Release:January 26, 2011
BOSTON -- Boston University (10-12, 5-3 AE) didn't make a field goal for the game's final 6:40 but the host Terriers converted 12-of-12 free throws to overtake Binghamton (6-15, 3-5 AE) 71-66 in a late-night America East men's basketball game Wednesday at Agganis Arena. The win was Boston's 15th in 20 all-time games against the Bearcats and dealt the visitors their fifth straight defeat after three consecutive wins to open conference play.
Led by senior forward Mahamoud Jabbi (22 pts., 10 rebs., 4 blocks), the Bearcats gave a strong effort against the team picked to win the league, holding the lead for most of the second half, despite playing without all-conference forward and leading scorer Greer Wright, still sidelined with an ankle injury.
Binghamton held a 62-56 margin with 7:03 remaining before its offense stalled (0-for-8, three turnovers) during an 11-0 Boston run that was buoyed by eight free throws. Despite keeping the Terriers out of rhythm on offense, BU hit just 2-of-14 field goal attempts to end the game and Boston clinched the win at the charity stripe. The Bearcats shot just 31% over the final 20 minutes.
Down 67-64 with less than one minute left, sophomore guard Jimmy Gray hit a tough fadeaway 16-foot baseline jumper with 32 seconds left, bringing the Bearcats to within one, 67-66. After Boston was intentionally fouled and made two more free throws with 21 seconds left, BU had two possessions to tie the game with a three. But after a timeout with 0:14 left, senior forward Moussa Camara rushed an ill-advised attempt with 11 seconds left and after securing the rebound, Jabbi launched another rushed shot that missed the rim entirely with nine seconds left. Boston sealed the win with two more free throws in the closing seconds.
Jabbi tied his career high with the 22 points but only six of those came after halftime and none came during the game's final 14 minutes. He earned his fourth double-double in the last six games and single-handedly kept the Bearcats in the game in the first half.
Jabbi was on fire on the first half and the Bearcats used a 24-7 run in the middle of the period to stay even. After the Terriers rattled off 10 straight points to go up 10-2, the Bearcats responded with an 11-0 run that ballooned into the 24-7 streak that gave Binghamton a 28-19 lead with 5:59 to play in the half. But Boston ended the half on a 12-2 run to take a 33-32 lead into intermission.
Jabbi hit 7-of-10 shots for 16 points in the first 20 minutes - exactly half his team's total. Jabbi added four rebounds, two blocks and a steal in a dominating show. The Bearcats shot 48% but misfired on 9-of-12 from beyond the arc and Boston hit five threes to help overcome their 38% struggles.
Binghamton returns home to host first-place Maine Saturday night.
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