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Watkins breaks Binghamton scoring record, toppling UMass Lowell

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VESTAL, N.Y. -

Senior guard Imani Watkins now stands alone as the Binghamton women's basketball program's all-time leading scorer and Binghamton now stands on the verge of its highest victory total in nearly two decades.

Binghamton (19-9, 10-4 AE) defeated UMass Lowell (4-25, 1-13 AE) 52-38 in an America East women's basketball game on Saturday afternoon at Dr. Bai Lee Court at the Events Center. With the victory, the Bearcats match their highest win total during their 17 year NCAA Division I era and are one win away from reaching the 20-win mark for the first time since the 2000-01 campaign.

Binghamton has now won eight of its last nine games and moves to within a game of first place in the America East conference with one week left in the regular season. The 10 conference wins is the Bearcats' highest total since going 11-5 during the 2010-11 campaign.

Watkins, who along with senior center Alyssa James, was honored during the program's annual Senior Day ceremony, scored her historic basket just 4:02 into the game on a three-point field goal from the right side of the basket. That broke Binghamton's all-time record of 2,024 points, set by Bess Greenberg from 1997-01. A time out was called after the record breaking basket and Watkins received an ovation from the 2,001 fans in attendance.

Although Watkins finished with only five points (giving her 2,027 career points), she grabbed 10 rebounds, dished out five assists and posted a block and recorded a steal.

James, meanwhile, finished with 11 points, 12 rebounds, five blocks, two assists and four steals – and made quite a bit of history of her own. Her rebound at the 8:00 mark of the third period was the 1,000th rebound of her collegiate career. In addition, James now has 93 blocks for the season, which breaks her own America East record of 92 blocks, which she set two years ago.

Sophomore guard Kai Moon netted 11 points to go along with six assists, three blocks, four rebounds and a steal. Fellow sophomore guard Carly Boland added 10 points and seven rebounds.

Watkins' milestone basket gave the Bearcats a 14-6 lead and they'd go on to take a 21-13 lead at the end of the first period. Binghamton's defense then clamped down in the second quarter, holding the River Hawks to just four points. At halftime, the Bearcats held a 31-17 lead.

Both teams played even over the final 20 minutes of the game, scoring 21 points each.

Brianna Rudolph led UMass Lowell with 10 points.

Binghamton finished the game with 15 assists and 10 blocks. The Bearcats also held a 43-38 edge in rebounding.

Binghamton plays its final regular-season home game on Thursday against Albany at 7 p.m. The Great Danes and Maine are tied for first in the America East with an 11-3 record.

Courtesy: BU Athletics Department