Vestal, N.Y.— UMBC women's basketball fought all the way with Binghamton on Wednesday night, but fell 69-62 in their conference opener. Freshman Te'yJah Oliver (Clinton, Md./Riverdale Baptist) led the way with a career best 26 points in the contest.
UMBC falls to 5-9, 0-1 AE with the loss, while Binghamton improves to 6-8, 1-0 AE on the year.
Oliver led all scorers with 26 points, going 9-16 from the field including 6-11 from beyond the arc chipping in six rebounds.
Alyssa James led the Bearcats with 17 points, as four Binghamton players hit double digits on the night.
Both teams fought for control coming out of the locker rooms, and it was Oliver who found success for the Retrievers. The freshman hit a triple, and then took the ball coast to coast for the hoop and the harm to give the Retrievers a 39-37 lead.
However Binghamton would end the quarter on a 10-0 run, taking a 47-39 lead after three, a lead they would not relinquish.
The Retrievers cut into the deficit in the fourth, getting it down to three at 55-52 thanks to back to back trifectas from Laura Castaldo (West Nyack, N.Y.), but the Bearcats hit their free throws down the stretch to hold on to a 69-62 victory.
UMBC shot 34 percent from the field, going 10-24 from three, good for 41 percent. The Retrievers outrebounded the Bearcats 43-37, but gave up 11 second chance points on the night.
The opening stanza saw the Retrievers get out in front early, but the Bearcats got a pair of layups to take an early 8-7 lead midway through. The Bearcats would extend that lead to 13-7 before UMBC went on a run to take control.
During the run, the Retrievers got a big three from Taylor McCarley (Bowie, Md./Academy of Holy Cross), and a put back layup from Amanda Hagaman (Manasquan, N.J.). McCarley would strike again with a pull up jumper just before the buzzer to give UMBC a 15-13 lead after one as part of an 8-0 run.
UMBC continued where they left off in the first, going on a 10-3 spurt over a three minute stretch to retake the lead after Binghamton started the quarter with a pair of buckets. Oliver led UMBC with five points during that time, part of her 11 points in the half.
Both sides would heat up from three late in the period, exchanging turns with the lead. However it was the Retrievers who went to the locker rooms with a 32-31 advantage.
Oliver led all scorers with 11 points on 3-5 shooting from three as both teams shot over 50 percent from deep.
The Retrievers will head to Maine on Saturday, Jan. 7 for a noon meeting with the Black Bears on ESPN 3.