Release: January 19, 2008
VESTAL, N.Y. -- Junior forward Reggie Fuller (Missouri City, Texas) skied to steal an inbounds pass with three seconds left, sank a pair of ensuing free throws and Binghamton (8-10, 4-2 AE) extended its home win streak to six with a thrilling 62-59 win over visiting UMBC (12-6, 4-2 AE) in an America East game Saturday afternoon from the Events Center. With their seventh win in the last 10 games, BU moved into a first place tie with the Retrievers and Hartford.
With UMBC trailing 60-59 but on the verge of a second-straight buzzer-beating try, thanks to 62% shooting in the second half, Fuller timed his jump perfectly. He tipped the Retrievers' inbounds pass and grabbed the ball on the way down. Fuller was then quickly fouled and sank two free throws with 0:03 left for the final margin. A last ditch UMBC three-pointer was off the backboard at the buzzer.
"It was a great team effort," head coach Kevin Broadus said. "Even when we lost the lead we never gave in. We just kept working and it finally paid off. It was a great job by Reggie (Fuller). UMBC is a very good team."
The Bearcats nearly squandered an 18-point second half lead, and despite holding UMBC 21 points under its scoring average, BU seemed on its way to a heartbreaking loss when the Retrievers took a 59-56 lead with 0:48 remaining. But sophomore forward Lazar Trifunovic (Belgrade, Serbia) sank a pair of free throws with 0:32 left to pull BU to within one, 59-58. Then the Bearcats fouled UMBC senior sharpshooter Brian Hodges, who missed the front-end of a 1-and-1 with 24 seconds left. After a timeout, BU went back to Trifunovic, whose jump-hook in the lane gave BU a 60-59 lead with seven seconds left, setting the stage for Fuller's heroics.
Fuller, BU's America East Player of the Game, wound up with career-highs of 11 points and 12 rebounds for his first double-double of the season. Trifunovic shook off a 5-for-18 afternoon and wound up with 12 points, with six of those coming in the final 5:44. Senior guard Mike Gordon (Plainfield, N.J.) and junior guard Dwayne Jackson (Akron, Ohio) added 11 points apiece. It was Jackson's fourth straight game in double figures.
UMBC received a game-high 18 points from Darryl Proctor, its America East Player of the Game.
Binghamton, which led 29-18 at the break, used a 19-2 run spanning the end of the first half and beginning of the second half to build a commanding 36-18 lead with 17:57 remaining. But UMBC countered with a 15-3 run to get back into the game.
travels to New Hampshire for a game on January 24.
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