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Men’s basketball loses to UNH in regular season finale 58-49
Gray nets game-high 20 points but 17 turnovers costly in loss
February 26, 2012Tweet
Contact: John Hartrick (firstname.lastname@example.org)
DURHAM, N.H. –Senior guard Alvin Abreu produced 17 points and 12 rebounds to lead New Hampshire (13-15, 7-9 AE) to a 58-49 win over visiting Binghamton (1-28, 1-15 AE) in the regular-season finale for both teams Sunday afternoon from Lundholm Gymnasium.
On Senior Day, Abreu hit 7-olf-14 shots, including 3-of-4 from beyond the arc, and senior Brian Benson added 15 points and eight rebounds. Despite a game-high 20 points from junior guard Jimmy Gray, BU committed 17 turnovers and shot just 34 percent for the game.
The teams combined to miss 17-of-22 shots to start the second half and 12 fouls called in the first 10 minutes slowed the game to a near-halt. Down 17 points, BU used a 9-2 run sparked by four points from freshman forward Ben Dickinson and three free throws from Gray to pull to within 10, 45-35, with 8:14 left. But Abreu responded with a three-pointer and the Wildcats kept a double-digit lead until the waning seconds. Down 10 with 4:07 left, six straight misses at the free throw line nullified any BU rally in the closing four minutes.
“The early turnovers hurt us,” head coach Mark Macon said. “We played hard but dug too deep a hole in that first half. It was a tough loss but we did some good things. Guys came off the bench and played real well ... guys like Omar (Richards) and Mike (Horn). But when you struggle to score like we do ... you can’t give another team 11 more chances (from turnovers) in the first half. We beat them in the second half but couldn’t get over the hump.”
The Bearcats were sluggish out of the gate, missing seven of the team’s first nine shots and committing seven turnovers in the game’s first eight minutes. The Wildcats took advantage with a 19-5 run to start the game. Four straight points from freshman forward Omar Richards keyed a 6-0 BU run that trimmed its deficit to eight, 19-11. Later, three straight from Gray brought the Bearcats to within seven, 24-17, with 3:44 left. But UNH finished the half on a 7-2 run to take a 31-19 cushion into intermission. Binghamton shot just 36 percent and committed 11 turnovers in the first 20 minutes.
Gray’s 20 points were built primarily on 8-of-9 free throw accuracy. Richards had 13 points and eight boards and Dickinson chipped in 10 points.
Binghamton will face UMBC in the first round of the America East tournament Thursday night in Hartford. The ninth-seeded Bearcats and the eighth-seeded Retrievers will tip at approximately 8:15 p.m. in a rematch of last year’s 8-9 game that BU won 91-65, thanks to a tournament-record 17 three-pointers.
Abreu and Gray were selected as the America East Players of the Game… Binghamton played without its leading scorer, Robert Mansell (14.0 ppg.), who was injured against Albany on Thursday.