VESTAL, N.Y. -- Junior guards D.J. Rivera and Emanuel Mayben combined for 52 points to lead Binghamton (16-8, 9-3 AE) to an 88-75 win over Albany (13-11, 5-6 AE) in front of a sellout crowd of 5,142 Monday night at the Events Center. The win, BU's fourth straight and sixth in its last seven games, moved the Bearcats to within a half-game of league-leading Boston University (9-2) in the America East.
Mayben scored 15 of his 25 points in the first half, when BU raced out to a 48-32 advantage. Rivera then netted 15 of his 27 points in the second half as the Bearcats shot 54% to thwart any Great Danes comeback bid. Senior forward Reggie Fuller added 17 points and eight rebounds for Binghamton.
Albany was led by Tim Ambrose, who scored a game-high 28 points.
"It was a big win for us tonight," head coach Kevin Broadus said. "We were fortunate to make shots, which we didn't do at Albany the first game. All these games are big games and we came out on top. Albany is a good ball club ... they don't give up. Now we're going to Boston to battle for first place."
With BU up 8-7 early in the game, Mayben caught fire from the outside, draining three three-pointers in a 2:06 span. The ensuing 24-7 run (spanning 6:09) stretched the Bearcats' lead to 32-14 with 10:16 left. Mayben wound up hitting 5-of-9 three-pointers in the half and BU drained nine as a team and took a 16-point lead into the break.
In the second period, Binghamton hit its first five shots to push its lead to 20, 59-39, and Albany never threatened the rest of the way. The Great Danes did cut their deficit to eight, 77-69, with 2:20 left before BU converted 9-of-11 free throws to close out the win.