fall on the road at Hartford, 65-51
The Bearcats suffered through two significant dry spells, offensively, and each time the Hawks made them pay. With BU ahead 18-11 midway through the first half, Hartford exploded for a 19-1 run that spanned 6:51 and turned a seven-point deficit into a 30-19 lead with 3:16 left. In all, Binghamton went 7:57 without a field goal. Hartford shot 52% in the period, and took a 36-26 lead into intermission.
In the second half, BU battled back, twice closing the margin to a deuce. A three-pointer from senior guard Anthony Green (Philadelphia, Pa./Germantown) cut the margin to two, 49-47, with 8:20 left. But the Hawks responded with five straight points, and held BU without a field goal over the game's final 8:20.
"Hartford was the better team tonight," BU head coach Al Walker said. "We didn't lose, we got beat by a heck of a basketball team. I'm proud of our guys. We fought hard, but the door just closed in the final minutes. We just couldn't get it to go down."
Binghamton's typically sharp guard combination of Green and senior Charles Baker (Missouri City, Texas/Westbury Christian) struggled from the floor, making just 5-of-20 shots. And BU's defense, which entered the game ranked 15th in the entire nation in opponent field goal percentage (39.3%), couldn't contain the Hawks, who shot 52% from the floor. On the offensive end, the Bearcats were hurt by nine missed free throws and 38% shooting.
Binghamton sophomore center Nick Billings (Kodiak, Alaska) kept the Bearcats in the game with a career-high 17 points - 11 of those coming in the first half. Billings also chipped in nine rebounds and three blocks. His second rejection of the game established a new school single-season record. As a freshman, Billings recorded 80 blocks to set the mark.
Bearcats will host league-leading Boston University Sunday at
noon at West Gym. The game is the America East TV Game of the
Week, and will be broadcast live on Empire Sports Network, MSG
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