Watkins inches closer to record books, as Bearcats maul the CatamountsPosted: Updated:
Senior guard Imani Watkins scored a game-high 16 points while sophomore guard Kai Moon turned in a 13-point, 13-rebound, seven assist performance, leading Binghamton (18-8, 9-4 AE) to a 52-38 win over Vermont (8-19, 5-8 AE) in an America East women's basketball game on Wednesday night at Dr. Bai Lee Court at the Events Center.
With the victory, the Bearcats have won three straight games and are 10 games over the .500 mark for the first time since the end of the 2001-02 season. In addition, the Bearcats have already clinched their first winning season in America East play since the 2010-11 campaign.
Watkins, who was honored during a pregame ceremony for scoring her 2,000th career point last week, now has 2,022 points. She heads into Saturday's Senior Day game needing two points to tie – and three points to break – the all-time Binghamton record of 2,024 career points set by Bess Greenberg from 1997-01.
Moon, meanwhile, turned in her first career double-double and came within three assists of a triple-double. The 13 rebounds sets her career high. Moon also added a block and a steal against the Catamounts.
While she was held to only three points, senior center Alyssa James finished with 11 rebounds, six blocks and a pair of steals. Including her freshman season at Caldwell University (2013-14), she now has 992 career rebounds.
In addition, the six blocks gives James 88 for the season – just four rejections away from tying her own America East single-season record (92, set in 2015-16) and seven away from the Binghamton record (95) set by Alicia Brennan during the 1989-90 season. James already owns both the Binghamton and America East all-time records with 248 career blocks.
Sophomore forward Rebecca Carmody finished with 10 points and eight rebounds. It marked her second straight game scoring in double figures.
Both teams struggled offensively in the first half as the Bearcats clung to a 19-16 lead with 1:38 left in the second period. Binghamton then scored the final six points of the half – four of which came on free throws by Moon – to go up 25-16 at the break.
Vermont was within 39-33 heading into the final period but the Bearcats scored the first 12 points of the fourth period to go up 51-33 with 5:01 left in regulation. Watkins led a balanced attack with five points during that stretch.
Cassidy and Hanna Crymble each led the Catamounts with eight points.
As a team, the Bearcats recorded 11 blocks, which ties their second most in a game this season. They blocked a program-record 13 shots in the season opener against Army back on Nov. 10.
With the victory, Binghamton is now a perfect 13-0 this season when allowing fewer than 60 points.
Binghamton hosts UMass Lowell on Saturday at 4 p.m. Watkins and James will be honored before the game in the program's annual Senior Day Ceremony.
Courtesy: BU Athletics Department