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Maine loses at home 65-54 to Binghamton

Maine’s Jaquan McKennon with the ball in hand at the men’s basketball game against Binghamton University on January 29 at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor.

The University of Maine Men’s basketball failed to knock off Binghamton University Saturday at the Cross Insurance Center, losing 65-54 in a hard fought game moving UMaine to 1-7 in conference play and 5-18 overall. Binghamton improves to 12-11 overall and 3-5 in the America East following their victory.

Maine’s Head Coach Bob Walsh was displeased with the offensive performance that the Black Bears put on display Sunday afternoon and is well aware why they didn’t come out on top.

“You can’t win basketball games scoring 54 points, we need to get better offensively,” Walsh said.

Both teams got off to a slow start Saturday, but once Maine was able to get it going it was all third-year guard Wes Myers. Myers scored a team-high 22 points on 9-12 shooting and tallied 7 rebounds to his totals.

Maine’s struggles began at the free throw line, where the Black Bears stood at 52 percent 10-19 from the line. Behind the arc, it wasn’t any easier for Maine. Binghamton’s box-and-one defense was effective against the Black Bears, who had a hard time hitting open shots; connecting on just 3 of the 20 three-point shots attempted.

Maine’s Jaquan McKennon (ball in hand) and Andrew Fleming (0) and Binghamton’s Yosef Yacob (10), Bobby Ahearn (15), and Thomas Bruce (32) at the men’s basketball game against Binghamton University on January 29 at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor.

On the Binghamton side, it was second-year guard Timmy Rose and third-year forward Willie Rodriguez that carried the load. Rose had a team-high 20 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists; Rodriguez finished his day with 15 points, 7 rebounds and 2 assists. Rodriguez also eclipsed the 1,000-point mark for his career at Binghamton. As a team, the Bearcats shot 41 percent from the field and outrebounded Maine 37-34 throughout the game.

Maine had a chance down the stretch with 3:51 left in regulation. Second-year Ryan Bernstein cut the Bearcats lead to 5 on a beautiful layup that saw him dance through the Binghamton defense for the strong finish at the rim. Coming out of a media timeout, Binghamton was able to regain control when Marion Beck ll, who only scored 4 points on the day, buried a dagger 3-point shot that extended the Binghamton lead to 60-52 with 3:23 left.

Bernstein finished the day with 8 points on 2-6 shooting and added 5 assists. First-year forward Andrew Fleming was effective off the bench shooting 4-for-9 with 8 points and pulled in a team-high 9 rebounds.

The Black Bears will be back in action Wednesday, Feb. 1 when they travel to Burlington, Vt. as they still search for their second win in the conference against the high-powered UVM Catamounts.

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