Hanover, NH (WBNG Binghamton) Sophomore guard Kandace Newry scored the winning basket with 19 seconds left, leading Binghamton (3-10) to a 57-56 win over La Salle (5-7) in the championship game of the Dartmouth/Blue Sky Women’s Basketball Classic on Monday afternoon at Leede Gym. The win gives the Bearcats their first in-season tournament title since 2003, when it captured the BU/Time Warner Classic.
Junior forward Sherae Swinson, who finished with 16 points and nine rebounds, was named the Most Outstanding Performer while sophomore forward Morgan Murphy was named to the all-tournament team.
With the Bearcats trailing 56-55 and time winding down on the shot clock, Newry drove to the hoop, scored and was fouled on the play. She missed the free throw but senior guard Vaneeshia Paulk came up with a steal and was fouled with nine seconds to go.
Paulk missed the one-and-one but Alicia Cropper’s game-winning attempt on the other end came up short with three seconds to go. The Explorers got the rebound but were unable to get off another shot before time ran out.
“I am very proud of our team for the way we played this weekend,” head coach Nicole Scholl said. “La Salle is a tough team and we were able to find a way to come through at the end.”
Binghamton took control of the game with a 14-2 run in a span of 3:47 to go up 17-10 with 11:25 left in the first half. Swinson and Murphy each had four points during that stretch.
La Salle got to within 22-20 on a three-point field goal by Micahya Owens with 3:56 left before the half. The Bearcats, however, countered with an 8-2 run to go up 30-22 at the break. Swinson had another four of her points during that stretch.
The Explorers came roaring back to within 35-34 with 15:22 left in regulation. Owens capped the 12-5 run with a three pointer.
From there, the lead swung back and forth for the next 12 minutes. Swinson tied the game at 55-55 with 1:20 remaining but Cropper made one of two free throws with 46 seconds remaining. That set the stage for Newry’s heroics.
Cropper finished with a game-high 17 points. Leeza Burdgess added 14 points and a game-high 19 rebounds.
Binghamton opens up America East play at UMBC on Saturday at 2 p.m.
(Courtesy: Binghamton University Athletics)