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Maine pulls away from men’s basketball team
January 3, 2012Tweet
Sophomore forward Alasdair Fraser scored a game-high 25 points and visiting Maine muscled its way to 44 points in the paint en route to a 76-61 win over Binghamton, 76-61, in the America East opener for both teams Jan. 2, from the Events Center. The Black Bears (7-5, 1-0 AE) saw a 13-point halftime lead trimmed to as little as three before steadying themselves and keeping the Bearcats (0-13, 0-1 AE) winless on the season.
Three different times in the second half Binghamton cut its deficit to five points or less only to see Maine respond with a string of baskets. Down 13 at intermission, Binghamton opened the second half with a 12-4 run. A three-point play by freshman forward Ben Dickinson cut the Bearcats’ deficit to five, 44-39, with 14:56 to play. After the Black Bears pushed their lead back up to double digits (49-39), the Bearcats used a 9-2 run to pull within three, 51-48, with 10:17 to play. Again, Maine stretched its margin to 10, 62-52, before the Bearcats made one final push—trimming their gap to seven on a three-pointer from junior guard Jimmy Gray with 4:52 left. But Binghamton missed its last eight shots to end the game and Maine freshman Justin Edwards scored nine of his 15 points in the final 5:18 to keep the Bearcats at bay.
“We were beat by a pretty good team in our league,” head coach Mark Macon said. “Maine had a good non-conference part of their season and executed well tonight. I thought we played fairly well but we just couldn’t stop their run. We didn’t turn the ball over (season-low 8) and shared the ball (15 assists). But we have to play better defense ... get stops and rebound the basketball. I see progress and we just have to continue to put it together.”
Dickinson produced his second double-double of the season with team-highs of 18 points and 10 rebounds. He also added four blocks and three assists in 36 minutes. Sophomore guard Robert Mansell collected 12 points and five rebounds and junior forward Javon Ralling added a career-high nine points on 4-of-9 shooting. Gray wound up with five points, six assists and five rebounds. Sophomore forward Alex Ogundadegbe scored eight points.
Binghamton was only outscored 36-34 in the second half, but its guards struggled to 29 percent shooting (8-of-27). The Bearcats entered the game shooting a stellar 72 percent from the free throw line but left seven points at the charity stripe (59 percent).