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Slow start dooms Bearcats against Boston

VESTAL, N.Y. - Visiting Boston University (3-3) built a 12-point halftime lead and held off a late charge by Binghamton (1-4) in a 75-65 Terriers win Saturday afternoon at Dr. Bai Lee Court at the Events Center.

Binghamton used a 9-1 run to trim a 14-point deficit to just six, 69-63, with 1:26 remaining. But the Terriers made 6-of-8 free throws in the final 1:21 to seal the win - the program's 22nd in 27 all-time meetings.

Sophomore forward Willie Rodriguez produced his second straight 20-plus point performance and his double-double of 26 points and 10 rebounds kept the Bearcats close throughout. Four days after scoring a career-high 27 at CCSU, Rodriguez tallied 13 in each half on 8-for-14 shooting. He hit 9-of-10 from the line and added 10 boards for his first double-double of the season and fourth of his young career.

Junior guard Marlon Beck II added 17 points (5-10 three-pointers) and four assists and freshman backcourt mate Everson Davis chipped in 11 points and five rebounds.

Davis (5 pts.) and Rodriguez (4 pts.) keyed the 9-1 run that brought the Bearcats to within striking range with 1:26 left. But a missed three followed by a turnover on its next possession closed the door for Binghamton as Boston cashed in from the free throw line to wrap it up.

"You have to play 40 minutes against a good team and I thought our first half we never found a good rhythm," head coach Tommy Dempsey said. "We didn't shoot the ball well and they were packed in on Willie (Rodriguez) and Thomas (Bruce) and it was hard to get the ball into the teeth of their defense ... that was a real key to the game. We came out with good defensive intensity in the second half, which allowed us to get more stops and they weren't able to set up their zone. I thought we played a good second half of basketball. That's a team (Boston) that will win 18-20 games ... and I don't feel like there's that much separation between the two teams. They've won and we haven't and we have to start getting that belief in the locker room."

In the first half, Binghamton trailed 30-27 with 3:39 left before a 10-0 Boston run did the damage. During that late stretch, the Bearcats missed 10 consecutive shots and the Terriers closed out the half with a 12-3 run to open up a double-digit cushion. A 12-4 Bearcats run to open the second half brought them to within four, 46-42, with 14:55 to play. Beck had five and Rodriguez added three points during the run. But Binghamton could bring it no closer than four the rest of the way.

Coming off a game in which it shot 53 percent, Binghamton dropped down to 37 percent and hit just 7-of-32 from beyond the arc against their former America East foe.

Binghamton stays at home to face Colgate at 7 p.m. on Tuesday.

(Courtesy: BU Athletics)