Release: February 22, 2009
VESTAL, N.Y. -- Senior forward Reggie Fuller posted 22 points and 10 rebounds to lift Binghamton (19-8, 12-3 AE) to a 70-69 victory over New Hampshire (11-15, 6-8 AE) Sunday afternoon in front of a sellout Events Center crowd. With a school-record 5,222 on hand, BU survived an overtime in which it didn't make a field goal and missed four free throws.
The win was BU's record-setting seventh straight and moved the team to within one victory of capturing its first-ever America East regular season title. A win in Thursday's home game against UMBC would secure the No. 1 seed for the upcoming conference tournament and guarantee a postseason bid in either the NCAA or NIT tournament.
"We were really lucky today," head coach Kevin Broadus said. "New Hampshire beat us in every statistical category and they beat us to every loose ball. We had one more point and we'll take it. We missed a lot of shots but our defense was good enough. We'll need a better effort on Thursday."
Junior guard Emanuel Mayben forced the extra session when he drained a three-pointer with 26 seconds left in regulation. That completed a BU rally from eight down in the final 4:43. Trailing 64-56, junior guard D.J. Rivera had a steal and dunk and then drilled a three-pointer to cut the margin to 64-61, with 1:38 left. After UNH turnovers on successive possessions, Mayben hit the big shot. A Wildcats short jumper was blocked by Fuller with three seconds left.
In overtime, BU took its first lead since the first half when junior guard Malik Alvin sank a pair of free throws to put the Bearcats up 68-67. Two more free throws by Rivera pushed the lead to three, 70-67, with 1:16 left. But the Wildcats made two free throws with 26 seconds left to trim their deficit to one, 70-69. And then after a pair of BU free throw misses with 25 seconds left, UNH had the ball for one final shot for the win. But Eric Gilchrese's jumper was off the mark with four seconds left and the rebound squirted out of bounds.
Fuller hit 7-of-11 from the floor and 8-of-8 from the line, earning his third double-double of the season. Rivera, the leading scorer in the America East, wound up with 21 points - 14 after halftime. He added six steals and five rebounds. Mayben chipped in 15 points and four assists.
The Bearcats host UMBC Thursday night in the team's final regular-season game.
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