Men’s basketball center named to America East All-Defensive Team
Binghamton men’s basketball sophomore center Thomas Bruce was named to the America East All-Defensive Team, the conference announced on Monday. In addition to Bruce, senior forward John Rinaldi was selected to the All-Academic Team.
Bruce becomes the ninth Bearcat to earn All-Defensive honors and the first in six years. In conference play, he averaged 7.0 points, 5.2 rebounds and 1.2 blocks - the blocks average was second-highest in the America East. Bruce scored in double figures five times, including a 20-point outburst against Loyola on Dec. 10. His 16-rebound showing against Hartford was a career-high. Eleven times this season Bruce has recorded two or blocks in a game, including a career-high four at UMass Lowell on Feb. 4.
Rinaldi becomes the first BU player to gain a spot on the All-Academic Team. He is concluding a four-year career and has played 102 games as a Bearcat. He is among the leaders in the America East in assist-to-turnover ratio this season and has supplied defensive tenacity and energy throughout his career at Binghamton. Off the court, he has been a role model in the classroom with a 3.58 GPA in Business Administration Finance, with a concentration in Marketing.
Women’s basketball center repeats as America East Defensive Player of Year
Junior center Alyssa James has been named the America East Defensive Player of the Year for the second season in a row. Also honored by the conference during its annual awards banquet on Friday evening were junior guard Imani Watkins, who was named first-team all-conference, and freshman guard Kai Moon, who was selected to the All-Rookie Team. In addition, James also was chosen second-team all-conference and was named to the All-Defensive Team.
James is just the second player in America East history to repeat as its Defensive Player of the Year since the award was established in 2004. She joins Ebone Henry of Albany, who was honored three consecutive years (2011-13).
Wrestling qualifies two individuals for NCAA Championship
Dylan Caruana and Steve Schneider of the Binghamton wrestling team advanced to the NCAA Championships Saturday, as both won key Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association (EIWA) Championships matches to secure their bids to the tournament.
The Bearcats placed eight total wrestlers in the championships which is the highest in program history. The previous program record was five in 2015. Of the 16 conference teams, Binghamton had the second most place winners behind Cornell, who placed nine. The team also finished in eighth place all around with a total of 66 team points, another program high.
“I couldn’t be more proud of these guys,” head coach Matt Dernlan said. “The post-season is all about battling to maintain momentum and each of our eight guys that earned a place on that podium deserved to be there. The consistency and fight we saw out of them is what this is all about.”
Track & field teams shine at America East Championship
Senior Jon Alkins was named the Most Outstanding Men’s Track Athlete, highlighting Binghamton’s performance at the second and final day of the America East Indoor Track & Field Championships on Saturday at the Boston Track & Tennis Center. The Bearcat men finished third out of nine teams while the women took fourth place.
The Bearcat men were projected to finish third, based on the pre-meet entres and nearly beat out UMass Lowell for second place. The women’s squad, meanwhile, was projected to finish sixth.
Men’s swimming & diving places fourth at ECAC Championship
The Binghamton men’s swimming and diving program finished fourth overall at the ECAC Swimming & Diving Championships this weekend. The Bearcats finished with 311 team points. Navy claimed the title with 532 points.
In the final day of competition the Bearcats recorded four top-10 individual finishes. Dylan Roney finished 10th overall in the 1650 free with a time of 16:33.10, Zachary Kaplan placed seventh in the 200 back (1:49.77) and Tyler Meyers took 10th (1:52.11) and Liam Cashin took sixth in the 200 breast with a time of 2:02.89. Binghamton’s 400 free relay of Cooper Langanis, Travis Blank, Tyler Meyers and Alex Brion grabbed ninth place with a time of 3:05.86.
Freshman Ross Bernstein broke the Binghamton freshman record in the 200 fly. His swim of 1:49.36 was good for 12th place.
Eight swim recruits select Binghamton
The Binghamton swimming and diving program has announced the signing of National Letters of Intent (NLI) from eight high school student athletes. Five women and three men will join the Bearcats next fall.
“We are very excited with the addition of this group of incoming Bearcats,” stated head coach Brad Smith. “They are outstanding young men and women who are ambitious, enthusiastic, and have great goals in the classroom and the pool. They will complement our program very well and are some of the most talented student-athletes in New York and New Jersey. We are thrilled to have them as Bearcats next year and look forward to working with them.”
Men’s tennis adds elite recruit for fall
Binghamton men’s tennis coach Nick Zieziula has bolstered his program with the addition of Alejandro Pena (Cali, Colombia/Colegio Bolivar) for the fall.
