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Maine pulls away from men’s basketball late, 76-61
Dickinson tallies 18 points, 10 rebounds; Mansell nets 12 points
January 2, 2012Tweet
Contact: John Hartrick (firstname.lastname@example.org)
VESTAL, N.Y.—Sophomore forward Alasdair Fraser scored a game-high 25 points and visiting Maine muscled its way to 44 points in the paint en route to a 76-61 win over Binghamton 76-61 in the America East opener for both teams Monday night from the Events Center. The Black Bears (7-5, 1-0 AE) saw a 13-point halftime lead trimmed to as little as three before steadying themselves and keeping the Bearcats (0-13, 0-1 AE) winless on the season.
Three different times in the second half, BU cut its deficit to five points or less, only to see Maine respond with a string of baskets. Down 13 at intermission, BU opened the second half with a 12-4 run. A three-point play by freshman forward Ben Dickinson cut the Bearcats’ deficit to five, 44-39, with 14:56 to play. After the Black Bears pushed their lead back up to double digits (49-39), BU used a 9-2 run to pull within three, 51-48, with 10:17 to play. Again, Maine stretched its margin to 10, 62-52, before the Bearcats made one final push - trimming their gap to seven on a three-pointer from junior guard Jimmy Gray with 4:52 left. But BU missed its last eight shots to end the game and Maine freshman Justin Edwards scored nine of his 15 points in the final 5:18 to keep BU at bay.
“We were beat by a pretty good team in our league,” head coach Mark Macon said. “Maine had a good non-conference part of their season and executed well tonight. I thought we played fairly well but we just couldn’t stop their run. We didn’t turn the ball over (season-low 8) and shared the ball (15 assists). But we have to play better defense ... get stops and rebound the basketball. I see progress and we just have to continue to put it together.”
Dickinson produced his second double-double of the season with team-highs of 18 points and 10 rebounds. He also added four blocks and three assists in 36 minutes. Sophomore guard Robert Mansell collected 12 points and five rebounds and junior forward Javon Ralling added a career-high nine points on 4-of-9 shooting. Gray wound up with five points, six assists and five rebounds. Sophomore forward Alex Ogundadegbe scored eight points.
Binghamton was only outscored 36-34 in the second half but its guards struggled to 29 percent shooting (8-of-27). The Bearcats entered the game shooting a stellar 72% from the free throw line but left seven points at the charity stripe (59%).
Maine used a 22-7 run midway through the first half to take control of the game. Ahead 16-13, Maine used its inside game to ignite the run, which spanned 7:31 and gave them a 38-20 lead with 3:44 left in the opening period. Binghamton closed the half with a modest 7-2 run, capped by a buzzer-beating three-pointer from sophomore guard K.J. Brown. The Black Bears shot 50 percent in the first half and owned a 22-8 advantage in the paint.
The Bearcats entertain SUNY rival Stony Brook at 7 p.m. on Thursday. The Seawolves were picked to finish second in the preseason poll. The home team has won the last four games in the all-time series between the two teams. Binghamton has won seven of the last nine matchups overall.
Fraser and Dickinson were selected as the America East Players of the Game.