Immediate Release: March 5, 2005
Contact: David O'Brian (email@example.com)
Binghamton men's basketball defeats Albany 76-70 in America East quarterfinal
Bearcats will face top-seeded Vermont in semifinal on Sunday at noon
Updated America East Championship information
VESTAL, N.Y. - Sophomore guard Troy Hailey (Hyattsville, Md.) scored a game-high 19 points and junior guard Andre Heard (Oklahoma City, Okla.) added 18 points, leading fifth-seeded Binghamton (11-16) to a 76-70 win over fourth-seeded Albany (13-14) in an America East Championship quarterfinal game Saturday afternoon from the Events Center. The win marked Binghamton's first-ever triumph in the America East Championship and secured a spot in Sunday's semifinal against top-seeded and two-time defending champion Vermont.
"Obviously, it is a great win for our program," head coach Al Walker said. "We had never won an America East Tournament game (prior to this season) and I thought our boys played their tails off. It was just a fantastic game for us and I'm just so pleased for our guys."
Junior forward Sebastian Hermenier (Rockville, Md.) added 13 points and had a team-high seven rebounds. Freshman guard Mike Gordon (Plainfield, N.J.) chipped nine points and senior center Alex Adediran (Covington, Ga.) also had seven rebounds.
Albany was led by freshman forward Brent Wilson, who had 18 points.
Binghamton broke a 9-9 deadlock by going on a 10-2 run in a span of 3:45 to take a 21-11 lead with 9:07 remaining in the first half. Heard drained two three-pointers during the run. The Great Danes climbed back to within 24-22 with 4:44 left before the intemission but the Bearcats stretched the lead back to 34-26 at the break.
The Bearcats continued their momentum in the second half, going up 48-34 with 13:32 remaining. From there, Binghamton was able to keep a double-figure lead for most of the next 12 minutes and with 1:22 left to go, it held a 67-57 advantage.
The remaining 86 seconds, however, saw Albany get back into the game as the Bearcats went 6-for-13 from the free throw line. The Great Danes took advantage of the Bearcats' misses and got to within 73-70 on a three pointer by senior forward Aquawasi St. Hillaire with eight seconds left.
Heard, however, hit a critical free throw with seven seconds to go and Herminier made two attempts with four seconds remaining to seal the win.
Sunday's game against Vermont will tip off at noon.
NOTES: Binghamton last won a postseason game as a Division III independent program in 1997-98. The team had lost its last three postseason games, including last year's 79-77 overtime defeat to Maine in the America East quarterfinals.
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