Vestal, NY (WBNG Binghamton)
Niki Taylor and Annie Wheeler each finished with 14 points and seven rebounds as Vermont (6-11, 3-1 AE) held off Binghamton (2-16, 1-4 AE) 61-56 in an America East women’s basketball game on Wednesday night at the Events Center. The loss was the fourth straight setback for the Bearcats.
The defeat overshadowed a game-high and career-high 25-point performance by sophomore forward Sherae Swinson. In the process, she reached the 20-point mark in scoring for the second time this season.
The difference in the game, however, was rebounding. Vermont held a 52-31 advantage for the game and grabbed 16 offensive rebounds. In addition, with Binghamton continuing to nurse injuries, its bench was outscored 36-3.
“We obviously needed to do a better job with our defensive pressure tonight,” head coach Nicole Scholl said. “We were shorthanded and the players out there for us did what we asked but we didn’t do a good job rebounding.”
Taylor netted 10 of her points in the opening 20 minutes as the Catamounts took a 30-19 lead at the half. The Bearcats, meanwhile, shot just 29 percent before the break (7-of-24).
The second half, however, was a different story, as the Bearcats scored 37 points and shot 42 percent (13-of-31). Swinson led the surge with 16 of her points over the final 20 minutes.
Down 46-33 with 10:13 left in regulation, the Bearcats went on a 12-3 run to pull to within 49-45 with 7:35 left to go. Swinson had five of her points during that stretch.
Junior guard Stephanie Jensen drained a three pointer, pulling Binghamton to within 59-56 at the 48-second mark.
On the ensuing possession, however, Taylor and Tonya Conley each had a clutch offensive rebound off a missed field goal. Conley was fouled after her rebound and made one of two free throws with 16 seconds left to go.
Tierra Shumpert iced the game by hitting a final free throw with 12 seconds remaining. She finished the game with seven points, six rebounds and a game-high 10 assists.
Junior guard Jasbriell Swain added 12 points, five rebounds, five assists and four steals.
Binghamton travels to Maine on Sunday for a 2 p.m. game.
(Courtesy: BU Athletics)