Release: December 6, 2008
PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- Visiting Binghamton (4-2) forced 23 turnovers and led nearly the entire game in earning a 66-56 win over BIG EAST foe Rutgers (5-3) Saturday afternoon from the Rutgers Athletic Center (RAC). The Bearcats, winners of three straight, held the hosts without a field goal for nearly 10 minutes in the second half and recorded the program's first-ever win over a BIG EAST opponent (1-6).
Junior guard D.J. Rivera led three BU players in double figures with a game-high 23 points (16 in second half). He hit 8-of-12 field goals and added six free throws. Rivera put an exclamation point on the historic win with a two-handed, behind-the-back alley-oop jam at the buzzer, much to the delight of the 300+ BU fans that made the trip. It was the fourth game this season that he has eclipsed the 20-point mark.
Junior guard Malik Alvin scored 17 points, thanks primarily to 11-of-14 accuracy from the line. With BU ahead 49-44 with 3:10 to play, Alvin drained six straight free throws to keep the Scarlet Knights at bay, 55-46. Rutgers drew no closer than seven the rest of the way as Alvin and Rivera combined to make nine free throws in the final 1:41. Alvin added six assists and three steals in 40 minutes of work.
Senior forward Dwayne Jackson scored 12 points and added six rebounds before fouling out late in the game. Jackson also drew two charges on defense.
"It was a great day for us and a stepping stone for our program" head coach Kevin Broadus said. "We caught them on an off day. Today was our day. We played hard for 40 minutes and persevered. We were way overmatched with size but we slowed the game down and our zone worked. We used our quickness. At times it felt like a home game with that crowd of supporters we had."
Binghamton stretched a four-point halftime lead with a 7-0 run early in the second half. After building an eight-point lead with four minutes to play, BU made 16-of-22 free throws to fend off any RU comeback. Alvin was a steady hand at the line, converting six straight after Rutgers had closed to within five with 3:10 left.
The Bearcats played a determined first half, forcing 11 Rutgers turnovers and using a 13-5 run to build a seven point lead with 3:20 to play. After the Scarlet Knights responded with a 6-0 run, Jackson drained a deep three-pointer with four seconds left in the half to give BU a 27-23 lead at the break. Rivera scored seven points in 10 minutes before a second foul sent him to the bench for the remainder of the half.
Binghamton wraps up its three-game road swing at Bucknell on Tuesday.
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