VESTAL, N.Y. - Binghamton men's basketball opened its two-game exhibition slate with a 102-96 victory over Upstate AAU (320 All-Stars) Thursday night in front of 1,622 at West Gym. The Bearcats put 12 players in the scoring column and built a 22-point lead before their visitors closed late.
Junior center Nick Billings (Kodiak, Alaska) led all scorers with 22 points in just 24 minutes. He also collected 13 rebounds and two blocks. Junior forward Alex Adediran (Covington, Ga./Seward County CC) made his BU debut and produced a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds in 18 minutes of work. The other players in double figures were sophomore forward Sebastian Hermenier (Rockville, Md./Maret School) and senior guard Brandon Carter (McPherson, Kan.) with 14 and 11 points, respectively.
Upstate was led by former Seton Hall standout John Morton, who led all scorers with 31 points.
"I was really pleased with the strength and offensive production of our front line," head coach Al Walker said. "I thought that Sebastian, Nick and Alex were good strong offensive players. I was really pleased with our depth. We obviously have a lot of guys who can step on the floor and be productive, and I think that's going to be something really special down the road."
After misfiring on six of its first seven shots, Binghamton put together a strong first half, jumping out to a 50-37 lead. Billings netted 12 of his 22 points in the first period, including six during a 14-3 run that stretched an 18-17 lead to 32-20 with 5:42 left before half. Adediran scored 10 of his 12 points in the opening period.
In the second half, BU's lead was double figures until late, when seven missed free throws in the final two minutes allowed the all-stars to edge closer.
Binghamton will conclude its exhibition schedule next Wednesday when NCAA Division II program College of St. Rose visits West Gym for a 7 p.m. tip-off.
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