Vestal, NY (WBNG Binghamton)
Sophomore center Kyrie Sutton scored a career-high 18 points and Binghamton (13-17, 8-7 AE) held visiting Hartford to 30% shooting in a 66-53 win over the Hawks (7-21, 5-10 AE) Wednesday night from the Events Center. With the win, the surprising Bearcats (picked to finish last) wrapped up fifth place out of nine teams in the America East standings. Binghamton will face fourth-seeded Boston University in the second quarterfinal game on March 6 in Hartford. Start time is approximately 2:15 p.m. from the Chase Arena.
Sutton scored 13 of his points in the decisive second half, when BU used a 12-4 run midway through the period to build a double-digit margin. Binghamton put the defensive clamps on Hartford in the second half, holding the Hawks to 28% shooting.
"Hartford is a scary team to play," interim head coach Mark Macon said. "They have guys who can shoot the ball. But our guys did a good job of tightening our defense in the second half and we stopped their run and made one of our own. We are playing hard and sharing the ball more. Now we need to take this energy we get from our home fans and take it on the road (to Vermont)."
For the second straight game, leading scorer Greer Wright played a balanced game and nearly produced the program's first Division I triple-double. Wright had 16 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists. He scored 11 of his points in the second half.
Freshman Dylan Talley picked up 15 points and seven boards and junior workhorse Mahamoud Jabbi added eight boards, three blocks and three assists. Talley scored five points in a 47-second span to thwart a Hawks rally midway through the second period. Ahead 42-36, Talley hit a jumper in the paint and added a three-pointer on the next possession to stretch the lead to nine, 47-38. Hartford came no closer than seven points the rest of the way. Junior forward Moussa Camara added 10 points - the 10th straight game he's reached double figures.
Hartford began the game by missing 10 of its first 11 shots but the Bearcats turned it over five times in the first seven minutes and could only build a seven-point lead. Hartford sharpshooter Joe Zeglinski then scored 17 points in a 7:56 span to carry the Hawks on a 13-0 run and a 16-9 lead. The Bearcats responded with a 19-3 run to go ahead 28-19. But Andres Torres converted a rare four-point play with one second left in the half to pull the Hawks within three, 28-25.
Binghamton concludes the regular season Sunday afternoon at Vermont.