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Bearcats lead collapses in near upset of Stony Brook

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STONY BROOK, N.Y. - Third-seeded Stony Brook (22-10) used a 14-0 run early in the second half to seize the lead and the host Seawolves held off sixth-seeded Binghamton in the closing minute 62-57 in an America East men's basketball quarterfinal game Wednesday night at the Island FCU Arena.

The Bearcats (6-26), who led at the break, had a three-point shot to tie the game with 26 seconds left but it rattled out. After missing four straight free throws to leave the door open, the Seawolves made 4-of-4 in the final 26 seconds to seal the win. Twice in the last two minutes, BU cut their margin to three, the last on an offensive rebound and layup from sophomore forward Magnus Richards with 1:11 that made it 58-55.

"I'm proud of who we've become," head coach Tommy Dempsey said. "Our kids have resolve ... to have a chance to win the game in the last minute, that's really encouraging. We trust each other and learned how to fight together. I feel we can compete with anybody in the league right now. I can't wait to get to the offseason ... we're growing in so many ways and I'm excited. This will be a fun team to watch over the next couple of years."

Freshman forward Willie Rodriguez scored a game-high 19 points and classmate Romello Walker added 10 points and eight rebounds. Binghamton's defense held the Seawolves to 39 percent shooting.

The Bearcats came out strong, hitting 6-of-10 shots to start the game. Binghamton trailed 16-13 midway through the half before using a 12-6 run to secure a 25-23 halftime lead. Rodriguez tallied eight points, including four straight during the run, and sophomore forward Magnus Richards hit 2-of-3 and grabbed a pair of big offensive boards. On defense, BU absorbed three charges, held SBU scoreless for more than six minutes and an active zone held the hosts to 31 percent shooting in the period.

(Courtesy: BU Athletics)