For Immediate Release: March 14, 2009
Contact: John Hartrick (
Phone: 607-777-6800

BU men's basketball defeats UMBC 61-51 to seize first-ever NCAA bid

Bearcats thrill frenzied Events Center crowd with first America East title

Box score
Selection Show Information

VESTAL, N.Y. -- Top-seeded Binghamton (23-8) staved off defending champion UMBC (15-17) 61-51 to claim its first-ever America East championship Saturday afternoon from the Events Center. The win, BU's 11th consecutive, set off a wild celebration on the court and now sends the Bearcats to their first NCAA Tournament berth in 63 years of basketball.

In front of a raucus standing-room-only crowd of 5,342, BU shot 52% to take a nine-point halftime lead. Senior forward Reggie Fuller netted 14 points on 7-for-7 shooting in the half. After bumping the margin up to 14 early in the second half, BU's offense slowed, and UMBC began to tighten the gap. The Retrievers pulled to within six, 57-51, with 4:49 left. But BU, who went the final 8:16 of the contest without a field goal, clamped down defensively, holding the Retrievers scoreless the rest of the way and converted all four free throw attempts down the stretch to seal the outcome.

The UMBC ball club is a wonderful ball club," an emotional head coach Kevin Broadus said. "From start to finish it was a great game…The only way you can win a championship is to beat the champions…This year was an unbelievable ride for me…these guys coached me, they taught me to be a better person. These guys showed me what a true champion is all about."

Fuller wound up with 19 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks. Junior guard D.J. Rivera scored 16 points and earned the Reggie Lewis Championship Most Outstanding Player honor. Junior guard Emanuel Mayben, who scored 45 points in the three tournament wins, joined Rivera and Fuller on the All-Championship team. Mayben pitched in five points, five rebounds and six assists in the title game.

UMBC senior Darryl Proctor, who recorded a double-double of 12 points and 11 rebounds, and classmate Jay Greene were also named to the the team.

Junior guard Malik Alvin added 14 points and four assists.

The sellout crowd of 5,342 was a school-record and the second-largest in the league's 30-year championship history, topped only by the 5,644 that Northeastern drew against Boston University at Matthews Arena in 1986... The game was broadcast live on ESPN2... Binghamton's school-record 11-game win streak is the third longest current streak in the nation (Memphis 22, American 12)... The 23 wins ties the most in school history ('93-94 Division III team was 23-7)... BU finished the season 12-2 at home... The Bearcats are ranked No. 24 in the latest Mid-Major Top 25 poll.

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