Immediate Release: December 20, 2005
Binghamton was ice cold in the second period, managing just three field goals in the first 17 minutes before mounting a late charge. Down 54-44 with 4:53 left, Hailey keyed a 12-6 run with six points and his pair of free throws with 0:57 left pulled BU t within two, 62-60. Freshman guard Dwayne Jackson (Akron, Ohio) then nailed a three-pointer with 23 seconds left to cut the margin to one, 64-63. But Albany made 6-of-6 free throws in the final 0:23 to seal the win.
The Great Danes stretched a 37-34 halftime lead while the Bearcats misfired on 17 of their first 20 shots. To compound matters, BU was whistled for nine fouls in the first 10 miutes of the half and wound up committing a season-high 29 fouls. Four Bearcats fouled out of the game, including three starters. In the decisive final minute, BU had four bench players on the floor due to injuries and fouls.
Junior guard Troy Hailey (Hyattsville, Md.) scored a career-high 29 points - 18 of those coming in the second half. He hit on 7-of-12 from the floor and 11-of-12 free throws. Senior guard Andre Heard (Oklahoma City, Okla.) and junior forward Duane James (Miami, Fla.) added 16 and 12 points, respectively for the Bearcats, who lost their conference opener for the third straight season.
"It was a tough physical basketball game and we came up on the short end," head coach Al Walker said. "I thought our bench came in and competed and Troy (Hailey) was great at the start and down the stretch."
The Bearcats opened the game with a bang, nailing six of their first seven shots and taking an early nine-point lead. The half featured scoring bursts from Hailey and Heard. Hailey pumped in 11 points in the game's first 5:25, hitting three three-pointers and another jumper. Heard took over midway through the half, scoring 10 consecutive BU points in a 5:40 span.
Sophomore point guard Mike Gordon (Plainfield, N.J.), the conference leader in both assists and steals, was limited to seven minutes in the second half after suffering a blow to the face.
Albany put four players in double figures, led by junior guard Jamar Wilson, who had 17 points.
Binghamton continues its road trip with a non-conference game at Central Connecticut State Thurday night.
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