Immediate Release: January 12, 2005
ALBANY, N.Y. - Albany (7-7, 3-2 AE) used a swarming full-court press to produce a pivotal 18-1 second-half run and went on to a 68-62 win over visiting Binghamton (4-10, 1-4 AE) in an America East men's basketball game Wednesday from the Recreation and Convocation Center. It was Albany's first win in its last eight games against its longtime SUNY rival and the loss was Binghamton's seventh in its last nine games.
"The bottom line was our inability to handle the press," head coach Al Walker said. "Albany is a very good basketball team ... they are much improved. And we now have some major question marks about how we can handle the press."
Holding a 48-34 lead with 13:25 to play in the game, the Bearcats succumbed to Albany's pressure, and were held without a field goal for nearly seven minutes while the Great Danes embarked on their decisive run. Binghamton committed 13 second-half turnovers, including nine in the first 10 minutes of the period. The Bearcats compounded the problem by committing seven fouls in the first 7:34 of the period. The early fouls came back to haunt BU down the stretch, when Albany sank eight free throws in the final 37 seconds to seal the win. The Great Danes, the top shooting team in the conference, shot 63% in the second half and sank 19-of-24 free throws in the final 17:13.
Junior guard Andre Heard (Oklahoma City, Okla.) and sophomore guard Troy Hailey (Hyattsville, Md.) scored 14 points apiece, and junior wing player Schafer Jackson (Provo, Utah) added nine points in 14 minutes.
Albany was led by sophomore guard Jamar Wilson, who tallied a game-high 19 points in 6-of-7 shooting.
Binghamton misfired on eight of its first 10 shots to open the game and fell behind 17-9 midway through the period before rallying for a 32-23 lead at the break. The Bearcats shot 64% the rest of the stanza and rallied behind the backcourt tandem of Heard and Hailey, who combined for 15 of BU's final 23 points. Meanwhile, the Bearcats limited Albany to just three field goals over the final 9:27 of the half.
Binghamton returns home to host New Hampshire at 1 p.m. on Sunday.
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