Vestal, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Visiting UMBC (7-14, 3-5 America East) put five players in double figures and shot 57 percent in the second half to pull away from Binghamton (4-17, 1-7 AE) 73-61 Wednesday night at the Events Center.
The Bearcats received a game-high 20 points from freshman forward Nick Madray (6-of-12 FG) but didn’t hit enough second-half shots to keep pace with the Retrievers, who kept BU at bay with 19-of-23 free throw makes in the second half (83%).
UMBC broke away from a 28-28 tie less than two minutes into the final period and an ensuing 18-8 run gave the visitors a 46-36 lead with 14:58 to play. Binghamton got within five in a putback from sophomore guard Jordan Reed with 12:35 left (49-44) but seven straight misses led to a 12-3 UMBC run that created a 14-point cushion. A three-pointer from freshman guard Yosef Yacob with 4:16 left and two free throws from Madray brought BU’s deficit to seven, 63-56 with 3:52 to play. But the Retrievers didn’t miss the rest of the way, converting 6-of-6 from the line and both field goal attempts in the final 3:36.
“It’s a tough loss,” head coach Tommy Dempsey said. “Our shooting numbers are so low right now ... it puts so much pressure on our defense. We have to get better at both ends. We’re learning but it’s frustrating to go through the losing. UMBC played well ... they moved the ball and had good rhythm and they were able to make shots. We go through stretches where we struggle to put the ball in the basket and then we’re playing from behind. It’s easier to make shots when you’re playing with the lead. We have to keep picking ourselves up, move forward and work to get better.”
Quentin Jones led five UMBC double-figure scorers with 16 points. Brett Roseboro (14 pts., 12 rebds.) and Rodney Elliott (14 pts., 11 rebs.) each posted a double-double.
Madray hit the 20-point mark for the fourth time this season and added nine rebounds. Reed produced 12 points and nine rebounds in just 25 minutes of work. Yacob wound up with 11 points and classmate Marlon Beck II chipped in eight points, five assists and a pair of steals.
UMBC led 28-24 at intermission after the two teams traded runs in the first half. The Retrievers scored the game’s first eight points while BU was in a 0-for-5, five-turnover funk. Madray then coupled a three-pointer with a three-point play to fuel a 12-0 Binghamton run that gave the Bearcats a 12-8 lead just past the halfway point in the period. UMBC answered, however, with a 13-1 run and led 23-15 before BU ended the half with a mini 9-5 run. Madray had 12 of his points in the first period and Reed looked sharp with 6 points (3-for-3 FG) and seven rebounds.
The second half featured a steady stream of fouls and free throws as the teams were whistled for 27 combined fouls and shot 47 total free throws.
Binghamton next heads to Lowell for a Saturday afternoon matchup against America East newcomer UMass Lowell before returning for back-to-back home games, beginning with a Tuesday tilt with league-leading Stony Brook.
(Courtesy: Binghamton University Athletics)