VESTAL, N.Y. — Binghamton University outscored the University of Maine 16-0 during the last five minutes of the first half, then stretched its lead in the second half en route to a 72-54 America East women’s basketball victory at the Events Center on Monday night.
The Black Bears (3-11, 0-1 AE) committed 23 turnovers and allowed the Bearcats (7-7, 1-0 AE) to shoot 52 percent (29 for 56) in the contest. It was the eighth straight loss for coach Richard Barron’s squad.
Orla O’Reilly (five assists) scored 16 of her 22 points in the first half and Viive Rebane (eight rebounds, eight assists, four steals) tossed in 18 of her game-high 26 points in the second half to propel Binghamton. The Bearcats also received 15 points and five assists from Andrea Holmes.
The hosts committed 13 turnovers.
“Our problem was the same as it has been all year long,” Barron told Don Shields of the Black Bear Sports Network, “We didn’t do a very good job taking care of the ball.”
Senior guard Brittany Williams sparked the UMaine offense with a career-high 18 points on 7-for-11 shooting. Senior Samantha Baranoski posted 11 points, while freshman forward Danielle Walczak contributed nine points and eight rebounds.
“I thought we got some good efforts out of those three, but it’s a team game and three people can’t compensate for all those turnovers,” Barron said. “We had 23 and a lot of them were just baffling.”
The Black Bears shot a healthy 46 percent (21-for-46) from the floor. The teams wound up even with 27 rebounds each.
UMaine had scored the first six points of the contest, but wound up coming unglued while committing 16 first-half turnovers.
The Bearcats finally found a rhythm late in the first half, turning a four-point deficit into a 37-25 advantage.
Courtney Anderson of Greene had given the Bears a 25-21 lead with a jumper at the 5:05 mark, but Binghamton dominated the rest of the half.
During the last five minutes, UMaine committed four turnovers that led to seven points by the Bearcats and the Bears went 0-for-3 from the field.
Rebane opened Binghamton’s decisive run with a jumper at the 4:45 mark, then O’Reilly hit a 3-pointer after a Kara Elofson offensive board and pass to put the hosts in front 26-25.
After a UMaine miss, O’Reilly sank two free throws, then Holmes answered another miss by the Bears with a jump shot at the 2:06 mark. O’Reilly knocked down a 3-pointer after a turnover, then scored a layup off another UMaine miscue to give Binghamton a 35-25 edge with 1:06 to play.
One more turnover resulted in a layup by Elofson that extended the lead to 12 at the break.
“You give a team confidence like that, they start clicking,” Barron said. “They really shot the ball well. You’ve got to give them credit. They’ve got some good players on that team.”
UMaine returns to action Saturday against the University of Maryland Baltimore County. The Bears’ noon game opens a home doubleheader at Alfond Arena that will feature the UMaine and UMBC men at approximately 2:30 p.m.