Boston University junior guard D.J. Irving scored 22 of his career-high 27 points in the first half as the Terriers pulled away from the Binghamton men’s basketball team early for a 79-58 win Saturday night at the Events Center.
Irving scored 17 of his team’s first 18 points to give Boston (13-11, 7-4 America East) an 18-6 lead at the 14:22 mark. Every time the Bearcats (3-21, 1-10 America East) cut the gap to single digits, the Terriers had an answer.
“They stretched us out,” Binghamton senior guard Jimmy Gray said. “We kind of had to focus on a couple of guys, and [Irving] found openings in the defense we were running, and he knocked them down.”
As dominant as Irving was, Boston freshman guard Maurice Watson Jr. picked apart the Binghamton defense — which played a mix of man, 2-3 zone and box-and-one — to finish with a career-high 13 assists.
The Bearcats, on the other hand, couldn’t find the net with any semblance of consistency. They ended the half shooting 9-for-33 and trailing 42-28.
“[The Terriers] have a lot of answers,” Binghamton head coach Tommy Dempsey said. “We threw the kitchen sink at them defensively, in an effort to try to disrupt them, or try to give them some different looks, and they continued to execute like a good team would.”
Dempsey attributed the loss to his team’s inability to get stops and rebounds, a result of Binghamton’s new run-and-gun style of play.
Boston held the advantage on the glass, collecting 43 rebounds to Binghamton’s 35. The Terriers also shot 47.8 percent to the Bearcats’ 30.4 percent, and drained 12-of-31 threes to the Bearcats’ 2-of-14.
Although they shot poorly, the Bearcats drove to the lane well and dramatically surpassed their season average of 61.6 percent on free throw shooting with a 22-of-24 performance.
“I thought we made a real effort in the second half to get in the lane, off the dribble and throw it in the post,” Dempsey said. “I thought we did that fairly well, and we shot 24 free throws — they shot eight. I thought we did do a good job of trying to continue to attack the paint because our outside shot wasn’t falling in and we didn’t settle for too many threes.”
The game saw freshman guard Jordan Reed earn his ninth double-double, breaking Binghamton’s school record for double-doubles in one season set by Lazar Trifunovic in 2007-08. Reed tallied 17 points and 11 rebounds, though he shot just 4-of-20 from the field.
Other leaders were senior forward Javon Ralling, who contributed 10 points, and Gray and junior forward Roland Brown, who contributed seven points apiece. Brown also had five rebounds.
The Bearcats are set to play second-place Stony Brook tonight. The Bearcats last saw the Seawolves (17-6, 8-2 America East) on Jan. 9, when they fell 62-37, having shot a season-low 26.4 percent.
Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. at the Pritchard Gymnasium.