Immediate Release: March 5, 2011
WEST HARTFORD, Conn. -- Top-seeded Vermont (23-7) withstood a game effort from eighth-seeded Binghamton (8-23) and pulled away late for a 57-46 win in the quarterfinals of the America East Tournament Saturday afternoon from Hartford's Chase Arena.
Despite shooting just 26% and being outrebounded 49-27, BU was within three points with eight minutes to play before an injury to all-conference post player Mahamoud Jabbi left them severely shorthanded in the interior. The Catamounts closed the game with a 13-5 run, includind multiple putbacks born of offensive rebounding. Vemont compiled 17 offensive boards and exploited its height advantage, especially after Jabbi's departure with an ankle injury.
Senior Moussa Camara scored 10 of his team-high 15 points in the second half and his two free throws pulled BU to within three, 44-41, with 7:39 remaining. But with Jabbi on the bench and freshman bench player Alex Ogundadegbe called on to cover all-conference forwards Evan Fjeld and Brian Voelkel, the Catamounts took over the offensive glass and put the game away.
"We fought valiently today but couldn't get over the hump," head coach Mark Macon said. "Vermont is a very good team ... they are big and strong and are 'hard hat' guys. We just didn't shoot the ball like we did against UMBC (in BU's 91-65 first-round win). I applaud our guys, especially our seniors. They did an ecellent job this season leading the team."
Unlike the first round game when BU was blazing from the start, the Bearcats misfired on 8-of-10 to start against Vermont and dug themselves an early 16-5 hole with 10:29 to play in the opening period. But with a pesky defense forcing nine Catamount turnovers and Wright getting to the free throw line (7-of-8), BU ran off eight straight points and finished the half on an 18-8 run to pull within one, 24-23. Wright tallied 11 points and despite managing just six field goals and being outrebounded by a 24-9 margin, BU hit the locker room nearly dead-even with the heavily-favored Catamounts.
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