Junior guard Victoria Johnson during the Stony Brook Women’s Basketball home opener against Manhattan. Johnson added eight points in the last five minutes of the game against Binghamton on Jan. 22. SARA RUBERG/THE STATESMAN

A showdown between rivals Stony Brook (19-1, 7-0) and Binghamton (13-6, 2-4) displayed a pair of teams with the two best overall records in the America East. The matchup did not disappoint, as neither team separated by more than 12 points during the entire contest. The Seawolves pulled out the 67-60 win on Wednesday, Jan. 22, at the Binghamton University Events Center, winning their 16th straight game. Stony Brook now ties Gonzaga University for the longest winning streak in the nation.

Stony Brook faced adversity early in the game, going down 16-7 by the end of the first quarter after struggling heavily from the field. Stony Brook only managed to shoot 2-for-14 from the floor against Binghamton’s 6-for-14 in the first quarter. 

“Credit to Binghamton,” Stony Brook head coach Caroline McCombs said in a press release. “They had a great first quarter.”

Graduate guard Kaela Hilaire and junior guard Victoria Johnson led the charge in the second quarter, scoring 18 of the Seawolves’ 24 points. In the first five minutes of the second quarter, Hilaire added her 10 points and Johnson added her eight in the last five minutes, with the transition between the two scorers going seamlessly.

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The second half saw the Bearcats senior guard Kai Moon score 11 points in the first 15 minutes until something disastrous happened midway through the fourth quarter, hampering Binghamton’s chances. While attempting to go for a steal against sophomore guard Anastasia Warren, Moon caught Warren’s elbow to the face, causing her nose to bleed. She would not return for the rest of the game.

Without their leading scorer, Binghamton would surrender a 16-6 run by Stony Brook, bringing the score to 67-55 with 48 seconds left, which would effectively end the game. Hilaire started the run with an important three that put the Seawolves up five with about five minutes remaining. 

“It was a good team win,” Hilaire said. “We played one of the best teams in the conference today but we came out and played Stony Brook basketball as a team on both ends of the floor.”

Stony Brook’s win comes after receiving the program’s very first top 25 vote in the USA Today/WBCA coaches poll. The Seawolves also have accomplished their best 20-game start in program history at 19-1.

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The Seawolves will continue their conference schedule at the Island Federal Credit Union Arena against the UMass Lowell River Hawks on Wednesday, Jan. 29, at 6:31 p.m. Stony Brook is 16-6 in the all-time series, currently holding a 15-game win streak in the matchup. The Seawolves have not lost against the River Hawks since Jan. 6, 1999. Both teams are currently undefeated in conference play with 7-0 and 6-0 records.

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