Sophomore forward Kayla Gibbs scored a career-high 27 points in Sunday’s America East matchup against the Binghamton Bearcats. (Photo courtesy of UMass Lowell Athletics)
The UMass Lowell women’s basketball team fell to Binghamton in an overtime thriller Sunday afternoon at the Tsongas Center.
The River Hawks lead for most of the game, outscoring the visiting Binghamton Bearcats in the first and second quarters, with sophomore forward Kayla Gibbs netting a career high of 27. However, the River Hawks faltered in the fourth quarter, leaving the score tied by the end of regulation and sending the game into overtime, where Binghamton won with a final score of 75-70.
“I thought it was a really hard fought game by our players,” said UMass Lowell head coach Jenerrie Harris. “It was the same defense but we just got a little tight…so we just started playing mind games with ourselves.”
Senior forward Lindsey Doucette echoed the same sentiment. “We just struggled taking care of the ball and that’s what killed us in the end,” she said.
The first quarter started off with even play between the two America East teams, where the lead changed four times and the game was tied once. The River Hawks pulled ahead in the final minutes of the quarter, with Melissa Frase scoring a three-pointer and Nicole Hayner making two three-pointers. They lead 20-13 after the first quarter.
UMass Lowell entered the second quarter with a seven point lead, and extend the lead early on. With five minutes left in the first half, UMass Lowell lead by 13 points. The physical quarter, which featured five fouls from the River Hawks, ended with UMass Lowell still in the lead by seven with a score of 39-32.
Binghamton started to come back in the third quarter, outscoring UMass Lowell 16-17. While the River Hawks controlled much of the quarter, the final minute saw the Bearcats score four unanswered points, changing the momentum of the game as the teams heading into the final quarter of regulation time.
UMass Lowell struggled throughout the fourth quarter, as Binghamton outshot them 11-17. The high intensity quarter featured seven River Hawk fouls and seven Bearcat fouls. However, Binghamton turned over the ball four times while UMass Lowell saw eight turnovers in the quarter. The River Hawks lost the lead with just over six minutes in the quarter, but regained it with a layup from Gibbs. However, Binghamton fought until the end of the quarter, tying the game 66-66 at the end of regulation.
Overtime started with a River Hawk lead after a layup from Doucette. UMass Lowell only scored once more in the overtime period, while the Bearcats earned nine points. Ending the game 70-75, the River Hawks fall to 3-15 overall and 0-6 in America East.
The River Hawks play at the Tsongas Center again on Wednesday, Jan. 27 at 11 a.m. in a conference game against Albany.