UMBC 70, Binghamton 56
VESTAL, N.Y. (AP)
Chase Plummer scored 15 points, and Maryland-Baltimore County pulled away in the second half to beat Binghamton 70-56 on Wednesday night, keeping the Bearcats the only team in Division I without a victory.
Binghamton (0-25, 0-13 America East Conference), which has lost 15 games by 15 points or more, has four games left in the regular season.
The Bearcats, who were coming off a 62-60 loss at Hartford on Sunday in which they nearly rallied from 14 points down, trailed UMBC just 24-20 at halftime, and they moved within 28-26 after Jimmy Gray's 3 from the right wing with 14:54 left.
The Retrievers responded with an 18-8 spurt to take control. Brian Neller started the run with a 3 from the top of the key, and Jarrel Lane's steal and layup and a shot off the glass by Plummer gave UMBC a 35-28 lead.
A 3-pointer by Ryan Cook and layups by Jamar Wertz and Chandler Thomas boosted the lead to 46-34 with 8 minutes left.
The Bearcats pulled back within 46-38 on Robert Mansell's driving layup with 6:47 to go, but that was as close as they would get.
UMBC (4-22, 3-11) beat the Bearcats 64-58 at home in mid-January, but the Retrievers had dropped seven in a row since and hadn't fared well in the Events Center where Binghamton plays its home games. UMBC entered the game 1-8 in the building and seemed a likely victim, having lost seven of the last nine to the Bearcats, including a 91-65 blowout in the America East Conference tournament last March.
Not on this night, though, as Joey Getz had 12 points, Wertz 10, and Thomas eight for the Retrievers.
Gray led Binghamton with 13 points and Mansell had 12. Freshman Ben Dickinson, the Bearcats' second-leading scorer at 12.8 points per game, finished with eight points on 2-of-14 shooting.
Binghamton shot 18 of 53 (34 percent) and UMBC finished 25 of 63 (39.7 percent), dominating 32-18 in the paint and getting 36 points from its bench.
The Bearcats got off to a great start, scoring the first five points of the game, a 3-pointer from the left corner by Taylor Johnston prompting a roar from the hometown faithful.
UMBC rallied by dominating inside, tying the game at 9-all on consecutive layups by Thomas and taking the lead on a reverse layup by Jake Wasco. But after hitting 6 of their first 8 shots, the Retrievers sputtered mightily, missing 26 of their final 31 shots of the half. They took a four-point lead into the locker room because Binghamton wasn't any better, finishing 7 of 26 (26.9 percent) as Dickinson, the team's second-leading scorer, was 1 of 9.
The Bearcats drew more than 3,200 in their previous two home dates at the Events Center and despite their futility on the court were averaging a league-high 2,771. They had 2,483 fans on this night as they go after their ninth straight attendance crown in the conference.