Women’s Basketball Ends Regular Season with Thrilling Comeback

Vermont senior Theresa LaRocque (Randolph, Vt.) sank a three-pointer with 1.2 second left in regulation to force overtime and the Catamounts out scored Binghamton, 12-4, in the extra session to earn a 69-61 overtime win in the regular season finale for both squads. With the win, Vermont (14-12, 8-10) earned the #6 seed in the upcoming America East Tournament. UVM will face #3-seeded Boston University at 12:00pm on Thursday, March 11 at the University of Hartford in the quarterfinals of the America East Tournament. The Catamounts will carry a five-game win streak into tournament play. Binghamton (17-9, 12-6), which saw its six-game win streak snapped, had already locked up the #2 seed in the tournament. The Bearcats will face the winner of the first round contest between #7 Northeastern/#10 UMBC on Thursday, March 11 at 2:30pm. Vermont trailed by 11 points, 46-35, with 9:20 left in regulation. The Catamounts cut the margin to three on a pair of free throws by Lani Boardman (York, Maine), but Binghamton climbed back out to a seven point advantage (55-48) with 4:14 remaining. UVM scored six unanswered points over the next three minutes and a jumper by LaRocque at the 1:09 mark cut the margin to one, 55-54. Sophomore Rachel Laws sank two free throws with 13 seconds left to push Binghamton ahead, 57-54. In the final possession of regulation, LaRocque dribbled down the court came off a screen at the top of the key and fired a three-pointer with six seconds left.

The shot missed, but LaRocque was able to corral the long rebound and raced back out beyond the arc and drilled the game-tying basket with 1.2 seconds left. Kate Townley’s desperation heave was short at the buzzer for Binghamton. Vermont carried its momentum into the overtime session. Boardman nailed a three-pointer with 3:39 left to give Vermont a 60-57 lead, its first of the contest. Laws brought the Bearcats back within on a lay-up with 1:51 left. UVM put the game away with a 9-2 run to close out the overtime, going 7-for-8 from the free throw line. “I thought this was a terrific comeback win. It wasn’t the prettiest of wins, but we’re not complaining. We were able to make up a deficit of 11 points with nine minutes to go. I thought it was a great effort by our bench, because our starters were clearly fatigued. For our young kids like freshman Brittney Cross and sophomore Chrissy Battram and junior Danielle Sabourin to come in and chip away at Binghamton’s lead was critical,” stated Vermont head coach Sharon Dawley. Neither team shot well from the field in the game. Binghamton went 16-for-53 (30.2%) from the floor, while Vermont was 17-for-54 (31.5%). Both teams made more free throws, Vermont (30) and Binghamton (27), than field goals in the contest. Vermont won the game at the foul line. The Catamounts entered the game ranked 10th in the country in free throw percentage (76.4%) and were shooting 90.8% from the stripe in the four-game win streak. Vermont made 30-of-36 (83.3%) attempts from the charity stripe, Yantzi was 10-for-11 from line and LaRocque went 9-for-10 from the stripe. LaRocque netted double-figures for the fifth straight game with a with a game-high and career-high tying 21 points. She also grabbed six rebounds for the Catamounts. Yantzi finished with 18 points, 16 in the second half, and seven rebounds. The seniors combined for 31 of their 39 points in the second stanza. Laws led Binghamton with her seventh double-double of the year, 16 points and 11 rebounds. Townley also posted a double-double, with 14 points and a career-high 12 rebounds, in her final home game. #6 Vermont will take on #3 Boston University in the America East Tournament Quarterfinals on Thursday, March 11 at 12:00pm at the University of Hartford.