Immediate Release: February 13, 2011
BURLINGTON, Vt. -- Host Vermont finished strong at home, using an 11-2 run to close out a 60-51 win over Binghamton (6-19, 3-9 AE) in an America East basketball game Saturday afternoon from Patrick Gym. The first-place Catamounts extended their win streak to nine and pinned the ninth-straight defeat on the Bearcats.
Similar to recent losses against top-tier teams Boston and Maine, BU battled Vermont close for much of the game before fading down the stretch - a nod to fatigue and lack of frontcourt height and bench depth. The Bearcats played without 6-foot-9 center Kyrie Sutton (ill) and dressed just one player over 6-foot-7, compared with Vermont's eight big men. Sophomore walk-on Javon Ralling played 18 minutes and BU played nine players, compared to 13 entries on the home side.
Sophomore guard Taylor Johnston drained a three-pointer with 8:42 to play to forge the final tie of the game, 49-49. From there, BU missed 13 straight shots and Vermont scored 11 straight points before a meaningless layup by senior Mahamoud Jabbi ended the scoring with three seconds left. The Catamounts gained from five fouls and three BU turnovers during that 8:39 scoreless span. The Bearcats were whistled for five offensive foul calls - the second straight game they picked up five charges.
"It was another 35-minute effort on our part" head coach Mark Macon said. "It came down to executing down the stretch and making good 'end of game' decisions. Vermont just did a better job at it. Our guys played hard ... I never question that. But we may have been a little fatigued during the final minutes. We made shots and rebounded well - it just didn't happen for us."
The Bearcats hit just 7-of-27 field goals in the second half and wound up shooting 35% for the game. After drilling 8-of-16 three-pointers in the first half, BU made just 3-of-10 in the second. Binghamton did battle back on the glass, outrebounding UVM 21-13 over the final 20 minutes.
Senior forward Greer Wright led BU with 15 points in 29 minutes. Wright added five assists but battled foul trouble in the second half and hit just 5-of-15 from the floor. Sophomore guard Jimmy Gray had 11 points and four assists and Johnston wound up with nine points. Jabbi chipped in 11 rebounds.
The first half featured six ties and nine lead changes with the Catamounts taking a 32-30 lead into intermission. The Bearcats launched 16 three-balls in the first 20 minutes but connected on eight to stay close. The team's first 12 points all came from behind the arc - helping BU withstand a big rebound advantage (18-10) and foul discrepancy (10-5) that favored the host Catamounts in the first half. Gray netted eight of his 11 points in the opening frame and senior guard Moussa Camara, Wright and Johnston dropped in two treys apiece.
Binghamton travels to Hartford for a game on Wednesday.
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