Releases

For Immediate Release: February 3, 2007
Contact: Anthony G. Naglieri (sports@binghamton.edu)
Phone: 607-777-6800

Binghamton men's basketball falls short at Albany, 65-62
Bearcats fall to 3-8 in league play; head to Boston U on Thursday

Box Score

ALBANY, N.Y. - Host Albany (16-7, 9-2 America East) put four players in double figures and hit 17-23 free throws to stave off a strong effort from Binghamton (10-13, 3-8 AE) 65-62 Saturday night in a televised America East Conference men's basketball game from SEFCU Arena.

Nursing a 65-62 lead, Albany senior Jamar Wilson, a 78-percent foul shooter, missed a pair of free throws to keep it a one-possession game with 14.1 seconds left to play.

The rare pair of misses gave Binghamton a chance to get the ball in the hands of junior guard Mike Gordon (Plainfield, N.J.) to once again work his magic in the final seconds. This time around, however, it was not to be as Gordon got a good look at a game-tying three in the final seconds but drew rim.

"We got the exact shot we were looking for out of the timeout," said BU head coach Al Walker. "Tonight, it just didn't fall for Mike. It was a great game."

Down 62-59, BU committed a costly turnover squandering a chance to tie the contest with 1:23 left. After Wilson converted 1-of-2 from the line, freshman forward Lazar Trifunovic (Belgrade, Serbia) scored two of his game-high 22 points with a signature hook shot from the right baseline to cut the deficit to 63-61 with 44 seconds to play.

Albany stretched its lead to 65-61 as Jason Siggers drove the lane and found Brian Connelly for an easy two. With 19 seconds left, Gordon hit just 1-of-2 from the line after getting fouled and having a circus bankshot waved off to make it 65-62.

Trailing 34-29 in the early stages of the second half, BU mounted a 15-5 run to go up 44-39 with 11:48 left in regulation. Albany came right back with 16 of the game's next 21 points to regain a lead, 55-49, it would would not relinguish the rest of the way.

"I am very proud of our guys," said Walker. "It was one of our better-played games this season. We sat down and guarded…when it came down the stretch, they made just made one more play than we did."

Trifunovic led three Bearcats in twin figures inand had a team-high six rebounds in his return to the Bearcat lineup after leaving in the first half of Wednesday's win over Stony Brook because of an ankle injury. The Bearcats fed the Serbian big-man repeatedly down the stretch, and he delivered, accounting for 10 of BU's final 16 points.

"Laz was unbelievable tonight," said Walker. "He was a beautiful presence in the low post."

Gordon enjoyed another strong overall effort for the Bearcats, finishing with 15 points on 4-of-8 three-point shooting, five rebounds and five assists. Senior guard Steve Proctor (Largo, Md.) joined BU's tri-captain in twin figures 12 points.

Binghamton came out strong, taking the sold-out crowd out of the game early by jumping out to a 15-9 advantage over the contest's first eight minutes. The host Great Danes, however, would respond with a resounding 16-2 run, spearheaded by the red-hot shooting of junior guard Jon Iati. Iati scored 11 of his 14 points during the UA surge. Despite a poor shooting first half (34.6%), BU trailed by only five at the break, 31-26, thanks to 5-of-12 shooting from deep.

Jamar Wilson led Albany with 16 points and eight rebounds.

Binghamton travels to Boston University on Thursday evening for a 7 p.m. tip.

NOTES:
Trifunovic and Jamar Wilson were selected as the Boston Herald America East Players of the Game ... Gordon has now started 66 consecutive games…Trifunovic dished out a career-high five assists. He now has nine in his last two games…Albany avenged an 11-point loss earlier this season at the Events Center to earn a split of the regular season series.

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