Release: January 3, 2009
ORONO, Maine -- Visiting Binghamton (8-4, 1-0 America East) shot 51% and drained 10 three-pointers en route to a 70-62 win over Maine (5-9, 0-1 America East) in the conference opener for both teams Saturday afternoon fromn Alfond Arena. The win was BU's fourth straight and seventh in the last nine games.
Junior guard D.J. Rivera, the leading scorer in the America East (21.2 ppg.), netted a game-high 24 points and the Bearcats built a double-digit halftime lead and kept Maine at bay all afternoon. Rivera hit 5-of-9 three-pointers and reached the 20-point mark for the seventh straight game.
Senior guard Dwayne Jackson scored all 12 of his points in the first half, and senior forward Reggie Fuller (10 pts., 7 rebs.) and junior guard Emanuel Mayben (10 pts., 6 assists) gave the Bearcats four players in double figures.
"We hit shots today against the zone and played well defensively, especially in the first half," assistant coach Mark Macon said. "We fought hard and paid attention to the details. We played most of the first half without Reggie (Fuller) and guys came off the bench and lifted us. And the first five minutes of the second half we pulled away enough to build a good lead. Teams play zone against us because they think we can't shoot but we can shoot the ball. It's all about being confident and taking the shots."
The Bearcats led by as many as 18 points late in the game before Maine tightened up the score in the closing three minutes.
Rivera (13 pts.) and Jackson (12 pts.) sparked a strong first half as the Bearcats cracked Maine's 2-3 zone with 58% shooting to forge a 38-27 lead at the break. An early 11-3 run gave BU a lead it held throughout the period. Binghamton hit 8-of-16 from three-point range with Jackson (4-of-7) and Rivera (3-of-6) leading the way. That marksmanship helped overcome a wide foul discrepancy as the visiting Bearcats were whistled for 13 fouls to just four for the Black Bears. Four BU starters were saddled with two fouls in the first period.
Binghamton continues its stretch of three-games-in-six days with a home game against Stony Brook Monday night at the Events Center. The game will be broadcast on MSG Plus.
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