Vermont picked apart Binghamton’s 2-3 zone during a 10-minute stretch in the first half, opening up a 12-point halftime lead and cruising to a 61-37 victory. The Bearcats (2-16, 0-5 America East) have now dropped 12 straight and have not come within 20 points since last week’s 71-59 loss to Albany.
After a relatively even first eight minutes, Trey Blue caught fire against the zone and assembled an 8-0 run of his own to create separation for the Catamounts (11-6, 4-1 AE). Vermont led 32-16 with 2:55 left before Binghamton closed the half with a 6-2 spurt to stay in the game.
But the Bearcats would not trim the deficit anymore, as Vermont’s ball movement against the zone and Binghamton’s inability to put points on the board played crucial roles in the defeat — the Bearcats shot just 6-of-21 in the second half after hitting 10 of their first 20 shots.
Making matters worse for Binghamton, Jimmy Gray hurt his elbow in the waning minutes. The injury and his status for Saturday’s tilt with Maine are not yet determined.
Prior to the injury, Gray, who had averaged 13.3 points over his last six games, struggled from the floor. He couldn’t convert any of his seven three-point attempts and finished with four points, four assists and four turnovers in 38 minutes.
Jordan Reed and Roland Brown led the Bearcats with 10 points apiece. After his torrid start, Reed has not been as productive lately, but tonight he played more under control. He still had three turnovers and took a couple of ill-advised shots, one of which ended as a bricked three, but shot 4-of-7 from the floor and even fed Brown on a nice dish for a layup.
Vermont afforded Brown face-up jumpers, and the junior transfer hit three of them and finished a perfect 5-of-5 from the field.
Mike Horn played a career-high 37 minutes with Rayner Moquete absent for an undisclosed reason. In addition to providing his usual intense defensive effort, the senior buried two corner threes to score a career-high six points.
For Vermont, Blue finished with a career-high 19 points and Clancy Rugg added 16. Brian Voelkel shot just 1-of-2 from the floor but impacted the game tremendously with 15 rebounds, seven assists and three steals. His effort on the glass led Vermont to a dominating 39-23 rebounding advantage.