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Bearcats make statement in 61-50 win over Vermont
BU moves into second place in America East

Box Score

VESTAL, N.Y. - Binghamton (11-8, 6-3 AE) shot 50% in the second half and held off visiting Vermont (12-9, 6-3 AE) 61-50 in front of 2,009 fans at West Gym Sunday afternoon. The victory, arguably the biggest in the program's short Division I tenure, lifted the Bearcats into a second-place tie with the Catamounts in the America East Conference.

"It was a great win," BU head coach Al Walker said. "Our guys played as hard as they could. We're moving forward. Our crowd was great today."

Seven-foot sophomore center Nick Billings (Kodiak, Alaska) was a force in the second half, recording a double-double in that half alone. Billings collected all 13 of his points in the final period, and added 11 of his career-high 14 rebounds and five of his eight blocks in the second half.

With Binghamton clinging to a 45-44 lead with 4:59 left. the Bearcats closed out the game on a 16-6 run, which included seven points from Billings and five points from senior forward Jeffrey St. Fort (Miami, Fla./Monsignor Pace). St. Fort nailed 5-of-6 free throws, and Billings electrified the crowd with an offensive board and dunk that boosted a five-point lead to seven, 55-48, with 2:05 left. Junior forward Brandon Carter (McPherson, Kan.) then hit a 12-foot jumper with 1:11 to play, and Billings sank two free throws with 0:48 left to seal the win.

Senior guard Anthony Green (Philadelphia, Pa./Germantown) scored a game-high 21 points, and St. Fort tallied 10. Billings nearly recorded the program's first triple-double, with 13 points, 14 rebounds and eight blocks in a season-high 31 minutes.

Vermont was led by sophomore forward Taylor Coppenrath (W. Barnet, Vt./St. Johnsbury Academy), who scored 16 points. The Catamounts were held to a season-low 27% shooting, and hit just 4-of-25 three-point attempts.

The teams struggled throughout the first half, with each team missing 15 of its first 18 shots from the floor. The Bearcats managed to hit six three-pointers in the opening stanza, while Vermont was just 2-of-13 from beyond the arc. BU led at the break, 26-20, and built that lead up to 10, 39-29, before the Catamounts began to chip away.

The Bearcats, who trail league-leading Boston University (7-1) by just 1 1/2 games, next travel to Hartford for a conference tilt on Thursday. In one week, Binghamton will host Boston in the America East TV Game of the Week.

NOTES
The Bearcats have won six of their last eight games and remain unbeaten in home conference games (5-0) ... The team has already surpassed the program's win total and America East win total from their inaugural season a year ago ... Last season, BU finished 9-19 and 6-10 in conference play ... It is the first win against perennial conference power Vermont ... Binghamton was swept by the Catamounts last season.

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