On Saturday, the Binghamton men’s basketball team played its penultimate regular season game on the road against New Hampshire. With both teams being tied at fourth in the America East (AE) standings before the game, the Bearcats looked to improve their playoff position, but fell 66-62 to the Wildcats.
“They got some key rebounds in some crucial moments and we made a few fatal errors on defense down the stretch,” said Binghamton head coach Levell Sanders, per bubearcats.com. “Points are hard to come by on the road and we didn’t make enough plays to win today. We have one game left in the regular season and we have to do everything in our power to go to UMBC and get a win.”
The Bearcats (11-15, 8-9 AE) ended up tied at 28 points with the Wildcats (14-12, 9-8 AE) after a competitive first half. UNH had amassed an eight-point lead with five minutes remaining in the half, but a 10-0 Binghamton run helped the team close the gap before the pause in action.
BU stayed neck-and-neck with UNH into the second half, taking the game to 50-50 in the last five minutes of the period. However, the Wildcats started to pull away after landing two jumpers in the paint. Unanswered, UNH sunk a 3-pointer on a fastbreak, followed by another three just over a minute later. With Binghamton unable to provide a response to UNH’s late scoring flurry, the Wildcats managed to pull away and hand the Bearcats their ninth conference loss of the season.
During the defeat, only two Bearcats scored in double digits, including sophomore guard John McGriff and senior guard Christian Hinckson, who tallied a team-high 15 points. Hinckson added 10 of his total points in the second half alone and also notched a double-double. He pulled down a career-high 14 rebounds to lead both teams during the match and topped off his performance with two steals. However, the 12-point contribution from McGriff and the offensive efforts from Hinckson weren’t enough to pin back the Wildcats.
BU’s scoring effort was further aided by sophomore guard Kellen Amos who tallied nine points on 4-10 shooting from the field. Another seven points and five boards from junior forward George Tinsley capped off the team’s performance.
The Bearcats are set to face UMBC for their final game of the season. Binghamton’s 8-9 record in the conference currently puts it at the No. 7 seed and matchup against the No. 2-seeded Retrievers again in the first round of the playoffs if their positions were to remain the same.
The Bearcats are scheduled to faceoff against UMBC on Tuesday, March 1. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. at the Chesapeake Employers Insurance Arena in Baltimore, Maryland.