Bearcats fall in opener 71-45
11/9/2012 (Updated 10:40:50 PM)BALTIMORE, Md. -- Host Loyola (1-0) shot 60 percent in the first half and used a 19-0 early run to establish control en route to a 71-45 win over visiting Binghamton mens basketball (0-1) Friday night at Reitz Arena.
In the first game of the Tommy Dempsey coaching era, the Bearcats faced a loaded Greyhounds team that went 24-9 en route to a MAAC title and NCAA appearance last winter. After unveiling their championship banner in front of a large crowd, Loyola showed its prowess with the big run in the games opening nine minutes.
Binghamton opened the game with a short jumper from junior center Roland Brown before the Greyhounds pressure and athleticism contributed to 14 straight misses for the Bearcats.
Down 19-2 with 9:27 left in the half, BU hit 5-of-8 and used a 12-7 run to creep back in the game with Brown scoring four and junior guard K.J. Brown draining a three-pointer during the run. A trey from senior guard Jimmy Gray pulled the Bearcats within 12, 26-14, with 3:47 left in the half. Loyola netted eight points in the final 2:14 to carry a 39-22 lead into intermission.
After the initial 19-2 hole, BU played its hosts dead-even over the final 10:33. Gray scored nine of those 20 points on 4-of-6 shooting.
In the second half, Gray recorded a steal, layup and subsequent three-point play to pull BU to within 14, 41-27, with 17:25 remaining. But Loyola responded with a 16-3 run to push its lead above 20 and the Greyhounds cruised the rest of the way.
It was tough opener, Dempsey said. Were just trying to stay focused on our process and trying to continue to find something to build on. We competed for 40 minutes and that was a positive. Loyola is a team and an environment we may not be ready for right now. We might be more prepared to play that team in a month. We will keep working and keep improving.
Gray led the Bearcats with 14 points. Roland Brown had eight points in 24 minutes and K.J. Brown provided some sound minutes off the bench with a career-high nine points.
Binghamton returns to campus to ready for its Sunday home-opening tilt with Brown. The game will be broadcast on Time Warner Cable Sports at 2 p.m. from the Events Center.
(Courtesy BU Athletics)
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