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Lady Bearcats and Imani Watkins celebrate a historic night

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It was a historic night for senior guard Imani Watkinssss and another successful road trip for the Binghamton women's basketball team.

The Bearcats (17-8, 8-4 AE) defeated UMBC (3-21, 2-9 AE) 68-53 in an America East game on Thursday night at the Event Center. With the victory, Binghamton sets the program record with its 10th road win of the season. In addition, it has now won six out of its last seven games and remains in sole possession of third place in the conference.

With 17 wins so far this season, Binghamton has already tied the third-highest total of its 17-year NCAA Division I era. The 2001-02 and 2010-11 squads each finished with 19 victories. The Bearcats also won 17 games in 2003-04 and 2005-06.

As for Watkins, she is just the second player in Binghamton history as well as the 10th player in the history of the America East Conference to reach the 2,000-point mark for her career. She scored her milestone basket on a jumper with 2:40 left in the second period.

By finishing with 11 points against UMBC, Watkins is now just 19 points away from breaking Binghamton's all-time program record of 2,024 points. That mark was set by Bess Greenberg from 1997-01. There are four games left in the regular season, starting next Wednesday at home against Vermont.

Watkin was one of four Binghamton players to reach double figures in scoring against the Retrievers. Sophomore guard Kai Moon scored a team-high 17 points, senior center Alyssa James had 15 points and seven rebounds while junior forward Rebecca Carmody notched her fourth career double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.

James moves into 14th place all-time with 1,024 points during her three-year career at Binghamton. Against UMBC, she surpassed Helene Thomas (1,018 points from 1981-85) and Jen Blues (1,019 points from 2002-06).
In addition, James moves into fifth place all-time in Binghamton history with 670 career rebounds. Against UMBC, she surpassed Jasbriell Swain who grabbed 686 rebounds from 2010-13.

Watkins' milestone basket game the Bearcats a 27-23 lead. UMBC, however, trimmed the deficit to 31-29 at the half and then used a 9-3 run in the opening 4:05 of the third period to go up 38-32. Laura Castaldo, who finished with a game-high 20 points, had five points during the third-quarter spurt.

Binghamton regrouped and went on a 13-0 blitz during the remainder of the third period to go up 47-39. Carmody led the way with six points during that stretch.

In the fourth quarter, Binghamton put the game out of reach, outscoring UMBC 17-1 in the first six minutes to go up 64-40. Moon paced a balanced attack with a pair of three-point field goals during that run.

Binghamton held a commanding 44-29 rebounding advantage and turned the ball over just nine times. From the free throw line, the Bearcats shot 80 percent (12-of-15).

Watkins did break another program record on Thursday night. She reached double figures in scoring for the 25th consecutive game. The previous mark of 24 straight games was set by Rachel Laws during the 2003-04 campaign.

Binghamton's game against Vermont next Wednesday starts at 7 p.m.

Courtesy: BU Athletics Department