DURHAM, N.H. - Candace Williams (Norfolk, Mass.) dropped in a team-high 18 points, but the University of New Hampshire women's basketball team fell to Binghamton University, 78-61, on Thursday night at Lundholm Gymnasium.
With the loss the Wildcats drop to 8-20 overall and 3-12 in America East play, while the Bearcats improve to 11-18 overall and 7-9 in conference action.
Williams earned America East Player of the Game honors for New Hampshire, finishing the night with six rebounds. Andrea Holmes took home Player of the Game honors for Binghamton, tallying a game-high 28 points, five rebounds, four assists and two steals.
Denise Beliveau (Framingham, Mass.) added 11 points, six boards, two assists and a steal in the loss for New Hampshire. Jill McDonald (Middlebury, Vt.) chipped in with 10 points, eight rebounds and two blocks, tying Denise Higgins' single-season block record of 53. Amy Simpson (Waterford, Conn.) tied a career-high with 11 assists, while also registering five points and three boards.
The two squads traded baskets with one another for the early portion of the first half, until Holmes buried a layup that kicked off a 13-3 run by the Bearcats that lasted 4:46, setting the score at 26-16 in favor of the visitors at 9:13.
The Wildcats retaliated with an 8-3 scoring stretch, capped off with a pair of 3-pointers by Lauren Wells (West Chester, Pa.) and Cari Reed (Oswego, N.Y.) to cut the score to 29-24 with 7:10 remaining in the first frame. Jackie Ward was quick to the draw for the Bearcats, as she notched a layup and a 3-pointer on back-to-back possessions building Binghamton's lead up to 10.
However, UNH would not go down easily, as a Wells jumper ignited a 13-0 run by the Wildcats to close out the stanza, giving the home team its first lead in 15:12, as a Reed trifecta with 1:00 remaining gave New Hampshire the 37-34 lead at the intermission.
The second frame began with both teams trading blows with one another, until Binghamton caught fire and put together a 23-9 run, giving the visitors their largest lead to that point, with the score 65-51 at 8:01. Holmes and Ward combined to score 16 points during the stretch, with Holmes leading the way with nine.
Williams helped get New Hampshire back on track as she laced a 3-pointer to kick off a string of eight unanswered points by the Wildcats, slicing Binghamton's lead down to six, with 5:43 to play.
Even with the late spark, it wasn't enough to propel the Wildcats down the stretch, as Beliveau provided the only source of offense the rest of way, dropping in a layup at 2:26. Meanwhile, the Bearcats posted 13 points in final 4:43, building their lead to its highest margin on a Kara Elofson layup to close out the game.
For Binghamton, Ward and Erica Carter both finished the night with 14 points apiece. Viive Rebane chipped in with nine points and six assists.
The Wildcats return to action on Sunday, Feb. 28 at 2 p.m. when they travel to Boston University to take on the Terriers at Case Gymnasium.