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Basketball teams sweep UMass Lowell
January 25, 2016Tweet
The men’s basketball team (4-15, 1-5 America East) opened the second half with a decisive 19-4 run and then made seven free throws in the game’s final minute to hold off UMass Lowell (7-13, 3-4 AE), 64-57, on Jan. 24, in Lowell, Mass.
The women’s basketball team defeated UMass Lowell in the first game of the doubleheader at the Tsongas Center.
The Binghamton and UMass Lowell men were deadlocked at 24 all at half but the Bearcats stepped on the gas to start the second. Sophomore forward Willie Rodriguez tallied 14 of his game-high 17 points in the second and the Bearcats’ pressure defense ran their turnover count up to 23 with nine steals in the period. Junior guard Marlon Beck netted 12 of his 17 points after intermission.
“We used our calling card ... pressure defense ... we had it going today,” head coach Tommy Dempsey said. “We played with a lot of energy and made them very uncomfortable. That’s a good offensive team (Lowell) and we were able to disrupt them. Sixteen steals is a big number. The defense was good all day long and in the second half, we took care of the ball much better. It was a good first step (first conference win) and now we have to keep it going.”
Rodriguez netted seven of Binghamton’s first 12 points of the second half and then after the River Hawks scored three straight to cut their deficit to eight, freshman guard Timmy Rose took over. In a 31-second span, Rose delivered two steals and an assist on an inbounds alley-oop to classmate Thomas Bruce. Rose’s second steal led to a Beck three-pointer that gave Binghamton a 43-28 lead with 12:46 left.
In the early game, sophomore guard Imani Watkins poured in 27 points and senior guard Kim Albrecht netted 23 points, powering Binghamton (9-10, 4-2 AE) to a 75-70 overtime win at UMass Lowell (3-16, 0-7 AE). The victory is the Bearcats’ fourth triumph in their past five games.
Just six games into the America East portion of its schedule, Binghamton has already equaled its conference win total from the past two years combined. In addition, the Bearcats have now won three straight road games for the first time since the 2010-11 season.
Watkins, who reached the 20-point mark for the second straight game, also added eight rebounds, two assists and tied a career high with six steals. Albrecht, meanwhile, reached the 20-point mark for the second time in the past three games and also dished out four assists.
It was Albrecht who fired the shot of the game. The Bearcats were down 66-63 but she buried a game-tying three-point field goal from well beyond the three-point arc with 0.04 seconds left in regulation.
In the overtime period, Binghamton’s defense took over, holding the River Hawks to just four points and forcing three turnovers. On the other end of the court, the Bearcats sealed the win by going 7-for-8 from the free throw line.
“We are really excited to come in and get a tough road win,” head coach Linda Cimino said. “UMass Lowell gave us everything we had but at the end of the day, we got it done. Our team has really come together and on any given day, anyone can be the star out there.”