Tonight was a great game for Laura," head coach Rich Conover said. "Our post players struggled with fouls early in the game so we needed our perimeter players to come through for us."
The 82 points are the most scored by Binghamton since its 84-49 win at Vermont on March 4, 2006. In addition, the Bearcats now have their longest winning streak since going 4-0 from Feb. 25-March 9, 2006.
Binghamton led 36-31 at the half before New Hampshire went on a 7-2 run in a span of 5:02 to go up 43-38. From there, however, Binghamton took control of the game with 14-0 blitz to take a 52-43 led with 12:18 remaining in regulation. Sario hit a pair of three-point shots during the run.
After falling into foul trouble in the first half, Kurpniece took over down the stretch, scoring 12 of her points in the last nine minutes of the second half. The Bearcats maintained at least a seven-point lead during that final part of the game.
Sophomore guard Amy Simpson led the Wildcats with 19 points and freshman forward Denise Beliveau added 18 points and a career-high 11 rebounds.
Up next for Binghamton is a Tuesday night, first-place showdown at Hartford starting at 7:30 p.m. The game will be regionally televised. In the Binghamton area, the game will be shown on WIVT, the ABC affiliate (Time Warner Cable - Channel 6).
NOTES: Sario moves into 11th place all-time with 958 career points. She surpasses Alicia Koppenhoefer (1994-98), who scored 954 career points. Against New Hampshire, Sario added six assists for the second game in a row ... Sadler is now averaging 10.0 points against America East Conference opponents.
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