Tuesday, September 02, 2014 - 2:47:51 AM

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Lady Bearcats lose 4th straight

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y.Hosts Niagara (1-3) defended their home floor, picking up their first victory of the season over Binghamton (0-4), 69-53, on Saturday afternoon from the Gallagher Center.  Three players scored in double figures for the Purple Eagles and they made eight three pointers, including five in the second half that propelled them to the win.

The Bearcats were led by a pair of sophomores in the scoring column on Saturday. Forward Morgan Murphy scored a season-best 12 points, while guard Kandace Newry chipped in with a career-high 11 of her own off the bench.

Niagara had a career day from Val McQuade, she tallied a personal-best 18 points on 6-of-8 shooting from the field. The Purple Eagles went on timely runs throughout the afternoon, highlighted by their 17-0 spurt in the first half that provided early breathing room.

We dug ourselves too deep of a hole to climb out of early on in the first half, head coach Nicole Scholl explained afterwards. We had difficulty defending in transition and when we would make runs in the second half they responded.

In the first half, Niagara grabbed control of the game early on thanks in large part to a 17-0 run that spanned nearly six minutes.  The Purple Eagles led by as many as 17 in the first 20 minutes of play, forcing 10 Bearcat turnovers.

Trailing 26-9 in the first half, BU staged a mini-run that was sparked by sophomore guard Kandace Newry. On the secondary break, Newry fired an accurate bounce pass to a streaking Kristin Ross for the lay in and just moments later she was rewarded for her hustle on the offensive glass with a put back score to bring the deficit to just nine, 26-17, with 3:45 left.

However, the hosts closed out the half strong, outscoring BU 10-4 in the final 4 minutes of play to secure a 36-21 lead at intermission. Val McQuade shot a perfect 4-of-4 from the field on her way to a team-leading 12 points for the Purple Eagles. Newry paced BU with six points off the bench.

Once again, Binghamton was ignited by their bench in the second half, this time from senior reserve Julia Barac. The 6-foot-2 center from Ontario put in a valuable five minutes, scoring on a pair of 15-foot baseline jumpers from the left side and closed out her scoring with a put back score that pulled the Bearcats to within 11, 41-29, with 16:24 remaining on the clock.

BU started to gain confidence on the offensive end mid-way through the second half after a pair of three point swishes from senior guard Stephanie Jensen. Following a score inside from Murphy, a mid-range jumper in traffic by sophomore Kim Albrecht cut the Purple Eagles lead to seven, 46-39, the closest they had been since they trailed 10-3 at the 14:36 mark in the first half.

Just as they had done all afternoon, Niagara responded positively following the Bearcats spurt. The hosts went on a 13-2 run on the strength of two deep threes from leading scorer Meghan McGuinness that gave the MAAC school a 59-41 advantage with 7:28 remaining.

Both teams traded baskets throughout the remainder of the second half as Niagara broke through with the 69-53 triumph. The win is the fourth straight for the Purple Eagles over Binghamton.

Binghamton shot 50 percent from the field in the second half and received a season-best 19 points off their bench in defeat.
The Bearcats return to action in a week when they head to New Mexico to play against the Lobos on Nov. 29.

(Courtesy: BU Athletics)

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