Release: December 30, 2007
VESTAL, N.Y. -- Sophomore forward Lazar Trifunovic (Belgrade, Serbia) poured in a game-high 23 points and Binghamton (4-8) sank 8-of-8 free throws in the final 49 seconds to hold off visiting St. Bonaventure (5-8) 64-59 Sunday afternoon from the Events Center. The win was BU's third straight home win and second against an Atlantic 10 opponent.
"We played a great team game today," head coach Kevin Broadus said.
The Bearcats led by 12 at the break and after watching its lead see-saw between three and 10 points most of the second half, BU held a 56-48 lead with 1:32 left. But St. Bonaventure went on an 8-2 run and a Hillary Haley three-pointer trimmed the margin to two, 58-56, with 37 seconds left. But BU freshman guard Chretien Lukusa (Toronto, Ontario) made two clutch free throws with 30 seconds left to stem the tide, and Lukusa converted two more with 14 seconds left after another Bonnies' three-pointer and subsequent foul. Senior guard Mike Gordon (Plainfield, N.J.) closed out the scoring with another pair of free throws with eight seconds left.
Trifunovic, the America East Player of the Game, hit 10-of-17 and added nine rebounds. He has scored 20 or more points in three of his last four games. Junior forward Reggie Fuller (Missouri City, Texas) had an outstanding all-around game with eight points, a team-high 10 rebounds, five blocks and two drawn charges. Gordon was 6-of-6 from the free throw line and wound up with 14 points. Lukusa and senior guard Richard Forbes (Far Rockaway) added nine points apiece.
The first half featured 12 points from Trifunovic and an active BU defense that forced St. Bonaventure into 6-of-27 shooting (22%). After the Bonnies held an early 6-4 lead, BU embarked on a 19-4 run to take a 23-10 lead with 7:23 remaining. St. Bonaventure managed just one field goal in that 8:11 span and trailed 28-16 at the break.
Binghamton travels to Burlington, Vt. for its America East Conference opener against Vermont on January 3.
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