Redshirt sophomore guard J.C. Show spoke of his 34-point performance on Wednesday night with self-effacing modesty. Fewer than 20 minutes removed from tying the Binghamton men’s basketball team’s record for points in a game, he credited nearly everyone but himself for the Bearcats’ 72-70 win over Central Connecticut State.
“All the credit to my teammates today,” Show said. “Everybody wants to talk about making the shots, but what people don’t understand is that it takes great screens, great passes; the timing and spacing has got to be right. In order for one guy to make a shot, all five have to be working as a unit.”
Despite leading by six late in the second half, BU (2-1) committed a series of turnovers along with multiple bad possessions that allowed the Blue Devils (2-1) to regroup. CCSU managed to take a one-point lead with 37 seconds remaining in the game. Guarded by two CCSU defenders, Show drained a 3-pointer a few feet from the top of the key, sending BU to a confidence-building early season victory.
In just his third game as a Bearcat, Show did just about everything. In addition to his 34 points, he also tied the program record with eight 3-pointers and added a team-high seven rebounds. He also shot a 75 percent clip from the field — his highest of the season.
Show transferred from Bucknell in order to play a more prominent role at the point. So far, he’s succeeded there. He leads BU this season in points, rebounds and steals.
“That’s why he’s here,” said BU head coach Tommy Dempsey. “He knew that he was going to be a guy that we would lean heavily on; that’s what he wanted. He’s had that role his whole life, and he wanted to have it in college. I was more than happy to provide that opportunity for him.”
BU struggled early on, shooting just 30.8 percent from the field in the first half. CCSU took advantage of the Bearcats’ porous defense, entering halftime with a 29-24 lead.
Junior forward Mustafa Jones led CCSU with 16 points, to which he added five rebounds. Senior forward Tafari Whittingham tallied 15 points and seven rebounds.
“I thought it was a gutty win for us,” Dempsey said. “We struggled through the first half, and just never found any rhythm. I thought Central [Connecticut State] came in here and played a really good game … we had to battle all the way.”
Junior forward Bobby Ahearn tallied a career high 19 points, which included the first two 3-pointers of his collegiate career. Sophomore guard Timmy Rose added seven points in 30 minutes, while sophomore guard Everson Davis added six in 19 minutes.
In response to the Blue Devils’ small lineup, BU adjusted in the second half by substituting in an extra guard. Senior guard John Rinaldi saw extra minutes due to the change in strategy. He played 18 minutes without taking a shot, helping the Bearcats defensively during his time on the court.
Junior forward Willie Rodriguez entered the game early on for the first time this season after a hamstring injury kept him sidelined from BU’s first two games. He added two points and four rebounds in nine minutes before landing awkwardly from an offensive rebound with 1:41 remaining in the first. Rodriguez sat out the remainder of the game, and is considered day-to-day going forward.
“I was looking for a spark because we got off to a slow start,” Dempsey said. “I was hoping that maybe once he was loose, the adrenaline would kick in and he would be able to get through it and feel good, but maybe he’s not ready yet.”
BU is set to return to action against VCU on Friday. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. from the Siegel Center in Richmond, Virginia.