For Immediate Release: December 29, 2005
Contact: John Hartrick (
Phone: 607-777-6800

Binghamton men's basketball battles past Idaho State 59-46
Bearcats advance to title game of Utah State Classic

Box Score

LOGAN, Utah. - Binghamton (3-8) built a 12-point halftime lead and hung on through a rough second half to defeat Idaho State (7-3) 59-46 in the opening round of the Utah State Gossner Foods Classic Thursday night from Smith Spectrum. The Bearcats now advance to Friday's 10 p.m. (ET) championship game, where they will meet tournament host Utah State, which rolled over Arkansas-Little Rock 76-44 in the other first-round game.

The Bearcats took a 34-22 lead into intermission but managed just five field goals over the final 20 minutes (5-for-21), including just one in the last 14:04. But the Bengals had their own offensive struggles in the second half (8-for-24), and never got closer than six points. Binghamton sealed the win by converting 7-of-8 free throws in the final 1:34.

"I really think it was our defensive effort and our rebounding that made the difference tonight," head coach Al Walker said. "I am really proud of the guys. This was a good team that we beat and we showed a lot of character getting the win."

Senior guard Andre Heard (Oklahoma City, Okla.) scored a game-high 17 points and junior guard Troy Hailey (Hyattsville, Md.) added 14 points - 12 of those coming in the first half. Senior forward Sebastian Hermenier (Rockville, Md.) produced 10 points and nine rebounds and frontcourt mates Giovanni Olomo (Yaounde, Cameroon) and Ian Milne (Winkler, Manitoba) had strong showings. In his first collegiate start, sophomore Olomo was a force on the glass, grabbing a career-high 12 rebounds, including 10 in the first half. Milne returned to the lineup after missing seven games with an injury, and the freshman contributed nine points and four rebounds.

The Bearcats shook off a cold-shooting start of the game to build the team's largest halftime lead of the season. After misfiring on 20 of its first 24 shots, BU nailed 8-of-12 to end the half on a 17-2 run. Binghamton forced 13 Idaho State turnovers and held the Bengals without a field goal for the final 5:48 of the period. Hailey keyed the run with six points and the six-foot sophomore point guard Mike Gordon (Plainfield, N.J.) t punctuated it with a steal and slam with 1:04 left.

The last time BU advanced to the championship game of an in-season tournament was in 2003-04 when the Bearcats defeated Denver to reach the title game of the Iowa State Challenge. Binghamton is 5-7 all-time in Division I in-season tournament play... Heard reached double-figures for the fifth straight game... Hailey has scored in double figures in seven of his last eight games... Senior guard Schafer Jackson (Provo, Utah) drained a three-pointer in 12 minutes of action in front of several dozen friends and family.


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