India Pagan returned after missing three games with an injury and scored four of her 14 points during a second-half surge that put the game away as the Stony Brook women’s basketball team turned back Binghamton, 57-42, in the America East semifinals at Island Federal Arena.
The Seawolves (28-3), going for their first NCAA Tournament berth, will host the title game Friday at 5 p.m. against No. 2 seed Maine.
With SBU leading 27-23, Pagan hit a jumper with 4:52 left in the third quarter to help trigger a 12-2 run that gave the Seawolves a 39-25 lead with 9:47 left in the fourth quarter. McKenzie Bushee scored all four of her points during that spurt.
“I’m ready for any game,” Pagan said. “It’s the end of the season. I’m going to give all I have, everything that’s in the tank.”
Anastasia Warren had 18 points and six rebounds for the Seawolves and Kaela Hilaire had 11 points and nine rebounds.
Stony Brook limited Binghamton (22-9) to 32.1 percent shooting and single-digit scoring in three of the four quarters. The Bearcats’ Kai Moon, the America East Player of the Year, was held to 11 points, mostly by the Seawolves’ Hailey Zeise.
“I’m just really proud of our team today,” SBU coach Caroline McCombs said. “Holding a team to 42 points is a great defensive effort. That’s who we are. We really were locked in today to what we needed to do defensively.”
Maine (18-14) ended Stony Brook’s 22-game winning streak with a 64-62 overtime victory Feb. 23 in Bangor.
“There’s no doubt our team will be ready on Friday,” McCombs said. “Through every season, you have some adversity. So we faced that. Losing sometimes is the best way to, unfortunately, really dig in and look at some things that need to be improved. We got an opportunity to feel that, which looking back was important, as much as you never want to lose a game. We had some good talks and some real conversations that I think have helped to propel us and push us forward.”