The Binghamton men’s basketball team converted just one field goal during a 12-minute stretch, and host Monmouth ran away with a 74-46 victory Saturday night.
The Bearcats (2-8) had not finished a game with fewer than 50 points since March 9.
“We just couldn’t put the ball in the basket,” BU head coach Tommy Dempsey said, “and the lead just continued to stretch because we just couldn’t buy one.”
Binghamton led, 25-21, with 3:55 left in the first half. But the Bearcats went cold from the floor while Monmouth (5-6) found a rhythm and rode three 3-pointers to a 35-27 halftime lead.
“We just didn’t do a good job finishing the half,” Dempsey said. “Monmouth hit a couple of 3s and took all the momentum into halftime.”
Out of the break, Monmouth scored on seven of its first eight possessions. Suddenly, Binghamton trailed by 20.
“Once we were down,” Dempsey said, “we were chasing them around.”
The Hawks’ pressure forced 16 Binghamton turnovers, which led to 16 Monmouth points. In last year’s meeting, the Hawks scored 32 points off 21 Binghamton turnovers.
“[The pressure] really didn’t bother us,” Dempsey said. “That was my biggest concern going into the game, but the pressure was not much of a factor.”
But even though turnovers didn’t fuel Monmouth’s offense as much as they did last year, the pressure still forced Binghamton into quick shots.
“[The pressure] rushed us into a lot of bad shots,” Dempsey said. “The turnovers weren’t as much the issue. It was more the lack of quality shots.”
The Bearcats hit just three of 22 3-pointers and shot 26.1 percent from the field. Dempsey said he needed to help his players find more favorable scoring opportunities.
“That’s part of my responsibility as a coach,” he said. “The second part of it was when we got shots, they just didn’t fall. We didn’t have anybody who had it going at all, so our shooting numbers were really rough.”
Sophomore guard Jordan Reed led Binghamton with 13 points and seven rebounds. He shot 4 for 11 from the field and 5 for 10 from the foul line, and no other Bearcat reached double figures in scoring.
The Hawks, who shot 44.4 percent from the field and 11 of 28 from 3-point territory, featured three players in double figures, with junior guard Andrew Nicholas and sophomore guard Collin Stewart each scoring 13 points.
Monmouth’s bench poured in 38 points.
Dempsey said his team did not have enough high-quality practices this week, and he thought that played a role in the losing effort. The Bearcats do not play again until Dec. 23, when they are scheduled to visit Buffalo. In the meantime, Dempsey said he hopes his team will perform better in practice.
“We need to get our young team bought into how hard we have to practice because I just don’t feel like we’re practicing with enough of a sense of urgency,” Dempsey said. “Those times where we have not had good practices, we have struggled in the games.”
Tipoff against the Bulls (4-3) is set for noon at Alumni Arena in Buffalo, N.Y.