Immediate Release: November 19, 2004
MILWAUKEE, Wis. - For the second straight game, Binghamton (0-2) suffered through a second-half funk and sharp-shooting Kent State made the Bearcats pay in a 77-52 defeat in the opening game of the Marquette Blue & Gold Classic, Friday night from the Bradley Center. The Bearcats are now relegated to Saturday's consolation game against the loser of the Marquette-Sam Houston State game later Friday evening.
Binghamton nailed six first-half three-pointers and kept to within five, 38-33, at the break. But the Golden Flashes opened up the second half with a 14-3 run to built a double-figure margin. A 16-4 run midway through the period put the game away. After making just four field goals in the season-opening loss at Michigan, BU converted just seven buckets over the final 20 minutes against Kent State (25%). In fact, after hitting six of the team's first eight shots to start the game, Binghamton shot just 27% over the game's final 35 minutes. In sharp contrast, the Golden Flashes hit 14-of-31 form three-point range (45%).
"Kent State is a good team and they made their shots," head coach Al Walker said. "I don't think we played as well as we could have tonight. We just didn't defend at a high level. And we haven't been able to establish a presence in the low post."
Sophomore guard Troy Hailey (Hyattsville, Md.) was the lone Bearcat in double figures with 12 points - though nine of those came in the first half. Hailey hit 3-of-5 from three-point range and added four assists. Junior guard Andre Heard (Oklahoma City, Okla.) added nine points and seven rebounds. But BU senior post players Nick Billings (Kodiak, Alaska) and Alex Adediran (Covington, Ga.), who were expected to hold an advantage against a smaller Kent State squad, combined for just four points and three rebounds. Billings, who didn't start for the first time in 34 games dating back to his sophomore season, was held scoreless for the second straight game - the first time in his stellar collegiate career that has happened. He was 0-for-3 in 12 minutes of work.
"We were outscored, outrebounded and outworked," Hailey said. "You can't win with those stats."
Kent State put four players in double figures, highlighted by 14 points apiece from junior guard Jay Youngblood and sophomore guard Armon Gates.
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