Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Game of the Night: America East Stunner

The game of the night in NCAA hoops comes from a conference you won’t hear much about around tourney time—the America East.

Rutgers fans remember the Binghamton Bearcats, a squad that marched into the Louis Brown Athletic Center on Dec. 6 and went back home on a happy 3-hour ride on I-81 North after a 10-point win.

Tonight, Binghamton took a trip further north to Patrick Gym in Burlington, Vermont, a building that was made famous by ESPN’s Tom Brennan and his “Cinderella” Vermont Catamounts teams of a few years back.

Saint Joseph’s transfer D.J. Rivera hit a lay-up with six seconds left to give Binghamton an 85-83 win and cap off a 23-point comeback for the Bearcats (14-8, 7-3). BU trailed 53-30 at the half but Rivera’s 21 points and 9 rebounds were coupled with Emmanuel “Tiki” Mayben’s 31 points on 11-of-17 shooting to lead a 55-point second half for their squad.

Metuchen, N.J. native Marqus Blakely filled the stat sheet for Vermont (16-7, 7-3) with 18 points, 5 rebounds, 5 steals and 6 blocks. (Fun Fact: He once recorded a quintuple-double against Highland Park High School as a senior in 2005-2006).

Second-year Binghamton head coach Kevin Broadus was an assistant under John Thompson III at Georgetown and certainly learned a few lessons about Xs and Os from one of the masters of the backdoor offense.

Binghamton went 10-of-21 from deep in the game.

Congrats to the Bearcats who took a big step toward winning the America East—a necessity to make the Dance in this one-bid league.

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