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Close, but not enough as Bearcats fall to Stony Brook

VESTAL, N.Y. - Visiting Stony Brook (10-4, 1-0 America East) ended the game with a 17-7 run and defeated Binghamton (3-11, 0-1 AE) 62-52 in the conference opener for both teams Wednesday night at Dr. Bai Lee Court at the Events Center.

The Bearcats outrebounded the top rebounding team in the America East and held the Seawolves 14 points under their season average but came up short in the closing two minutes. Binghamton led midway through the second half and pulled to within three, 55-52, on a layup by sophomore center Bobby Ahearn (13 pts., 7 rebs.) with 1:55 to play. But Stony Brook countered with a three-pointer on its next possession and after a BU turnover, hit a layup with 52 seconds left to stretch its lead to eight. The Bearcats then missed their final two three-point attempts in the closing 42 seconds and Stony Brook sealed it with a pair of free throws.

Ahearn made four field goals and 5-of-5 free throws to tie his career high. Freshman guard Everson Davis added 12 points.

The Bearcats hit just 3-of-18 from beyond the arc.

"We gave a good effort but it wasn't good enough to win," head coach Tommy Dempsey said. "We had a chance to win the game but they were the tougher team down the stretch. They kept attacking the basket and the offensive glass and we settled for jump shots, didn't get to the free throw line and didn't get the ball inside like we needed to. They took the game to us in the last few minutes physically and that's unacceptable. We took them out of their rhythm and did what we needed to do have a chance to win. I'm frustratred we didn't grab that one tonight. But we have another chance on Saturday and we have to get ready for a good New Hampshire team."

There were five ties and six lead changes in the second half.

The Bearcats held Stony Brook to a season-low 25 points in the first half and with Ahearn's nine points leading the way in the second half, gave themselves a chance down the stretch against the preseason No. 1 team in the league.

"We're doing a lot of things on the defensive end," Dempsey said. "We've been able to keep a lot of teams off balance. When the offense comes around, we can get this thing turned around."

Sophomores Willie Rodriguez and Dusan Perovic added eight points apiece. Rodriguez grabbed eight boards.

Stony Brook received a pair of double-doubles from Jameel Warney (13 pts., 14 rebs.) and Rayshaun McGrew (18 pts., 10 rebs.).

Binghamton heads to Durham, N.H. for a Saturday afternoon tilt at Lundholm Gym.

(Courtesy: BU Athletics)