BALTIMORE (WBNG BINGHAMTON) Visiting Binghamton (7-20, 4-10 AE) built an 18-point second-half lead and made 4-of-6 free throws in the final 1:32 to hold off UMBC (9-19, 5-10 AE) 72-70 Saturday night from the RAC Arena. After the Retrivers rallied to take the lead with 1:42 left, BU scored six of the game’s final eight points to lock in the win.
After a 26-6 UMBC run erased BU’s lead in the late going, sophomore guard Marlon Beck made a pair of free throws with 1:32 left to tie the game at 68-68. Sophomore guard Jordan Reed then grabbed a defensive rebound and his coast-to-coast layup put the Bearcats up for good 70-68 with 57 seconds left. Freshman guard Yosef Yacob made 1-of-2 from the line with 20 seconds left to bump BU’s margin to three. After a UMBC layup on the other end, sophomore Karon Waller was fouled and made 1-of-2 for the final margin.
The Bearcats then held their collective breath as UMBC sharpshooter Chase Plummer missed an open three with three seconds left. The Retrievers grabbed the offensive rebound but a potential game-tying fadeaway was short at the buzzer.
“We dug deep and got it done,” head coach Tommy Dempsey said. “The place was packed, it was loud and when we lost the lead it would’ve been real easy to lose the game. But we found a way in the end. To execute the way we did on the road was refreshing. For so long in the game we played such good basketball. It’s thrilling to get the win.”
Amid a raucous environment on Senior Night, the Retrievers fought back after BU used an 11-2 run to midway through the second half to stretch its lead to 60-42. Senior center Roland Brown scored six straight points in a 3:21 span and Beck and Yacob teamed for nine points during the run.
Yacob scored a game-high 20 points, 14 coming in the first half. Beck delivered 11 of his 16 points in the final 12:10 of the game. Reed added 12 points, a game-high nine rebounds, three assists and two steals. Brown gave the Bearcats their fourth double-digit scorer with 10 points on 5-of-6 efficiency.
Binghamton made 22-of-29 free throws (76%) and was plus-8 on the glass, thanks to 12 offensive rebounds.
In the first half, the teams traded leads 12 times and were tied six more before the Bearcats used a 13-0 run (spanning 3:21) midway through the first half to pull ahead. After hitting just 5-of-15 field goals to start the game, BU ended the half by converting 8-of-13. Yacob started the run with a three-point play and wound up with six points during the stretch, which turned a 24-22 deficit into a 35-24 lead with 3:27 left in the half. Yacob then drilled a three-pointer at the halftime buzzer for a 41-30 BU lead. He scored 14 points in the opening period on 4-of-7 shooting (4-of-4 FT). Reed had five points during the run and had seven at the half, despite playing just 11 minutes because of two fouls.
Binghamton next plays at Hartford on Thursday.
(Courtesy: Binghamton University)