Burlington, VT (WBNG Binghamton)
Host Vermont (9-9, 3-1 AE) jumped out to a 16-point halftime lead and shot 53 percent to defeat Binghamton men’s basketball (0-15, 0-3 AE) 73-53 Thursday night from Patrick Gym.
The Catamounts saw their double-digit lead dwindle to eight, 38-30, after BU opened the second half with an 11-3 run. But reserve forward Clancy Rugg netted 12 of his team-high 18 points in the final frame and Vermont fended off any rally with 54 percent shooting in the second half.
Freshman forward Ben Dickinson hit 7-of-12 from the floor and earned America East Player of the Game honors with his team-high 18 points. Sophomore guard Robert Mansell added 15 points, 13 coming in the second half. Junior forward Taylor Johnston was a spark off the bench with seven points and seven rebounds in 19 minutes and sophomore forward Alex Ogundadegbe chipped in eight points on 4-of-5 shooting. Ogundadegbe added five rebounds in 13 foul-plagued minutes.
After shooting just 29 percent in the first half, BU hit 46 percent in the second and was only outscored by four, 38-34. But 14 turnovers were costly and the Catamounts held a nine-rebound advantage on the glass.
“Vermont is a big team and they execute their offense,” head coach Mark Macon said. “I thought we played great in the second half. We dug in defensively and played real tough. But we have to be able to make stops when we get back in the game. Our guards turned the ball over too much tonight. But we’re getting better.”
The Bearcats misfired on 10-of-14 shots to start and dug themselves a 26-9 hole 12 minutes into the game. Vermont hit 11-of-20 shots and wound up shooting 52 percent en route to a 35-19 halftime cushion. Dickinson was BU’s lone producer for much of the half. Dickinson scored BU’s first nine points and nailed 5-of-8 field goals for 11 points in the opening frame. Johnston came off the bench to chip in five points and five rebounds in eight active minutes. Binghamton’s guards went 0-for-12 with four turnovers and the Bearcats managed just six field goals (29%) in the initial period.