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For Immediate Release: November 16, 2006
Contact: Anthony G. Naglieri (sports@binghamton.edu)
Phone: 607-777-2956

Men's basketball battles past host Niagara 74-66
Forbes' 24 points carries Bearcats to first victory

Box Score

NIAGARA UNIV., N.Y. - Junior guard Richard Forbes (Far Rockaway, N.Y.) netted a career-high 24 points, including four-of-six from three-point range, to lead visiting Binghamton (1-1) to a 74-66 victory over Niagara (0-1) in a men's college basketball game Thursday night from the Gallagher Center.

Leading 55-53 with just over seven minutes to play in the second half, BU used a 15-4 run to pull away from the host Purple Eagles en route to its first victory of the 2006-07 season.

The exclamation point of the spurt came as Forbes fed senior forward Duane James (Miami, Fla.), who exploded through the lane for an emphatic slam dunk to make it 68-57 and thwart any Niagara hopes for a late rally. James finished the evening with 10 points and 10 rebounds for his second career double-double.

"Tonight was just a great overall effort for our team," head coach Al Walker said. "The last two years we've struggled out of the gate. So this is a very significant win for us."

Forbes, who paced four Bearcats to score in double figures, delivered a terrific all-around effort, finishing with nine rebounds, a team-high three assists and an 8-of-9 mark from the charity stripe.

Junior guard Mike Gordon (Plainfield, N.J.) added 15 points and four treys of his own before fouling out late in the contest for Binghamton, while senior guard Troy Hailey (Hyattsville, Md.) chipped in with 12 points and seven rebounds in 26 minutes of action.

BU struggled at the onset for the second consecutive contest, hitting on only three of its first 19 field goal attempts, falling into a 14-5 hole midway through the first half. This time around, however, the Bearcats would regain their shooting touch, nailing 10 of their next 17 as part of a 25-11 surge that saw them close out the half with a 34-31 advantage.

Spearheading the surge was the stellar outside shooting of both Forbes and Gordon, as the pair of junior guards combined to hit on 6-of -12 (50%) three point field goals in the contest's first frame. BU finished the game shooting 40 percent (8-of-20) from beyond the arc, while the host Purple Eagles were 5-of-34 (14.8%).

Niagara put three players in double figures, led by senior forward Clif Brown, who racked up a doule-double with 19 points and a game-high 21 rebounds. Senior forward J.R. Duffey added 14 points and seven rebounds in the losing effort.

Binghamton will host Mt. St. Mary's (Md.) in the team's home opener on Monday at 7 p.m. from the Events Center.

NOTES: Tonight's contest marked just the second meeting between the two teams. Niagara won the series opener; 71-56, last year at the Events Center...BU's six first-half three pointers fell two shy of its program-best total (8, at North Carolina, 12-16-01)...Binghamton's bench outscored the host Purple Eagles by an impressive 38-4 margin...The win gave Al Walker his 80th victory at BU...Binghamton now owns a 1-1all-time record against the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC)...Brown's 21 rebounds were the most by a Binghamton opponent since the program moved to the Division I level.

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