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Men's basketball wins season-opener over Lafayette 77-68

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VESTAL, N.Y. - Displaying a tenacious defense and an array of offensive options that have West Gym fans excited about the 2002-03 season, Binghamton University (1-0) built a 10-point halftime lead and went on to defeat visiting Lafayette (0-1) 77-68 in the season-opener for both teams.

The Bearcats put four players in double figures, led by senior guard Anthony Green (Philadelphia, Pa.), who sank 8-of-10 free throws and wound up with a game-high 16 points. Sophomore 7-foot center Nick Billings (Kodiak, Alaska) contributed 14 points, seven rebounds and seven blocks. Billings, who averaged 3.8 blocks in his freshman season, swatted four in the first half, when BU used a 17-4 run to pull away.

Freshmen Joel Casseus (Montreal, Quebec) and Sebastian Hermenier (Rockville, Md.) added 12 and 11 points, respectively.

The Leopards also put four players in double digits, led by junior forward Winston Davis (Tampa, Fla.), who tallied 16.

Both teams struggled out of the gate, making just four combined field goals in the game's first 6:33. With 6:24 left, the score was tied at 16-16 before BU nailed five three-pointers in a four-minute span to build a lead entering intermission.

In the second half, BU's lead ranged from six to 13 points. Lafayette cut the deficit to six, 60-54, with 5:25 remaining, but junior Brandon Carter (McPherson, Kan.) nailed a big three-pointer and Billings rejected Leopards shots on back-to-back possessions as Binghamton boosted its lead back up to 11. The Bearcats then converted 12-of-16 free throws in the final 3:41 to seal the win.

Binghamton will host Columbia at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, November 26.

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