It was déjà vu for the Binghamton men’s basketball team this afternoon, as Buffalo used a 36-7 run to vanquish the visiting Bearcats, 87-57.
Just nine days ago, Monmouth flipped a 25-21 Binghamton lead in their favor with a 34-7 spurt that spanned the last three minutes of the first half and first nine minutes of the second. The Hawks coasted to a 74-46 victory.
This time, the Bearcats’ opposition needed even less time to turn on the rout. In a 10-minute span, the Bulls turned a 23-20 first-half deficit into a 56-30 second-half advantage.
“We just didn’t have any answers for them late in the first half when they opened up the lead,” BU head coach Tommy Dempsey said. “Then we got behind and they kind of rolled us in the second half.”
Injuries sidelined four rotation players, which left freshman guard Marlon Beck as the primary ballhandler for the day. Beck turned the ball over two times and distributed four assists, but he shot just 2 for 10 from the field and finished with four points.
“They were harassing Marlon full court knowing we didn’t have a lot of other places to go,” Dempsey said.
Because of the injuries, sophomore guard Karon Waller saw his first action of the 2013-14 season. He started and scored 11 points on 4-of-5 shooting, also grabbing four rebounds.
Dempsey said he had given thought to redshirting Waller, but the sophomore elected to take advantage of today’s opportunity.
“I talked with both [Waller] and his father, and they wanted him to play,” Dempsey said. “The opportunity came his way today, and he played well.”
Sophomore guard Jordan Reed, who came off the bench as a consequence for arriving late to a practice, led Binghamton with 19 points on 4-of-11 shooting. He grabbed six rebounds and went 11 for 15 from the foul line but turned the ball over five times.
Freshman forward Magnus Richards corralled a team-high eight rebounds, with senior forward Roland Brown and freshman forward Nick Madray battling early foul trouble.
Madray scored the first five points of the game for Binghamton but picked up his second foul less than four minutes into the game. Dempsey re-inserted him into the lineup, but the referees whistled Madray for his third foul shortly thereafter.
This has been a theme through the early going of Madray’s career.
“We’re playing a lot of minutes without him, a lot of crucial minutes,” Dempsey said. “Sometimes by the time we can get him back on the floor we’ve dug ourselves a significant hole.”
That was certainly the case today, as Madray sat the last 11 minutes of the first half. Buffalo outscored Binghamton by 13 in that stretch.