Release: January 3, 2008
BURLINGTON, Vt. -- Vermont (6-7, 1-0 AE) shot 52% and pulled away from visiting Binghamton (4-9, 0-1 AE) in the second half for a 71-60 win in the America East opener for both teams Thursday night from Patrick Gym. The game was slowed by 45 fouls and 51 free throws.
Sophomore forward Marqus Blakely scored 21 points and grabbed 14 rebounds to pace the Catamounts, who led from start to finish. Senior guard Kyle Cieplicki and junior guard Mike Trimboli added 18 and 16 points apiece.
The Bearcats trailed by five, 30-25, one minute into the second half before the Catamounts went on a 12-2 run to forge a 15-point advantage. Binghamton pulled no closer than nine points the rest of the way.
"We struggled and no matter what we tried, it just wasn't clicking tonight," head coach Kevin Broadus said. "We have to match the intensity of our opponents."
Senior guard Mike Gordon (Plainfield, N.J.) scored a team-high 21 points on 8-of-13 shooting. Gordon scored BU's first five points of the game and his three-pointer on the first possession of the second half trimmed BU's deficit to five. Another Gordon trey capped a 9-3 BU run and pulled the Bearcats to within nine, 47-38, with 13:36 left. That run was weakened, however, by four misses at the free throw line. The Catamounts quickly bumped their lead to 16 points with an 8-1 run and never looked back.
Senior guard Richard Forbes (Far Rockaway) scored 16 points (8-of-9 free throws) and sophomore forward Lazar Trifunovic (Belgrade, Serbia) managed 10 points and nine rebounds despite struggling from the field (2-of-9). Gordon added seven rebounds and four steals in 37 minutes.
The first half was a wacky affair, with the teams trading segments of cold shooting and turnovers. The Bearcats made just 2-of-15 field goals to start the game and went more than 10 minutes without a field goal. A 13-2 Catamounts run produced a 22-9 Vermont lead with 8:19 to play. But BU rallied with a 13-2 run of its own to pull to within a pair, 24-22, with 3:46 left. Gordon and junior guard Dwayne Jackson (Akron, Ohio) scored four points apiece to spark the run. Vermont, however, scored the final six points of the half for a 30-22 cushion.
Binghamton returns home to host Boston University Sunday at the Events Center.
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