Vestal, NY (WBNG Binghamton)
Sophomore forward Sam Rowley produced 21 points and 13 rebounds to key visiting Albany (13-4, 2-1 AE) in a 71-59 win over Binghamton (2-13, 0-2 AE) in an America East game Monday night from the Events Center.
Led by Rowley (8-for-9) and junior center John Puk (6-for-6), the Great Danes scored 46 points. The Danes’ inside game compensated for a rare off-night from the backcourt tandem of Mike Black and Jacob Iati, who entered the game as two of the top-6 scorers in the conference but were held to a combined 11 points on 3-for-22 shooting.
“I was pleased with our effort tonight,” head coach Tommy Dempsey said. “We played terrific defense on Black and Iati and forced their big guys to beat us inside and to Albany’s credit, they did that. We struggled offensively, particularly in the first half (7-for-28 FG) but overall in the last few games we’ve been better offensively. We have a competitiveness and spirit to us ... but we need to get our ‘bigs’ going.”
Senior forward Taylor Johnston put on a shooting display, drilling seven of his first eight shots en route to a career-high 22 points. Johnston hit 5-of-7 from beyond the arc, including several deep threes and wound up converting 7-of-11 field goals to surpass his previous career-high of 14. But the rest of the Bearcats shot a combined 13-for-48 (27%).
Johnston hit three three-pointers in the opening 4:49 as BU jumped out to an early 10-4 lead. Another trey from senior guard Jimmy Gray (15 pts.) gave the Bearcats a 13-8 advantage with 12:09 remaining in the opening half. But BU went scoreless for nearly five minutes and Albany used an 11-2 run to forge ahead 19-15 with 6:54 left. After Johnston hit another three to pull BU to within one, 19-18, with 6:29 left in the period, Albany ran up 13 straight points and took a 32-21 lead into intermission.
A three-point play from freshman guard Jordan Reed 11 seconds into the second half brought Binghamton to within eight, 32-24. But Albany scored the next six points to restore its double-digit lead. Binghamton could pull no closer than 11 points the rest of the way. Gray hit two threes in the last 44 seconds to narrow the final margin.
Reed tallied 13 points and nine rebounds, coming within a board of his eighth double-double of the season. Sophomore forward Jabrille Williams was active in 15 second-half minutes. He collected four points, seven rebounds and a block.
The Great Danes put four players in double figures and shot 48 percent for the game. They also owned a 41-36 rebound margin.
In a tightly monitored game, the teams combined for 34 fouls. Albany converted 14-of-17 from the line while BU hit just 9-of-16. The Bearcats also missed the front-end of three 1-and-1s in the first half.
(Courtesy: BU Athletics)