MBB: Bearcats lose season finale, will play Stony Brook in A-East Tourney
3/3/2013 (Updated 3/4/2013 5:48:53 PM)BALTIMORE, Md. Host UMBC (7-22, 5-11 AE) hit 12 three-pointers and eased past cold-shooting Binghamton (3-26, 1-15 AE) 59-49 in the regular-season finale for both teams Sunday afternoon at the RAC Arena. The Bearcats will now carry the No. 8 seed in an America East tournament quarterfinal game against regular-season champion and top-seeded Stony Brook. The game is set for 6 p.m. Saturday at Albanys SEFCU Arena.
Senior guard Ryan Cook poured in a game-high 24 points and the Retrievers benefited from 20 turnovers and 34 percent Bearcats shooting.
Senior forward Taylor Johnston led BU with 16 points, 10 in the first half. Freshman guard Jordan Reed produced his league-leading 13th double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds and junior center Brian Freeman chipped in eight points, nine rebounds and three blocks.
Overall we didnt play very well, head coach Tommy Dempsey said. Give UMBC credit they stepped up and made a lot of big shots, especially their seniors. Our energy in the zone was good but their top two shooters (Cook and Brian Neller) hit shots in crucial times. As a group, we made poor decisions against their zone and that caused a lot of turnovers.
The Bearcats were within striking distance halfway through the second period. Reed made a pair of free throws with 10 minutes remaining to pull BU to within two, 42-40. But Neller (17 pts.) made two threes in a 1:15 span and the Retrievers outscored the Bearcats 17-9 to end the game.
In the first half, senior forward Taylor Johnston hit a pair of 3s and scored 10 points to pace BUs offense. Johnston scored five points in a 19-second span to spark a 7-0 run that gave the Bearcats a 14-9 lead eight minutes into the contest. But after hitting 7-of-13 to start the game (54%), BU shot just 3-of-14 the rest of the half and 11 turnovers resulted in 12 UMBC points. The Retrievers hit a three-pointer at the halftime buzzer to cap an 8-2 run and take a 26-25 lead into intermission.
Binghamton begins its postseason run with a quarterfinal matchup against fellow SUNY Center Stony Brook Saturday at Albanys SEFCU Arena. It will mark the second straight year that the two SUNY schools have met in the quarterfinals. Last season, BU shot 50 percent, drilled 10 three-pointers and led in the second half before the top-seeded Seawolves before Stony Brook prevailed 78-69.
(Courtesy: Binghamton Athletics)
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