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Men’s basketball comes up short at Maine 67-59
Gray scores career-high 24 points to pace Bearcats
January 27, 2012Tweet
Contact: John Hartrick (email@example.com)
ORONO, Maine—Maine (10-10, 4-5 AE) opened the second half with a 16-3 run and held off visiting Binghamton 67-59 Saturday afternoon from Alfond Arena. The Bearcats (0-21, 0-11 AE) outshot their hosts 43% to 40% but the Black Bears scored 19 points off 14 BU turnovers and sealed the game with four free throws in the final 35 seconds.
Maine led 31-24 at the break but embarked on the big run to start the second period, stretching its lead to 20, 47-27 with 15:09 remaining. Binghamton countered with an 18-5 run to cut its deficit to seven, 52-45, with 7:42 remaining. But the Bearcats could draw no closer. The Black Bears, who outscored BU 36-35 in the second half, hit 15-of-22 free throws and pulled down 12 offensive rebounds with a distinct interior advantage that was magnified because the Bearcats played without leading rebounder (6.1/game) and second-leading scorer (12.8/game) Ben Dickinson. The 6-foot-9 freshman forward was nursing an injury suffered in the Albany game on Wednesday.
“The offensive rebounding is something that hurt us,” head coach Mark Macon said. “We can’t give up second-chance shots like that and 14 turnovers is too many. Stat-wise we played a good game but at times we have mental lapses where we don’t do the small things ... a rebound, a pass, a 50-50 ball. We have to do those things to secure wins and keep building winning ways. I thought we played fairly well without Ben (Dickinson) though. We needed to attack the basket more and not settle for shooting jump shots.”
Junior guard Jimmy Gray led all scorers with a career-high 24 points. Gray hit 10-of-16 from the field and drilled three from beyond the arc. He added six rebounds, four assists and three steals. Sophomore backcourt mate Robert Mansell chipped 15 points and a team-high eight rebounds.
Maine was led by the tandem of Justin Edwards (18 pts.) and Gerald McLemore (15 pts.).
Like they did at the start of the Albany game, BU was strong from the opening tip, scoring eight of the game’s first 11 points. But a subsequent 10-0 Maine run gave them the lead for good. After scoring eight points in the first 3+ minutes of the game, the Bearcats managed just 16 points over the final 16:40 of the half and trailed by seven at intermission.
The Bearcats hit the road again for the last of three straight away games when they face league-leading Stony Brook on Wednesday.