BURLINGTON, Vt. After a week since their last game in Albany, Catamounts lost the first game of a two-game homestand 62-48 to the Binghamton Bearcats. It was the first meeting of the season between Binghamton and Vermont, and the 35th all-time matchup between the two programs.
"I was very pleased with our team for the first two and a half quarters," said UVM head coach Chris Day. "Then, when they amped up the pressure, we did not respond well. Alyssa James changed the whole game for them. She neutralized all of the things we liked to do in the second half so credit to her and their team, but it's great to see Hayley Robertson playing really good basketball right now."
Vermont got off to a hot start and took a 19-12 after the first ten minutes. UVM continued its success in the second quarter and carried a 32-27 lead into halftime.
In the first half, the Catamounts shot 50% (6-12) from three-point range. At that point, Kristina White, Cassidy Derda and Robertson had each converted on two triples each. Vermont also out-rebounded Binghamton 18-12 in the first half.
Led by James, the Bearcats came out firing in the second half and took the lead towards the end of the third quarter. Vermont faced its first lead since the opening minutes but could not overcome.
Binghamton utilized three double-figure scorers en route to its fourth consecutive victory: James (21 pts), Imani Watkins (19) and Kai Moon (12). Along with her 21 points, James recorded 15 rebounds and registered three blocked shots while shooting a season-best 9-10 from the free throw line. Watkins has now posted double-figures in the scoring column in every game she has played in and leads the conference in scoring. Moon scored all of her points in the second half.
For Vermont, Robertson was the only player in double-figures scoring wise. She came off the bench and finished with 11 points (3-4 3PT), 5 rebounds and an assist off the bench. Meanwhile, Sydney Smith scored nine points and led the team with eight rebounds.
White finished the game with eight points, five rebounds and two assists. She went 2-6 from downtown. Derda scored eight points and added four rebounds of her own. Off the bench, Candice Wright recorded the Catamounts' only two blocked shots.
With the loss, the Vermont is now 6-15 overall, 5-7 at home and 3-5 in America East play. Binghamton moves to 15-7 overall, 7-3 on the road and 6-3 in conference play.
The Bearcats improve to 14-21 all-time against the Catamounts. Binghamton has won five straight meetings. The two programs face each other one more time during the regular season: Wednesday, Feb. 14 (7 p.m.) in Vestal, New York.
Despite losing the game, Vermont won the rebounding battle 36-31 against a team that contains the conference's leading rebounder (James). However, the Catamounts committed 20 turnovers and have registered 20 or more turnovers in each of their last three games (1-2 record in that span).
As a team, Vermont shot 38% from the field, 32% from downtown (7-22) and 83% at the free throw line (5-6). Meanwhile, Binghamton went 38% from the floor, 25% from distance (3-12) and 85% at the foul line (17-20).
Next up, UVM remains home to play UMBC. It is the first time that Vermont is facing an America East opponent for the second time this season. The Catamounts host the Retrievers on Saturday, Feb. 3 for a 2 p.m. tilt on Tom Brennan Court at Patrick Gym.
The video broadcast for the UMBC game can be found on ESPN3. Per a contract with ESPN, every America East game airs online on ESPN3. Alastair Ingram and Bernie Cieplicki have the call.
Logan Ratick has the play-by-play call for Saturday's showdown with UMBC on CatamounTV.com, as well as the flagship station for UVM women's basketball, News/Talk 620 WVMT-AM. Pregame coverage begins at 1:40 p.m., with tip-off set for 2 p.m. from Patrick Gymnasium in Burlington, Vermont.
Courtesy: UVM Athletics