BANGOR, MAINE (WBNG BINGHAMTON) Maine (3-10, 1-0 America East) scored 49 first-half points and kept visiting Binghamton (3-11, 0-1 America East) at bay in an 82-66 win in the conference opener for both teams Sunday afternoon at the Cross Insurance Center.
The Black Bears shot 56 percent in the decisive first half and forced 19 BU turnovers in the game to win for the eighth time in the last nine meetings between the two teams.
“It was too big of a hole,” head coach Tommy Dempsey said. “We turned the ball over too much in the first half and the defense wasn’t great but so much of it was trying to defend our turnovers. Their 49-point total was as much a product of our turnovers as anything. A couple times we had it down to 12 - but if you go 4-for-24 (from 3-point range) against a zone it’s a tough day. I thought our looks were good but we aren’t shooting the ball very well right now. We got more stops in the second half and were able to run a little more. But we missed an incredible number of layups and just couldn’t make the big shot to get it under 10. Give Maine credit though ... they’re a good offensive team.”
Sophomore guard Jordan Reed tallied his fifth double-double of the season with 20 points and a season-high 15 rebounds. Freshmen Nick Madray and Yosef Yacob added eight points apiece. Freshman Marlon Beck II registered 10 assists for the second time in the last three games.
Binghamton used a 14-4 run midway through the second half to cut a 22-point deficit to 12, 70-58, with 6:38 left but could pull no closer than 10 points in the closing minutes. The Bearcats outscored Maine 38-32 in the second half but couldn’t fully dig out of the hole.
Without the benefit of a practice or shootaround at the arena, the Bearcats were cold throughout the first half and two big Maine runs afforded them a 21-point halftime cushion. Binghamton made just eight of its first 26 shots but led 14-11 eight minutes into the game. But the Black Bears drilled a trio of treys and used a 19-4 run to build a 30-18 lead with 5:59 left. Back-to-back BU makes cut its deficit to seven but Maine rattled off a 19-5 run to end the half. The hosts shot 56 percent (to BU’s 34%) and hit 6-of-13 from beyond the arc and Binghamton compounded its offensive struggles by committing 13 turnovers. Reed worked for nine points and seven boards in the opening frame, but five Maine blocks and numerous misses at the rim stifled BU’s offense.
Binghamton plays the first of two straight at home when it welcomes New Hampshire to the Events Center on Wednesday.