VESTAL (WBNG BINGHAMTON) Binghamton (4-19, 1-9 America East) stood toe-to-toe with league-leading Stony Brook (17-7, 9-1 AE) for 40 minutes but the Seawolves closed out the game with an 8-2 run to escape with a 58-53 win in front of a season-high 4,635 and an ESPN3 audience Tuesday at the Events Center.
Sophomore guard Jordan Reed poured in game-highs of 23 points and 15 rebounds and the Bearcats led with under two minutes left before a veteran Stony Brook team earned the win with two big conversions in the final 1:20 and three free throws in the closing 20 seconds.
“I’m very proud of our team tonight,” head coach Tommy Dempsey said. “I feel bad for them ... they spilled their guts out and deserved to win. It would’ve been a great program win. Our guys stepped up and competed physically and were up to the challenge. This defensive performance is hopefully something we can build off for the rest of the season.”
Binghamton held Stony Brook 15 points under its season scoring average (73 ppg.) and matched the Seawolves on the glass (35-35) but missed three three-point attempts in the final 55 seconds to come up short in the upset bid. A see-saw second half featured eight ties and 11 lead changes. Senior center Roland Brown gave BU its last lead, 51-50, with a pair of free throws with 1:45 left. But a three-point play from Ahmad Walker with 1:20 left pushed the visitors back in front. Freshman guard Marlon Beck II took a three from the left corner that would’ve put BU back in front with 55 seconds left but it bounced off the back iron. Beck and classmate Yosef Yacob then missed three-bids eight seconds apart and after a short jumper by Jameel Warney with 31 seconds left, Stony Brook made just enough free throws (3-for-6) to hang on.
Reed notched his sixth double-double of the season and nearly had it in the first half. He hit 5-of-9 shots, including a pair of three-pointers, and added three blocks in 39 high-energy minutes. Reed’s 15 boards matched his season high. Brown chipped in six points and five rebounds and Yacob had seven points and a pair of assists.
The Bearcats, however, left 13 points at the free throw line (22-for-35) in a game that was slowed by 52 fouls (seven charge calls, two technicals) and 65 free throw attempts.
Buoyed by Reed (9 pts., 11 reb.) and Beck (6 pts.), Binghamton led 17-9 12 minutes into the game and bumped its lead to 22-13 with 3:19 left in the half. But BU didn’t record a field goal the rest of the period and Stony Brook cut its margin to five, 23-18 at intermission.
The teams then traded trips to the free throw line throughout the second half, shooting 44 shots from the charity stripe. A 7-0 Binghamton run featuring three points from Brown gave BU a 45-41 lead with 5:51 left. But the Bearcats were whistled for two offensive fouls, missed a shot and committed a defensive foul in a 1:54 span, opening door for the Seawolves, who despite managing just one field in a six-minute span, made up ground at the line.
Stony Brook got a team-high 16 points from Anthony Jackson and 14 points from Dave Coley. After shooting just 21 percent in the first half, the Seawolves hit 48 percent (11-of-23) in the second half.
Binghamton next hosts Maine at 2 p.m. on Saturday.
(Courtesy: Binghamton University)