hold off Maine in final seconds 63-62
VESTAL, N.Y. - Host Binghamton (12-11, 7-6 AE) saw a 12-point lead evaporate in the final four minutes, but recovered to stave off Maine (12-13, 7-6 AE) 63-62 in an America East game Saturday at West Gym. With the win, the Bearcats moved into a third place tie in the nine-team league.
After a 13-0 run gave the Black Bears a 62-61 lead with 1:46 left, Bearcats senior guard Anthony Green (Philadelphia, Pa./Germantown) converted two free throws with 1:30 left to give BU a 63-62 lead. After each team missed shots on their next posessions, Maine held for the final shot. With five seconds left, junior guard Eric Dobson (Immokalee, Fla./St. Petersburg CC) drove in for a layup attempt as , but the shot rolled off the rim and BU center Nick Billings (Kodiak, Alaska) coralled the rebound with two-tenths of a second left. After a quick foul, Billings missed his first free throw attempt, and intentionally missed his second, but Maine's last-ditch 90-foot launch was short.
"It was an important win for us," BU head coach Al Walker said. "We've still got a shot at finishing third in the conference, and I was proud of the way our guys hung in there after they back on us."
Binghamton, which improved to 9-2 at home, including 6-1 against conference foes, led 33-29 at the break, and stretched the lead to 12 (61-49) after Green nailed a deep three-pointer with 4:03 left. Green wound up with a game-high 18 points, and added six rebounds and five assists. Billings collected 10 points, six boards and three blocks. The Bearcats nailed 11-of-24 three-pointers.
Maine, which entered the game shooting 49% as a team (best in America East) shot just 36%. Senior forward Clayton Brown (Palmyra, N.J./James Madison University) led three players in double figures with 16 points. The much-anticipated battle of seven-foot centers didn't materialize, as Maine senior Justin Rowe (Springfield, Mass./Clearwater Christian College) was held to two points and one block in 23 minutes. Rowe entered the game as the nation's top shot blocker (4.5 per game). Billings was third (4.4).
Binghamton next travels to Albany for a Thursday night game.
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