VESTAL, N.Y. - Led by its senior class playing in their final home game, Binghamton (14-11, 9-6 AE) pulled away late to defeat Northeastern (14-13, 7-7 AE) Sunday afternoon in an America East game. The Bearcats, who have won three in a row, finished the 2002-03 season with a sparkling 10-2 record at West Gym, which was sold out for the second time in the last two weeks (2,275). Binghamton also solidified its hold on third place in the nine-team conference, with one game remaining.
"What a great basketball game," BU head coach Al Walker said. "I'm ecstatic that our fans could lead us to the win. It's an unbelievable finish to our home season."
Senior forward Jeffrey St. Fort (Miami, Fla./Monsignor Pace), who led the program in its transition from Division II to I in his stellar four-year career, scored 13 of his 15 points in the pivotal second half as the Bearcats stretched a one-point halftime lead. With BU ahead, 51-49, with 6:14 remaining, St. Fort nailed a three-pointer and a driving layup on back-to-back possessions, and the Bearcats finished the game with a 15-5 run.
Senior guard Anthony Green (Philadelphia, Pa./Germantown) scored all 16 of his points in the second half, and added a career-high 13 assists for his first career double-double. He converted 8-of-8 free throws in the final 1:08 to thwart any Northeastern comeback bid. Green also whipped the capacity gym to a frenzy with four alley-oop feeds to seven-foot sophomore center Nick Billings (Kodiak, Alaska). Billings nearly had a triple-double, with 12 points, 10 blocks and eight rebounds in 27 minutes. The 10 blocks tied his school-record, set against Boston University two weeks ago.
Northeastern was playing without freshman guard and leading scorer Jose Juan Barea (Mayaguez, Puerto Rico), who is completing his three-game NCAA suspension. The Huskies were led by junior forward Javorie Wilson (Miami, Fla./Miami Senior), who tallied 13 points. Sophomore guard Aaron Davis (Maplewood, N.J./Bishop Francis Essex) and senior guard Jamaar Walker (Inglewood, Calif./La Sierra) scored 12 points apiece.
Binghamton completes its America East slate with an away game Wednesday at Stony Brook.
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