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Five Bearcats score in double digits in 4th straight win

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LAWRENCEVILLE, N.J. – Using a balanced offensive attack and stellar defense down the stretch, Binghamton (8-4) won 76-54 at Rider (3-8) in a non-conference women's basketball game on Thursday night at Alumni Gymnasium. The victory is the fourth straight for the Bearcats, who now own their longest winning streak since Jan. 15-23, 2011. In addition, Binghamton remains off to its best start since the 2005-06 season -- when its was also 8-4 through 12 games. 

For the first time since 2004, Binghamton had five players reach double figures in scoring. Senior guard Imani Watkins finished with a game-high 22 points while senior center Alyssa James finished with 19 points and 12 rebounds. Redshirt senior guard Jasmine Sina added 13 points while sophomore guard Kai Moon and junior forward Rebecca Carmody each chipped in 11 points.

It was the Bearcat defense, however, that was the key to the victory. Three days after allowing no points in their overtime win at Cornell, they outscored Rider 19-4 over the final period of the game.

"I thought we did a good job amping up our defense and not allowing the open threes," head coach Linda Cimino said. "Offensively, we shared the ball very well tonight and were able to make that extra pass."

The Bearcats never trailed but Rider got to within four points three different times in the third period. A layup by Lea Favre layup trimmed the deficit to 54-50 with 2:04 left to go. Moon and James, however, combined to go 3-for-4 from the free throw line, padding the Bearcat lead to 57-50 entering the final period.

Sina opened the fourth quarter with a three-point field goal, giving the Bearcats a 60-50 cushion. From there, the two teams traded baskets over the next three minutes as the Bearcats maintained a 10-point lead at 64-54.

Binghamton then held Rider scoreless over the final 6:40 of the game. On the offensive end, Watkins, James, Sina and Moon all had at least two points.

Watkins now had 1,716 career points and moves into 19th place all time in America East Conference history. She also becomes just the third player in Binghamton history to score over 1,700 career points.

James, meanwhile, notched her third double-double in the last five games. She now has 15 double-doubles during her career at Binghamton. Against Rider, James also blocked a pair of shots and recorded three steals.

Moon added seven rebounds and dished out a game-high five assists.

Binghamton tied its season low with just eight turnovers. It also scored 25 points off of Rider turnovers.

Up next for the Binghamton is its final non-conference game of the season – on Dec. 31 against Dartmouth at 2 p.m. at the Events Center.

NOTES: The most recent game with five Binghamton players scoring in double figures was against Boston University on Jan. 15, 2004 … James now has 216 career block and remains in third place all time in Binghamton history. Laura Franceski (2005-09) is in second place with 218 career rejections … the Bearcats other games with only eight turnovers came against Penn back on Nov. 15. 

(Courtesy: BU Athletics)