Pena, who has dual citizenship in the U.S. and Colombia, was ranked as high as No. 2 in Colombia for U18 and also was among the top-10 junior players in South America for U14. He was born in Indianapolis and currently lives in Cali, Colombia.
He earned his first ATP point in October 2016 when he won three qualifying matches and then a main draw match at the Futures tournament in Manizales, Colombia. He advanced to the main draw in the Futures the next week as well, winning three matches before losing in three sets. Pena’s highest ITF Junior world ranking was No. 435.
‘We are thrilled to have Alejandro joining us next fall,” Zieziula said. “Alejandro has shown the type of commitment to his studies and his training that will fit in well with at Binghamton University. We have been watching his progress for a while and we got the sense that he had the dedication and focus to start to make some big jumps in his game and those results started to come through this past fall. To make it through qualifying in Futures events multiple times shows a great level of maturity on court.”
Baseball produces historic four-game sweep of No. 19 Virginia Tech
Junior Nick Wegmann (W, 2-1) pitched 7.0 innings of 1-run ball and freshman Ben Anderson put down the final six batters to give Binghamton baseball (7-3) a 2-1 win over No. 19 Virginia Tech (8-5) and an unprecedented four-game sweep of the Hokies. The victory also ran BU’s win streak to seven games.
“I’m so proud of the way our guys competed all weekend,” 25th-year head coach Tim Sinicki said. “Four wins against a talented, well-coached team out of the ACC is something I really hope we can build off as we prepare for the upcoming America East season.”
Pitching to his younger brother, freshman catcher TJ Wegmann, in BU’s first-ever sibling battery mates, Nick Wegmann struck out five, walked just one and scattered six hits before yielding to Anderson, who retired all six batters he faced to notch his first collegiate save.
Baseball season preview
Not quite nine months after hauling in another America East championship trophy and competing at the NCAA Regionals, Binghamton baseball will crank it up again as the conference preseason favorite. With six all-conference players back in the fold for 25th-year head coach Tim Sinicki, the Bearcats enter the 2017 season with high expectations.
The 2016 squad, which doubled up as America East regular season and tournament champs, put its stamp on the program’s third conference crown in the last four years with a memorable America East tournament. The Bearcats orchestrated one of the greatest comebacks in school and conference history with a nine-run ninth inning to beat Hartford in the winner’s bracket final. The team then beat rival Stony Brook the next day to seal the program’s fourth America East title in the last eight years.
Men’s lacrosse season preview
Under new head coach Kevin McKeown, the Binghamton men’s lacrosse team aims to put on a strong showing in 2017. Returning a veteran attack squad and senior goalie, the Bearcats will rely on both experience and some new talent to carry them in their postseason quest.
McKeown and first-year assistants Chris Cooper, Kyle Turri and Malik Pedroso are poised to put their stamp on the program in 2017. McKeown is a 2006 graduate of Binghamton and was named to the University’s Athletics Hall of Fame as the most decorated player in program history. He spent the last two seasons as the defensive coordinator at Bellarmine University. Previously, he served as an interim head coach at Binghamton for the 2011 season, leading the Bearcats to the America East tournament. McKeown worked as the defensive coordinator and goalie coach for Binghamton from 2008-2011.
Women’s lacrosse season preview
As head coach Stephanie Allen begins her fifth season steering the Binghamton women’s lacrosse program, the focus of this year’s team is on experience. Coming off Binghamton’s most productive season to date in 2016, Allen’s goal is to continue to build on the individual and team accomplishments while keeping sights set on a postseason appearance. While losing some strong players to graduation is something that every program endures, Allen is sure that the number of significant players that did return will fill the big shoes their upperclassmen left for them.
“We’re excited about this year because we’re returning most all of our talent to the field,” head coach Stephanie Allen said. “We have a lot of depth and a lot of experience, and that can only help us as we start this season. These girls have an incredible passion for the game and competitiveness this year that directly impacts their ability on the field to play the game at this level.”
Softball season preview
The Binghamton softball team enters the 2017 season faced with the task of replacing a prolific senior class. The group of six helped lead the Bearcats to the America East title two years ago as well as the regular-season crown last season. Still, Binghamton returns three first-team all-conference players and adds a promising group of nine freshmen. In short, the Bearcats are determined to continue their winning ways.
“We definitely are a different team this year having to replace several starting positions from last year,” eighth-year head coach Michelle Johnston said. “We are young with more than half the team being freshmen and sophomores. I expect that we will have some bumps early on but look forward to seeing how this team can improve with every game and hopefully be at our best for conference play.”