Binghamton falls 88-59 to No. 21 Missouri

Finding the positives in a 29-point road drubbing can challenge

even the most veteran coaches. Considering how far it has fallen,

Binghamton’s 88-59 loss to No. 21 Missouri on Sunday may at least

represent a stepping-stone, according to coach Mark Macon.

The Bearcats (0-5) were facing their first ranked team since

2010, when the school saw the departure of former coach Kevin

Broadus on the heels of recruiting violations and the dismissal of

six players for legal troubles and team and university rules’

violations.

”We’re looking at progress,” said Macon, a former Temple star.

”And we did have progress. They’re like jackrabbits and we’re like

tortoises. And that’s what you have to be in a game against these

guys. You’ve got to slow the game down and make things

simple.”

Ben Dickinson, who played 37 minutes, led Binghamton with 15

points.

”He’s that kind of kid you want five of,” Macon said.

Jimmy Gray added 13 points for the Bearcats, while Chris

Longoria added 12 and Robert Mansell 11. Binghamton plays without a

senior on its 15-man roster that has 10 freshmen or sophomores.

Kim English, a converted shooting guard forced by a teammate’s

season-ending injury to play out of position at power forward,

scored a career-high 29 points for Missouri (6-0). The Big 12’s

leading 3-point shooter hit 7 of 10 from behind the arc. His six 3s

and 22 first-half points helped the Tigers to a 49-31 lead.

English, a 6-foot-6 senior, entered the game hitting 60 percent

of his 3-pointers. English is the Tigers’ starting power forward

after Laurence Bowers’ season-ending knee injury in the preseason.

English’s previous career-high was 26 against Chattanooga in

2009.

Missouri entered the game shooting 51.3 percent from the field.

The Tigers shot nearly 55 percent from the field Sunday, hitting

62.1 percent in the first half.

Ricardo Ratliffe added 18 points and five rebounds for Missouri,

and was 7 of 7 from the field to build on his Big 12-leading 65

percent field goal percentage entering the game.

Marcus Denmon scored 13 points and Michael Dixon added 11 for

the Tigers. Point guard Phil Pressey didn’t attempt a shot and went

scoreless but had 11 assists, five rebounds and three steals.

That’s the most assists by a Tiger since December 2010, and two off

the school record.

English scored eight of the Tigers’ first 10 points as they took

a 10-2 lead in the game’s first 4 minutes. That deficit was as

close as Binghamton would get the rest of the way. The Bearcats,

who have also lost this season to Colgate and Cornell, trailed by

as many as 37 points in the second half.

English topped his career-high within the first 5 minutes of the

second half. He went to the bench with more than 12 minutes

remaining and Missouri ahead by 30 points, returning briefly once

the game was out of hand.

Excluding English’s contributions, Missouri was just 4 of 22

from 3-point range.

Sunday’s rout follows impressive wins over California and Notre

Dame for the CBE Classic title the previous week in Kansas City.

Under first-year coach Frank Haith, Missouri is off to its best

start since 2006, former coach Mike Anderson’s first season. The

announced attendance of 5,037, though, was a season-low at Mizzou

Arena.

The Bearcats are in rebuilding mode after a 2009-10 season that

led to the departure of the school’s longtime athletics director

and an outside review which found that Broadus circumvented

standards to get a player enrolled while also lobbying for a

player’s grade to be changed. Broadus had his contract bought out

by Binghamton for $1.2 million in October 2010, a year after he was

suspended by the school.

”The program is going at a great pace progressing forward,”

Macon said. ”We just have to continue to do that. I think we have

some great student-athletes in. And we can only move forward. We

can’t look back and look that way. We can only move forward.”

Alan Scher Zagier can be reached at

http://twitter.com/azagier