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Bearcats post 75-66 win over Long Island in first road game of season
Senior all-conference player Jeffrey St. Fort comes up big in team's third straight win
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BROOKLYN, N.Y.-In their first road contest of the season, the Binghamton University Bearcats (3-0) defeated the Long Island University Blackbirds (0-3) 75-66 in a non-conference game Friday evening. Senior forward Jeffrey St. Fort (Miami, Fla./Monsignor Pace), a third-team all-conference selection last season, paced Binghamton with a game-high 20 points in his strongest effort of the young season.

"This game was a great, great road win for us against a good team," BU head coach Al Walker said. "We hung in there and made plays down the stretch, and our all-conference player came through with an absolutely terrific game."

Binghamton jumped out to a 32-17 lead midway through the first half before the Blackbirds cut it to seven points at the break. The Bearcats stretched the lead back to 12 with 12:05 remaining, but were then held scoreless over the next seven minutes, and Long Island trailed by just two, 62-60, with five minutes remaining.

The tables turned back in Binghamton's favor when St. Fort and seven-foot sophomore center Nick Billings (Kodiak, Alaska) had tip-ins on back-to-back possessions. Billings then hit a free throw and St. Fort a jumper to give the Bearcats a 69-62 lead with 3:19 remaining. The Blackbirds rallied again, and trailed just 69-66 with 46 seconds left in the game. However, Binghamton made six free throws in the final minute to seal the win.

St. Fort's 20 points led four players in double figures for Binghamton. Senior guard Anthony Green (Philadelphia, Pa./International) scored 13 points and handed out four assists. Despite shooting just 3-of-14 on the evening, Green nailed 7-of-9 free throws, including a pair in the final minute to help seal the win. Junior Brandon Carter (McPherson, Kan.) scored 10 of his 12 points in the first half and Billings added 11 points and seven rebounds. Senior forward Stanley Ocitti (Cambridge, Mass.) drilled back-to-back three-pointers in the first half and wound up with nine points and a team-high 10 rebounds.

"We were the deeper team tonight," Walker said. "A lot of different guys stepped up and played an important role. Everyone played well."

The Bearcats made 17-of-22 free throws (77%) for the game, while shooting 39 percent from the floor. Long Island shot 38 percent from the floor and out-rebounded BU, but struggled from behind the three-point arc, making just four of 20 shots.

Senior forward Jaja Bey led Long Island with 20 points, and preseason Northeast Conference Player of the Year Antawn Dobie had 17 points, nine rebounds and six assists.

Tonight's game was the first on a six-game road stretch for BU. The team will take on Dartmouth Tuesday evening at 7 p.m. in Hanover, New Hampshire. Coming up next weekend is two games at the Iowa State Cyclone Challenge. The Bearcats open on Friday night with Denver, while host Iowa State takes on Western Illinois. There will be a championship and consolation game on Saturday.

NOTES: Tonight's win was the 500th in the program's 57-year history … The Bearcats are 3-0 for the first time since the 1993-94 season … That year, Dick Baldwin's squad started 9-0 and finished with a school-record 23 wins … Binghamton last won its home and road openers in 1997-98 … The team opened that season with the Binghamton Tip-Off Classic and defeated Medgar Evers ... The road opener was a win against Harwick ... The team finished with a 17-10 overall record.

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