Women’s Hoop: Catamounts Drop Heartbreaker In Final Minute to Binghamton

Courtesy Vermont Sports Information

BURLINGTON – Women’s basketball tangled with the Bearcats at Patrick Gym on Thursday night, but dropped a close league contest to Binghamton 57-53. UVM falls to 6-13 (1-5) on the season as the Bearcats rise to 8-11 (3-2).

“Tonight was a tight, evenly played game but Binghamton had an answer at the end with its game winning shot,” said head coach Lori Gear McBride. “Other than the free throw line, I thought we out-played them so it was disappointing to not come away with a better result. Our kids played hard but it was a matter of one or two plays that didn’t go in our favor.”

Three Catamounts found themselves in double-figures with Andreana Thomas leading the way, registering a team-high 19 points and grabbing seven rebounds. Sydney Smith posted 13 points with four 3-pointers and Katie Lavelle added 10 points. As a team, Vermont pulled down 43 total rebounds with six players recording at least five boards.

Freshman Imani Watkins poured in a game-high 23 points and three steals for the Bearcats. Alyssa James totaled five blocks and posted 16 points and Mckayla Hernandez chipped in 10 points.

The Catamounts and Bearcats battled back-and-forth during first quarter action and saw four ties in the opening minutes. A three-point play by James and a pair of free throws by Kristin Ross gave Binghamton a 15-11 advantage after 10 minutes.

Vermont continued to remain on Binghamton’s heels in the second quarter, but the Bearcats never took more than a six-point lead (24-18). Courtney Wright laid in a hook shot to make it a two-possession game, and Thomas connected on one-of-two from the charity stripe, closing the half trailing Binghamton 24-21.

The Bearcats’ defense shut down the Catamounts from long range as UVM went 1-for-11 (9-percent) from behind the arc, however UVM had a 25-22 edge on the boards.

Smith drained back-to-back three-balls as Vermont strung together an 11-3 run over the Bearcats midway through the third quarter. Binghamton clawed back as Hernandez chipped in two form the charity stripe and connected on a three-pointer to put Binghamton up 38-37 with one quarter to play.

The Bearcats went on a 6-2 run in the fourth, enough to take its largest lead of the half at 46-42 with 4:55 left in the game, but Smith answered back with another 3-pointer to make it a single possession game once again.

Smith netted her fourth triple of the night with less than a minute remaining, only for Watkins to follow up with one of her own for a two-point Binghamton lead with 17.9 seconds to play. Kim Albrecht struck twice from the line in the final seconds to secure the Bearcat victory.

Vermont takes a week off and returns to action next Wednesday (Jan. 27) to host New Hampshire at Patrick Gym. Tip-off against the Wildcats is set for 7 p.m. Radio coverage begins 20 minutes prior to tip-off on WVMT 620-AM and SportsJuice.com with Alastair Ingram calling the action. All conference games can also be viewed for free via AmericaEast.tv.

Tickets can be purchased online at UVMathletics.com/tickets, in person at the Athletic Ticket Office located on the balcony in Patrick Gymnasium (Mon – Fri; 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.), over the phone during office hours at 802-656-4410, or one hour before game time in the lobby of Patrick Gymnasium.

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