WEST HARTFORD, Conn. - Freshman Lindsay Adams (Theresa, N.Y.) had the tying and go-ahead three-point baskets late in the game to propel the sixth-seeded University of New Hampshire women's basketball team to a thrilling 58-53 victory over No. 3 Binghamton in the quarterfinals of the America East Championships at Chase Family Arena on Thursday afternoon.
With the win, UNH will make its first appearance in the tournament semifinals since the 1996-97 season. The Wildcats will face No. 7 Stony Brook, which defeated second-seeded Boston University 63-46 earlier in the day, in the second game tomorrow night (approximately 8:30 p.m.).
Trailing 50-47 with just over two minutes remaining, Adams connected from beyond the arc to tie the score 50-50. After a pair of missed free throws from Binghamton's Sarah Cartmill (26 points), Adams hit another three to give UNH a 53-50 lead with 1:34 to play.
The Bearcats closed to within a point on a jumper by Leah Truncale, but senior guard Heidi Plencner (Hampton, N.H.) hit her third trey of the half with the shot clock winding down to give the Wildcats a 56-52 advantage with 17 seconds remaining. Plencner (15 points), who needs just five more points to reach the 1,000-point plateau for her career, hit two clutch free throws in the final moments to seal the win.
In a second half that saw nine lead changes and six ties, Binghamton opened up its biggest lead of the game, 45-39 with 7:37 to play, but back-to-back treys by Plencner knotted the game at 45-45 with 6:29 left.
UNH opened the contest with 14 straight points and threatened to blow it wide-open. But the Bearcats responded with a 13-0 run of their own, then relied on Cartmill late in the half to stay within striking distance. At one point, the America East Player of the Year scored 11 straight points for her team.
Adams finished with 11 points for the Wildcats, while sophomore Maren Matthias (Guilford,Conn.) had a double-double of 10 points and 15 rebounds.