Releases

For Immediate Release: December 22, 2005
Contact: John Hartrick (hartrick@binghamton.edu)
Phone: 607-777-6800

BU men's basketball comes up short in closing seconds at Central Connecticut 72-68
Heard nets game-high 22 points but CCSU shoots 72% in second half to post win

Box Score

NEW BRITAIN, Conn. - Sophomore forward Jason Hickenbottom converted a driving layup with 15 seconds left to break a 68-68 tie and his two free throws with 7.6 seconds left sealed a 72-68 win for Central Connecticut State (5-4) over visiting Binghamton (2-8) in a men's college basketball game Thursday night from Detrick Gymnasium.

The Blue Devils trailed 40-31 three minutes into the second half before embarking on a 14-0 run which gave them the lead. Central Connecticut exposed BU's interior with driving layups en route to a stunning 72% shooting performance in the second half (13-for-18).

Senior guard Andre Heard (Oklahoma City, Okla.) and junior guard Troy Hailey (Hyattsville, Md.) helped BU keep pace with their shooting accuracy. Heard scored 14 of his game-high 22 points after intermission and Hailey pumped in 18 points - 10 of which came in the second half. Trailing 68-63, Heard drained a three-pointer with 1:24 left and then scooped up a loose ball, drove the length of the court and hit a pull-up jumper in the lane to tie the game at 68-68 with 46 seconds left.

"I thought they had more energy than we did,"head coach Al Walker said. "We made a nice run at the end and had a chance to tie it. We just came up short against a pretty good team."

The Bearcats played a strong first half at both ends of the floor, shooting 50% on offense and forcing nine CCSU turnovers at the defensive end. Binghamton used a 17-5 run to turn a 15-14 deficit into a 31-20 lead. Gordon netted eight of his points during that seven-minute span in the middle of the period. The Blue Devils closed out the half on a 7-2 run to trim the margin to 33-27 - but the six-point lead represented the biggest BU halftime lead of the season.

Sophomore point guard Mike Gordon (Plainfield, N.J.) tied his career-high with 14 points, despite wearing a face guard to protect the broken nose he suffered in the Albany game two nights ago. Gordon hit 5-of-10 from the floor (4-of-9 three-pointers) in 37 minutes.

Central Connecticut State put four players in double figures, led by Hickenbottom's 21 points.

Binghamton next travels to Logan, Utah to participate in the Utah State Gossner Foods Classic on December 29-30. The Bearcats will face Idaho State in the tournament's opening round.

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