Syllabus week is supposed to be fun.
And for most students across the country it probably was, whether it be at universities and colleges that began their spring semesters just days following New Year’s or ones that kicked off oh, let’s say, hypothetically, just last week.
But contrary to the norm, the Binghamton University men’s basketball team has had a syllabus week to forget.
Only days after statistically securing the title of “Worst” in all of NCAA Division I, the Bearcats took another blow in the form of an 82-48 manhandling at the hands of Stony Brook University — one that included a 35-point halftime deficit and a gap that at times grew to as large as 40.
Now Binghamton has capped off a week to forget with what has seemingly become the expected — another loss — this time against Boston University, to extend its nation- and program-worst losing streak to 24 games.
Seniors Darryl Partin and Matt Griffin led the way for Boston (12-13, 8-3 America East) with 13 points each, helping the third-place Terriers extend an eight-point halftime lead into a 15-point victory over Binghamton (0-23, 0-11 AE) on Saturday night at the Events Center. Bearcat sophomore Rob Mansell and freshman Ben Dickinson also tallied 13 each, but Boston’s supporting cast would outscore Binghamton’s for a 68-53 final score.
Binghamton head coach Mark Macon said he was pleased with his team’s ability to stop Terrier sophomore and second-leading scorer D.J. Irving, but that a lapse allowed Griffin to make up for Irving’s production.
“We know what he can do; we know he’s a shooter,” Macon said. “Partin — he’s a known; you know what he’s going to do. The other guys just picked up. They have more guys to score than us. They had two guys with 13 [and] we had two guys with 13. [Otherwise it was] almost even, but they had one or two more guys who scored more points than us.”
Boston held a comfortable lead throughout the first half, including 14-7 at the 10-minute mark and 28-20 at the break.
The Terriers utilized full-court pressure and traps, forcing Binghamton to turn the ball over 10 times in the first half and capitalized for as many points off turnovers.
“It shouldn’t have been any problem,” Macon said. “Our press break works, it worked [in Boston], it just didn’t work here. They jumped us a couple of times in the first half as well as in the second half on dead balls, and we spoke about that coming out. We got rattled a little bit.”
An eight-point halftime deficit, certainly not insurmountable for the Bearcats, grew incrementally in the second half to as much as 20 with 5:27 remaining. Despite being the game’s only member to play the full 40 minutes, Binghamton junior guard Jimmy Gray finished with just five assists and three points on 1-of-7 from the floor.
Macon pointed to Gray’s playing time as the reason for his lack of productivity.
“He played too many minutes,” Macon said. “There’s no way he should play 40 minutes. And I take the blame for that, but I need him on the floor. He’s my general.”
Freshman guard Chris Longoria, who for all intents and purposes is Gray’s backup and Binghamton’s point guard of the future, saw only two minutes against Boston, recording one steal.
Questions about his lack of playing time in the loss on Saturday therefore begged themselves.
“That was a coach’s decision,” Macon simply replied, and continued, “but he’ll get his chance.”
None of the Bearcats will see any playing time for the remainder of the week, as the team’s next game is scheduled for Sunday at University of Hartford.
The Hawks, currently 4-19 (4-7 AE), are in the midst of a losing streak of their own, having lost five consecutive games since their 63-49 win over University of Maine on Jan. 19.
Just five days prior, the Hawks defeated Binghamton in Vestal for their second win of the season. Though the Bearcats led by one at halftime, Hartford opened the second half on an 18-5 run and eventually topped the Bearcats 69-57. Mansell led all scorers with 19 points in 38 minutes.
Like Saturday, Gray played all 40 in that contest but was more productive on offense, finishing with 12 points and four assists.
Gray said he thinks the eight-day gap between games will benefit Binghamton, which has not had more than four days off in between games since a five-day stretch from Nov. 27 to Dec. 3.
“We can break down things and know our next opponent — which we already played — and get to know them a little bit better,” he said. “We’ll work on things we did poorly [against Boston] and improve on them.”
Tipoff is set for 2 p.m. in Hartford.