Immediate Release: November 30, 2003
Contact: David Berman (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Bearcats top Charleston Southern in consolation game of Mohegan Sun Classic
NEW BRITAIN, Conn.--In the consolation game of the Mohegan Sun Classic, junior forward Billy Williams (Milwaukee, Wisc.) rebounded a missed shot and his off-balance jumper with 1.7 seconds remaining gave Binghamton a 38-34 win over Charleston Southern (1-3) in the school's lowest scoring men's basketball game in 56 years.
In a defensive battle that featured eight ties and six lead changes, neither team ever led by more than seven points and the Buccaneers took a 16-14 lead into intermission. In the second half, the Bearcats rallied from an early seven-point deficit and took a 30-27 lead with 6:27 remaining after junior center Joe White (Winsted, Conn.) and freshman guard Troy Hailey (Hyattsville, Md.) made back-to-back three-pointers.
Charleston Southern tied the game twice in the final 3:35, but a missed shot with 33 seconds remaining was rebounded by seven-foot junior center Nick Billings (Kodiak, Alaska) and the Bearcats had possession of the ball with the shot clock turned off. After Williams' shot gave Binghamton the lead, the Buccaneers turned the ball over on a player-control foul and Williams sank two free throws for the final margin.
"Billy made a great play to give us the lead," head coach Al Walker said. "It was a defensive battle and we're just thankful to get the win."
Hailey scored nine of his game-high 11 points in the second half, including back-to-back three-pointers early in the period that gave Binghamton a 24-23 lead, its first lead since a 12-9 advantage in the closing minutes of the first half. BIllings grabbed five of the team's 16 offensive rebounds on the afternoon and finished with seven points, 12 caroms and three blocks. The Bearcats owned a 37-29 advantage on the glass, the fourth time in five games this season that they have outrebounded the opposition.
The win gave Binghamton a third-place finish in its second and final tournament of the regular season. Loyola Marymount, which defeated the Bearcats in the first round, captured the championship with a 58-57 win over host Central Connecticut.
Binghamton returns to action on Friday night when it hosts Long Island at 7 p.m. in the 2003-04 home opener. The Bearcats are 34-24 all-time in home openers, including six straight wins.
NOTES: Billings was BU's lone representative on the all-tournament team ... Binghamton won a game that it trailed at halftime for the first time since a 60-52 win over Stony Brook on December 29, 2001 in the school's first-ever America East contest ... the Bearcats had lost 27 straight games that it trailed at intermission since then ... the final score marked the first time the Bearcats have held an opponent to fewer than 40 points since a 97-39 win over Green Mountain on Feb. 13, 2001 ... it was the first time Binghamton's offense was held in the 30's since a 62-37 loss to Columbia on Jan. 7, 2001 ... the last Binghamton game in which neither team reached 40 points was a 35-33 loss to Scranton's freshmen team in 1947-48 ... that same year, the second season of basketball at Binghamton, was the last time the school won a game with a point total in the 30's, as it defeated the Scranton Freshmen 32-28.
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