In a contest that featured Vermont capturing its second straight regular-season America East (AE) title, the Binghamton men’s basketball team tasted defeat yet again on Wednesday night. The Bearcats (11-18, 2-12 AE) dropped their second straight game as they were routed by 21 points on the road.
Even with a tough matchup with the conference-leading Catamounts (23-6, 13-1 AE), BU performed strongly out of the gate. Sophomore guard Fard Muhammad poured in eight of Binghamton’s first 18 points to power the team to an early 18-15 advantage.
Despite the slight edge, the Catamounts responded with a 15-2 stretch that provided them a 10-point lead with seven minutes remaining in the opening period.
Binghamton, displaying signs of intensity on both ends, rebounded with a 7-0 run prior to UVM ending the half on a dunk and a two-point jumper. Still within striking distance, the Bearcats entered the intermission only trailing by seven points as the score read 34-27.
Even though BU played with intensity and showcased efficient shooting in the first 20 minutes of action, the Catamounts completely took control of the match in the second half. As Binghamton aimed to hang on and trim a mere seven-point deficit, the floodgates opened for Vermont.
UVM rained 15 field goals on the Bearcats, including five triples to go along with six made free throws. Even though redshirt junior forward Caleb Stewart tried to stop the bleeding with 10 points in the second period alone, the Bearcats were simply no match for the Catamounts in 40 minutes of action.
In the second half, BU misfired 19 different times from the field, eight of which were from long range. As opposed to Binghamton, UVM shot an efficient 56 percent from both downtown and the field during the second 20 minutes of play. Binghamton ultimately fell to Vermont 75-54, and earned its twelfth conference defeat on the tail end of the regular season.
As a team, the Bearcats struggled in almost every single major statistical category. Vermont held the advantage in points in the paint, points off turnovers, bench points, second-chance points, assists, turnovers and rebounds.
BU takes on Hartford on Saturday in its last home game of the regular season, followed by the probable season finale next Tuesday against Albany. Binghamton is only one win behind Maine in the conference standings.
The Black Bears (6-23, 3-11 AE) are currently on a four-game skid and still have to face two of the top AE teams in the Catamounts and Albany (20-9, 8-6 AE).
Tipoff against the Hawks is scheduled for Saturday from the Events Center in Vestal, New York.