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Lady Bearcats hang tough against conference leading Albany

VESTAL, N.Y. – The Binghamton women's basketball team (7-10, 2-2 AE) stayed within striking distance of four-time defending conference champion and first-place Albany (14-3, 5-0 AE) before losing 59-47 in an America East game on Monday afternoon at Dr. Bai Lee Court at the Events Center.

Senior guard Kim Albrecht scored a game-high 20 points, marking the third time this season -- and fifth time in her career -- that she has reached the 20-point mark in scoring. She also added five rebounds, two assists and a pair of steals.

Sophomore forward Alyssa James finished with 14 points, 10 rebounds and a game-high four blocks. In the process, she recorded her second consecutive double-double and her seventh of the season. James now has 3.1 blocks per game, which continues to lead the America East Conference.

"I am very proud of our team," head coach Linda Cimino said. "Our game plan was great, our defense was great and I am really proud of the effort we put forth today."

Binghamton came out strong, jumping out to a 13-2 lead with 4:23 left in the first period. Albrecht drained a pair of three-point field goals during that stretch and the Bearcats scored eight points off of Great Dane turnovers.

Albany regrouped and pulled to within 17-12 at the end of the opening quarter. The Great Danes then took a 25-24 lead on a jumped by Zakiya Saunders with 3:22 left in the second period. From there, the lead swung back and forth before Albany took a 31-30 lead at the break.

In the third period, Albany went on a 7-0 run in a span of 3:23 to take a 42-35 lead with 2:34 remaining. Shereesha Richards netted five points during that stretch.

The Bearcats refused to fold and a three-point field goal by Albrecht pulled them to within 44-43 with 8:20 left in the fourth quarter. From there, however, the Great Danes went on a 9-2 run over the ensuing 5:12 to take a 53-45 lead.

Tiana-Jo Carter led the Great Danes with 18 points while Saunders added 16 points. Richards, who came into the game averaging a conference-best 24.6 points, finished with 15 points and 13 rebounds. Imani Tate, meanwhile, chipped in 10 points.

Binghamton plays its next three games on the road, starting with a Thursday night game at Vermont. Tip off is scheduled for 7 p.m.

(Courtesy: BU Athletics)