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Bearcats lose by one in rollercoaster game

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VESTAL, N.Y. - Binghamton men's basketball kept a season-high crowd of 4,445 on the edge of its seat before bowing to visiting Hartford (12-11, 5-5 America East) 62-61 Tuesday night at the Events Center. The game was broadcast on ESPN3, the sixth time this season the Bearcats have played on the ESPN platform.

The Bearcats (4-21, 3-7 AE) put four players in double figures and used a 17-2 run to climb back in the game in the second half. Sophomore guard Yosef Yacob capped the rally with a three-pointer with 6:02 left that brought BU to within two, 47-45. But Hartford drilled three-pointers on each of its next two possessions and in the closing two minutes, the Hawks made just enough free throws (3-for-6) to hang on. Down 59-51 with 2:07 left, BU misfired on four of its next five shots and trailed 62-56 before scoring five points in the final two seconds of the game.

"I'm disappointed not coming up with the win in front of a great crowd," head coach Tommy Dempsey said. "Give Harford credit ... they've been struggling and I was hoping they wouldn't break out of their shooting slump tonight. They needed a win and you have to take your hat off to them. But I'm proud of the resolve my kids showed. I truly believe a month ago we would've lost by 20. We didn't play as well as we've been playing, but our guys fought for 40 minutes and scrapped themselves back in the game. We had some opportunities late in the game and gave ourselves a chance to win."

Hartford made 12-of-26 three-pointers, including four from freshman reserve Jack Hobbs (4-of-6), who scored all 12 of his points in the first half to help the Hawks stake out a 30-24 lead.

Binghamton hit just 4-of-12 to start the second half and quickly saw its deficit climb to 17, 45-28, with 12:09 remaining. But five players contributed to the 17-2 run and BU shot 60 percent (9-of-15) the rest of the way.

Freshmen Justin McFadden and Romello Walker tallied 13 points and six rebounds apiece. Yacob (3-of-5 threes) and classmate Marlon Beck II added 10 points each.

The Bearcats make the long trek to Orono for a Saturday afternoon tip against Maine.

(Courtesy: BU Athletics)