WEST HARTFORD, Conn. – Sophomore guard Imani Watkins scored a game-high 19 points, powering Binghamton (7-9, 2-1 AE) to a 53-47 win at Hartford (5-10, 1-1 AE) in an America East women's basketball game on Wednesday night at the Reich Family Pavilion. The win is the second straight for the Bearcats, who have already reached their highest win total in four seasons.

Watkins, who also had five rebounds, four assists and a pair of steals, was one of three Bearcat players to reach double figures in scoring. Freshman guard Rebecca Carmody netted 15, grabbed eight rebounds and had a game-high five steals. Sophomore forward Alyssa James added 12 points and a career-high 13 rebounds to record her sixth double-double of the season.

"I thought our kids played amazing defense tonight," head coach Linda Cimino said. "Our focal point tonight was on boxing out, getting rebounds and defending well."

Defense was the theme of the first half as the Bearcats held a 19-11 lead. James already had 10 of her rebounds at that point of the game.

Hartford stormed back in the third period, taking a 23-22 lead with exactly four minutes remaining. Senior guard Kim Albrecht, however, scored the final five points of the period, putting Binghamton back in front 31-28.

The lead went back and fourth in the final period but with the Hawks up 41-40 at the 3:27 mark, Watkins took over the game. She scored the next nine Binghamton points to put her team up 51-44 with 34 seconds remaining. Her biggest basket was a three-point field goal with 1:13 left to go, which made the score 46-41.

Hartford got to within 51-47 with 28 seconds left but Carmody iced the game by sinking a pair of free throws on the ensuing possession.

Janelle Harrison led Hartford with 15 points while La'Trice Hall added 10 points.

Binghamton returns home to face Albany on Monday at 2 p.m.

NOTES: Binghamton's final record in 2011-12 was 13-18

(Courtesy: BU Athletics)