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Men’s basketball late rally comes up short at Radford 64-59

Freshman tandem of Dickinson and Richards combine for 27 points

February 17, 2012


Men’s basketball late rally comes up short at Radford 64-59

Box Score

Contact: John Hartrick (hartrick@binghamton.edu)

RADFORD, Va.—Binghamton men’s basketball trimmed a 16-point second-half deficit to three in the closing 20 seconds but committed the team’s 18th turnover on a potential game-tying possession in the final 12 seconds and suffered a 64-59 loss to host Radford in a Sears BracketBusters series game Saturday afternoon from the Dedmon Center.

The Bearcats (0-26) trailed 61-49 with five minutes to play before scoring 10 of the game’s final 13 points to push the Big South-member Highlanders (6-23) to the wire.

Freshman forward Ben Dickinson scored four points and junior guard Jimmy Gray added a three-pointer to ignite BU, which shot 48 percent in the second half and held a 39-32 advantage on the glass for the game.

Dickinson’s layup off a nice feed from Gray pulled the Bearcats to within four, 62-58, with 2:08 left. But Radford worked for three critical offensive rebounds in a 1:01 span to extend possessions and take time off the clock. After a free throw from junior forward Javon Ralling made the score 62-59 with 18 seconds left, BU began the intentional fouling strategy. The Highlanders obliged by missing a pair at the line with 17 seconds left, giving BU the ball for a potential game-tying shot. But Binghamton turned the ball over on the trip up court and Radford made 1-of-2 free throws with 11 seconds left to conclude the scoring. The hosts missed 4-of-6 foul shots in the final 17 seconds to keep the Bearcats alive.

“What a great comeback after a rough start to the game,” head coach Mark Macon said. “My guys kept fighting ... they do this all the time. This was a good opportunity to get the win and we didn’t but I’m really proud of our effort. It was a turnover here, a rebound there ... and it could’ve been a different result. We had too many turnovers (18) but we will continue to build. You saw two young teams scrapping out there today. The second half was good for our guys and it was our guys off the bench who picked up the starters and kept us afloat today.”

Dickinson scored a team-high 14 points and nearly had a double-double with nine rebounds in just 23 minutes of action. He was whistled for two first-half fouls and did most of his damage (12 points) in the second frame. Classmate Omar Richards had a strong game off the bench. Richards contributed 13 points on 4-of-6 shooting and added two steals and a block in 23 minutes. Sophomore guard Robert Mansell chipped in 10 points in 19 minutes.

A sluggish start by both teams resulted in a combined six points in the game’s first 6:25. Radford then forged ahead 12-4 and maintained an arm’s length lead throughout the first half as 10 BU turnovers hindered their offense. The Highlanders took a 29-20 lead into intermission and pushed it to as many as 16 points midway through the second half before BU sharpened its game. Radford turned 18 Bearcats turnovers into 24 points and won the tempo battle with numerous fast break buckets. 
   
As part of the Bracketbusters arrangement, Radford will come to the Events Center in November or December of the 2013-14 season, giving the Bearcats a confirmed home date.

After the 8+ hour bus ride home, Binghamton returns to the Events Center floor for two home games in a three day span beginning with a Tuesday tilt against league-leading Vermont. Two nights later, BU hosts longtime SUNY rival Albany in a game televised on ESPN3.

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