VESTAL, N.Y. – Senior Jill McDonald (Middlebury, Vt.), junior Denise Beliveau (Framingham, Mass.), and sophomore Cari Reed (Oswego, N.Y.) each tallied 14 points apiece, but the University of New Hampshire women's basketball team dropped a 72-60 decision to Binghamton University Sunday afternoon at the Events Center.
Reed was named the America East Player of the Game for UNH, netting her 14 points on 5-of-11 shooting from the field and 4-of-7 shooting from deep. She also pulled down a career-high nine rebounds and tallied an assist.
McDonald rounded out her afternoon with six boards and two assists. Beliveau finished 5-of-9 from the field and 2-of-4 from beyond the arc, while also adding five rebounds, one block and one steal.
Andrea Holmes earned player of the game honors for Binghamton, registering a game-high 24 points, five assists, four rebounds and two steals.
Binghamton outshot New Hampshire 43.5 percent (27-62) to 34.4 percent (22-64) from the field. The Bearcats also held the advantage in rebounds (43-41) and points in the paint (28-22).
New Hampshire opened up the action with a 6-2 lead on the back of two 3-pointers by Reed just over a minute apart to fuel the early advantage. The Bearcats would battle back, as Viive Rebane sank a layup and Orla O'Reilly drained a jumper to knot the score at 6-6 with 17:43 remaining in the first frame.
McDonald would end the scoreless streak for UNH, draining a go-ahead layup that put the 'Cats on top 8-6, with just under 17 minutes remaining in the stanza.
The two teams would remain scoreless for just over three minutes until Beliveau ended the drought, intercepting a pass at the left wing and taking the ball the length of the floor for a layup at the right side, giving UNH a 10-6 lead at 14:08.
Binghamton once again responded with a 4-0 scoring run, as Jackie Ward and Rebane each buried a layup about a minute apart to even the score at 10-10 with 12:40 remaining. The 'Cats ended the brief stretch, as Beliveau sank a 3-pointer in transition from the right wing and Kelley Flynn (Hopkinton, N.H.) banked in a layup on back-to-back possessions to reclaim the lead. Beliveau would polish off UNH's 11-3 run with a layup, giving the Wildcats their largest lead of the contest, jumping ahead 17-11 with 9:06 remaining in the first frame.
Following a change of possession, Kara Elofson knocked down a jumper that sparked a 13-1 run by the Bearcats that lasted 6:01, posting their largest lead to that point, with a 24-18 advantage. Jilliane Friel (Durham, N.H.) provided UNH's lone point during the stretch, knocking down one-of-two free throw shots from the charity stripe at 5:53.
McDonald would snap the run, knocking down a jumper in the lane at 1:53 and quickly followed up on the ensuing possession netting three points the old-fashioned-way to cut the deficit down to one. Holmes would sink the second of two free throw attempts from the line to close out the half, giving Binghamton a 25-23 edge at the break.
Both squads couldn't find the bottom of the net for nearly two minutes to open up the second half, until Orla O'Reilly buried a jumper to score the first field goal of the frame. Kelsey Hogan (Nashua, N.H.) was quick to respond, sinking a 3-pointer from the top of the key after the change of possession, but Holmes answered right back with a three of her own on the next trip up the floor. However, New Hampshire was able to pick up the pieces quickly, scoring five unanswered, capped off with a Beliveau 3-pointer that took back the lead with a 31-30 advantage at 16:47.
The Bearcats would fire back with seven unanswered in just under two minutes, taking back the lead with a six-point advantage with just under 15 minutes remaining. Reed buried a baseline trifecta to end the run, kicking off a 1:37 span that featured both teams exchanging baskets, as Reed capped off the stretch with another 3-pointer at 12:04, setting the score at 44-40 in favor of Binghamton.
Both teams traded baskets for just over three minutes, until the Bearcats posted a 10-3 run, pushing the score to 59-48 with 4:28 remaining. However, New Hampshire wasn't going down without a fight, as McDonald split a pair of free throws to set off a 7-4 Wildcat run that lasted 3:05, cutting the deficit down to eight.
Beliveau finished off the stretch grabbing an offensive rebound and going right up with the ball, banking it off the window from the left block, setting the score at 63-55 with 1:52 on the clock. That would be as close as the Wildcats would come to taking back the lead the rest of the way, as Holmes drained a fade away dagger 3-pointer from the left wing on the next possession, giving Binghamton a 66-55 edge with 1:25 remaining.
The Wildcats return to action on Wednesday, Jan. 11 (7 p.m.) when they return home to take on the University of Hartford at Lundholm Gymnasium.