Women's Basketball Visits Binghamton In Key Conference Match-Up



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After suffering its second consecutive home loss last Thursday against UMBC, Boston University (13-8, 6-4 America East) will look to get back on track when it visits Binghamton (13-9, 6-5) in a key conference match-up on Wednesday evening. Game time is set for 7 p.m. at the Bearcats' Events Center. The Terriers, who will be looking for their second season sweep in league play (Albany), are an impressive 6-1 this season in games following a loss.

SERIES HISTORY: After posting a 77-68 victory over Binghamton in its conference home opener on Jan. 15, BU took a 5-4 advantage in the all-time series. The teams split last season, with each squad posting a home victory. The Terriers have one win in four road contests against the Bearcats.

SCOUTING THE BEARCATS: Binghamton (13-9, 6-5) is also a team looking to reverse its recent fortunes, having dropped three of its last four contests, including a 68-53 setback at Stony Brook on Sunday. The Bearcats, however, are 10-1 at home this season, with the only blemish coming via a narrow 65-64 loss to league-leading Hartford.
   Binghamton boasts the league’s top offense, averaging 67.2 points per game in addition to leading the conference in field goal percentage (.440). The Bearcats, now in their fifth year as a member of the America East, also lead the league in rebounding margin at +4.5.
   Sophomore center Laine Kurpniece, a two-time conference Player of the Week, leads the team in scoring (13.0 ppg) and rebounding (6.7 rpg) and her field goal percentage of .547 ranks fourth among AE players. A unanimous preseason all-conference choice, senior Rachel Laws recently returned from an injury after missing six games and is averaging 10.6 points and 5.4 rebounds per contest. Classmate Jen Blues has connected on a league-high 51 3-pointers this season, contributing to a scoring average of 10.9.      
   Rich Conover is in his third full season at the helm of the Binghamton program, having compiled a 47-44 record with the Bearcats.

REVERSING ROAD TRENDS: The Terriers have already doubled their number of road victories from a season ago, posting a 6-4 record in opposing gyms so far this season after a 3-11 mark in 2004-05. BU won just two of its nine conference road contests last year and is 3-2 on the road in America East play this winter. The win at UMBC in this year’s conference opener marked the first time in 10 years that the Terriers had won their first January road game.

LAST MONTH VS. BINGHAMTON: The Terriers overcame a tough start before putting up 52 points after halftime in a 77-68 home win over Binghamton on Jan. 14. The Terriers trailed 30-25 at the break before outscoring the visitors 15-2 in the first six minutes following intermission. BU shot just 2-of-11 (.182) from behind the arc in the first half, but made six of its first nine long-range attempts in the latter half to help it build a lead of as many of 17 before settling for the nine-point triumph.
   After being held scoreless in a loss at Hartford earlier in the week, junior Katie Meinhardt rebounded in a big way, matching her season high of 24 points. She went 8-of-13 from the floor, including a 4-of-5 effort from 3-point range. Classmate Erica Kovach recorded 19 points in addition to tying her career highs in rebounds (8).

FOUR SCORE: BU is one of just 23 teams across the country to currently have four players each averaging 10 points or more per game. After her standout perfromances as of late, senior Rachael Vanderwal is averaging a team-high 11.5 points per game, just ahead of junior Erica Kovach, who stands at 11.2. BU’s scoring production has also been boosted by sophomore Cheri Raffo and junior Katie Meinhardt, who are averaging 11.0 and 10.9 points per outing, respectively. All four Terriers are among the top 18 in scoring amongst America East players.

RETRIEVERS UPEND TERRIERS AT ROOF: Despite a double-double from sophomore Kasey Devine, BU dropped a 63-57 decision to UMBC on Thursday evening at Case Gym. Devine matched her career high in points with 13 and added 11 rebounds, while junior Erica Kovach tallied a team-best 15 points.
   After there were 10 lead changes in the first 12 minutes of play, the Retrievers broke open the contest right before intermission and led for the remainder of the contest. UMBC shot 51.1 percent from the floor en route to its sixth straight win.
   Senior Rachael Vanderwal raised her streak of consecutive games in double-figure scoring to a league-best seven contests with a 12-point performance while also recording nine boards and four assists.

NEXT UP: The Terriers will return to Case Gym for back-to-back home games, beginning with a contest against Stony Brook on Saturday, Feb. 18. Game time is set for 1 p.m. at The Roof. Earlier this season, the Seawolves posted a 72-54 home victory over BU.



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