Release: December 13, 2007
VESTAL, N.Y. -- Sophomore forward Lazar Trifunovic (Belgrade, Serbia) scored 23 points and Binghamton (2-7) led from start to finish in a 71-59 triumph over visiting George Washington (3-5) Thursday night from the Events Center. The win, BU's first-ever against an Atlantic 10 program, snapped a six-game slide and was an emotional victory for head coach Kevin Broadus, who served as an assistant for three years under GW coach Karl Hobbs from 2001-04.
"This has to be one of the biggest wins in Binghamton's Division I history," Broadus said. "They are a three-time NCAA tournament team. It's hard to coach in a game like this because it's not just against another team but against my close friend (Hobbs). We played a team defensive game tonight. It wasn't an individual performance and we brought our 'A' game against a great team. I hope the first-half offense is here to stay."
The Bearcats played an exceptional opening 10 minutes, jumping out to a 25-9 lead after hitting 8-of-13 shots to begin the game. Binghamton led 43-30 at the break. But BU managed just six field goals in the second half and the Colonials began to creep back into the game. A 16-7 run trimmed Binghamton's lead to five, 55-50, with 5:14 to play. A tough jumper in the lane from junior guard Dwayne Jackson (Akron, Ohio) made it 57-50 with 4:49 to play. Up 58-51 with 2:49 remaining, Trifunovic converted a fast-break layup off a nice feed from senior guard Richard Forbes (Far Rockaway) to push the lead to nine, 60-51. The Bearcats then converted 11-of-12 free throws in the final 2:13 to seal the win.
Forbes made seven of those free throws to wind up with 13 points plus a team-high four assists. Senior point guard Mike Gordon (Plainfield, N.J.) added 11 points and seven rebounds, and Jackson chipped in 10 points and six boards. Junior forward Reggie Fuller (Missouri City, Texas) produced eight points, eight rebounds and three blocks.
"You won't see Reggie's performance in the box score but he played an outstanding game," Broadus said. "His defense was great."
Trifunovic, the America East Player of the Game, hit 7-of-9 field goals and 9-of-11 from the line.
"Trifunovic controled the game," Hobbs said. "He built their confidence and allowed them to relax early. Kevin (Broadus) did a great job having his team prepared for the game. I'm happy for the success he had tonight even though it was at my expense."
Binghamton next hosts Chicago State on December 22.
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