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Bearcats Efforts Fall Short Against ACC Powerhouse Notre Dame

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NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Freshman guard Sam Sessoms scored a game-high 25 points and visiting Binghamton Men's basketball hung with ACC member Notre Dame (8-3) until the closing minutes in a 69-56 loss Tuesday night at the Joyce Center. 

The Bearcats (3-8) outshot the Irish and were within seven points with just under two minutes to play before the hosts made four free throws to ice the game. 

Sessoms was brilliant on the big stage, hitting 11-of-18 shots and adding six boards and three assists in 36 minutes. He scored 19 points in the second half when BU staged a rally to bring considerable discomfort to the Purcelll Pavilion fan base.

Notre Dame used a 21-4 run that spanned both halves to turn a late first half BU lead into a 41-25 cushion with 13:05 left in the game. But the Bearcats embarked on a 13-4 run that featured three 3-pointers from Sessoms and a rebound and end-to-end race and jam from junior guard Richard Caldwell, Jr. Sessoms' final three with 1:45 left brought BU to within seven, 61-54. 

The Irish held on in the final two minutes, thanks to four free throws and a pair of BU misfires from distance. 

"I'm proud of our effort and fight tonight," head coach Tommy Dempsey said. "I don't think we played particularly great ... we didn't shoot great but we got a special performance from Sam (Sessoms) and we were in it for 40 minutes. That's something we can take with us from here." 

Senior forward Chancellor Barnard had eight points and four rebounds and Caldwell and senior guard J.C. Show added seven points apiece. Senior guard Everson Davis chipped in a season-high nine rebounds and four points. 

Binghamton's 2-3 zone gave Notre Dame problems in the opening half. The Bearcats jumped out to a 7-0 lead and the Irish hit just 5-of-20 to start the game. A Sessoms steal and ensuing Caldwell, Jr. dunk gave BU a 21-20 lead with 3:16 to play in the half before the Irish scored the final five points of the period to take a 25-21 lead into the locker room. Notre Dame made just 8-of-31 shots in the half (26%) while the Bearcats shot 40 percent.  

Binghamton heads from South Bend to Brooklyn on Wednesday in advance of Friday's matchup with Long Island University. The game will be played at the Barclays Center, home of the NBA Brooklyn Nets.

Courtesy: Binghamton University Athletics