by Vaidik Trivedi
The SBU women’s basketball team won a nail biting game against their bitter rivals Binghamton on Feb 12th in the Island Federal Arena, to continue their nation-leading 21 game win streak, while playing for something bigger than basketball.
The team hosted a Play4Kay game in association with Kay Yow Cancer Fund to raise money and awareness about cancers affecting women. Head Coach Caroline Combs pledged to donate $5 for every student in attendance and $10 for every 3 pointer scored by Seawolves. Seawolves managed to score 16 three pointers through the game and a total of $655 was raised and donated by Coach Combs.
“I am happy about the game as we were trying to raise awareness amongst supporters and viewers,” Combs said. “I want to thank all of the fans and students from the bottom of my heart for coming out and creating such a great atmosphere for our team.”
After registering a win over bitter rivals Binghamton, SBU Women’s Basketball team has stretched their win streak to 21, lodging the nation’s longest win streak. The 24th win this season also equaled the 1986-87 squad for the most in program history (24-1, 12-0 America East).
At half-time, SBU lead with 25-23 against Binghamton. In the 4th quarter, Binghamton came from behind to tie the game at 49-49 with 5:23 mins to go. SBU’s point guard, Kaela Hilaire and forward India Pagan, turned the game on its head with a 3 pointer and 2 free throws in the last 40 seconds of the game sealing the game for the Seawolves.
“The team is going to do something special this year,” Woodolf Romeo, a spectator of the game said. “Kaela Hilaire and the Coach are really making a difference.”
Romeo believes that Hilaire is the spark of the team and will be making some noise and recognition in the Eastern Conference this year.
“She has got real talent and a great team to support her,” Aska-al Zafar, a Seawolves supporter said. “They might actually beat the 24 game win streak of the SBU Men’s basketball team this season.”
Hilaire recorded a team high of 17 points in 31 mins. With 35 seconds remaining, Hailiner converted a beautiful steal from India Pagan and netted the ball from outside the D, giving Seawolves the lead in the dying moments of the game. Her two free throws with 10 seconds remaining sealed the win.
“We knew going into the game that we need to defend better against Binghamton and that’s what our Coach has been training us for,” Hilaire said after the game. “Good defence wins games, and good offense comes with great defense.”
Hilaire believes that the unbeaten run is the result of the hard work of her teammates and the Coach. Going forward in the season, Hailnner knows that games are going to get tougher, but the team is united and motivated to break barriers this season.