Release: January 8, 2009
VESTAL, N.Y. -- Junior guard D.J. Rivera scored eight of his game-high 29 points in overtime, lifting Binghamton (10-4, 3-0 AE) to a riveting 91-83 win over visiting Vermont (9-5, 0-1 AE) in front of 3,404 fans Thursday night from the Events Center. The win was BU's sixth straight and ninth in the last 11 games and kept the Bearcats unbeaten in the America East.
Rivera, who added 12 rebounds and six steals in a remarkable performance, gave the Bearcats the lead for good 26 seconds into the extra session, converting a driving layup and free throw for a 78-77 lead. After a Vermont miss at the other end, junior guard Malik Alvin drained a three-pointer to push the lead to four, 81-77 with 3:50 left, and BU never let the Catamounts closer than three the rest of the way. Rivera went on to add five more points and three rebounds in the final 2:53.
Vermont missed 10 of 12 shots in the overtime and BU clinched it by hitting 7-of-9 free throws, including 4-of-4 marksmanship from junior guard Emanuel Mayben.
Mayben drained a key three-pointer with 40 seconds left in regulation that put the Bearcats up 74-73. That came after the Catamounts used a 16-2 run to erase a 12-point deficit. After Mayben's three-pointer, Vermont senior guard Mike Trimboli converted a scooping layup with 20 seconds left to give the Catamounts a 75-74 lead. Rivera then made 1-of-2 free throws with 10 seconds left to send the game to overtime.
"We played as hard as we could for 45 minutes and were fortunate to come away with the win," head coach Kevin Broadus said. "Our team came together in the second half. Vermont is one of the best teams in the league on tape, if not the best. We didn't want them to be comfortable. Our fans gave us the extra push in overtime. It was wonderful to hear the building rock."
Alvin wound up with 19 points in 28 minutes of work. Senior guard Dwayne Jackson scored 10 points after intermission and wound up with 15. Mayben finished with 11 points, six rebounds and a pair of steals. The Bearcats forced 21 Vermont turnovers and registered a season-high 12 steals.
"Put his scoring aside, D.J. (Rivera) played tremendous defense," Broadus said. "He and Malik (Alvin) played Trimboli very physical and hard."
Binghamton next travels to Orem, Utah to face Utah Valley in the team's final non-conference game Saturday night.
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