Release: January 27, 2008
ORONO, Maine -- Sophomore forward Lazar Trifunovic (Belgrade, Serbia) scored a game- and career-high 26 points and visiting Binghamton (10-10, 6-2 AE) moved into sole possession of first place in the America East with a 69-58 win over Maine (6-14, 2-5 AE) Sunday afternoon from Alfond Arena. The win was BU's fifth straight and ninth in the team's last 12 games.
Trifunovic, BU's America East Player of the Game, hit 9-of-20 from the field and 8-of-8 from the free throw line to hit the 20-point plateau for the fourth time this season and the seventh of his career. Trifunovic's previous career-high of 25 points came against Alcorn St. on December 29, 2006.
"It was a great team effort today," head coach Kevin Broadus said. "We never stopped ... we kept grinding it out."
Binghamton, who led for most of the game, held off a Black Bears' rally late in the game. Maine went on a 9-2 run to pull within three points with 1:52 remaining in the game. After two Trifunovic free throws, senior guard Mike Gordon (Plainfield, N.J.) stole the ball and dished to junior guard Dwayne Jackson (Akron, Ohio) for a fast break lay-up, pushing the lead to 65-58.
Gordon had 13 points, six assists and tied a career-high with six steals. Jackson scored in double figures for the sixth straight game, putting in 15 off the bench.
Binghamton opened the second half on a 7-0 run over the first 1:20 to open up its lead. Freshman guard Chretien Lukusa (Toronto, Ontario) hit a three-pointer and then converted a fast-break lay-up for the Bearcats.
Binghamton took a 30-28 lead into the locker room at halftime thanks in part to Jackson's shooting touch. The junior guard hit 5-of-5 from the field in the first half including 2-of-2 from the outside for 12 first-half points.
Junior guard Kaimondre Owes, Maine's AE Player of the Game, scored 15 points to lead the Black Bears. Sophomore guard Junior Bernal points rebounds. Maine won the battle on the boards, out-rebounding the Bearcats 40-27.
Binghamton returns home to begin a two-game homestand against Hartford on February 2.
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