Men’s basketball hosts Cornell Sunday to end calendar year Bearcats and Big Red tip off at 2 p.m. at Events Center in final non-conference game
Contact: John Hartrick (firstname.lastname@example.org)
VESTAL, N.Y.—Binghamton men’s basketball looks to end 2012 on a positive note when the Bearcats (2-10) host Cornell (5-8) Sunday afternoon at the Events Center. Tip-off is set for 2 p.m. and the game will be aired on Time Warner Cable Sportschannel. It’s the final non-conference game before the Bearcats open America East play.
Binghamton suffered a 74-47 loss at Colgate Friday night in the team’s first action after a lengthy 17-day hiatus. The host Raiders used a 19-4 first-half run to build a 15-point halftime bulge and then rattled off 10 straight points to open the second half and gain separation.
Senior guard Jimmy Gray scored 12 points - all in the first half - to pace the offense. Binghamton got off to a soaring start when freshman guard Jordan Reed flew over the top to flush down an alley-oop from junior guard Rayner Moquete just 11 seconds in. The teams traded baskets with four ties in the first 5:21 before the big Colgate run.
Reed produced his sixth double-double of the season with 10 points and a team-high 11 rebounds. He entered the game with the most double-doubles of any guard in the entire nation (4th among all freshmen). Reed began the night atop the America East in rebounding (9.8) and second in scoring (17.4). His rebounding average is 26th in the nation – second-best for freshmen.
Cornell had a 15-day break earlier in the month and this will be the Big Red’s fifth game in the last 14 days. On Friday, Cornell won at St. Francis (Pa.), 79-67. The team has played a tough non-conference schedule that included the likes of No. 1 Duke (L 88-47), Wisconsin (L 73-40), Arizona State (L 64-53) and 2012 NCAA tournament team Vanderbilt (L 66-55) – all on the road.
The Big Red returns three starters and 13 letterwinners from a 12-16 team that finished fifth in the Ivy League last winter. Sophomore forward Shonn Miller is the team’s leading scorer and rebounder and is the reigning Ivy League Rookie of the Year. But Cornell has several other weapons on offense. With Miller limited to one field goal at St. Francis, Jonathan Gray (21 pts.) and Errick Peck (21 pts.) stepped up and the Big Red shot 51 percent.
Cornell assistant Marlon Sears was on BU’s coaching staff from 2002-06, helping steer the Bearcats to a 12-4, America East runnerup finish in his final year.
The Big Red lead the all-time series, which began in 1988, 5-2. The teams have split the four games since BU made the Division I transition, with the home team winning each time. Last year, Miller keyed a 26-4 run with 14 points and host Cornell blew past Binghamton 76-61. The Big Red trailed 38-33 five minutes into the second half before exploding on the decisive run. Cornell led by as many as 19 points late in the game before BU tightened the final margin.
Two years ago at the Events Center, senior forward Mahamoud Jabbi drained an 18-foot jumper from the right corner with 14 seconds left to lift Binghamton to a 69-68 comeback win. After Jabbi’s jumper, BU withstood three Big Red misses in the paint and a few more tips off the rim in a frantic closing six seconds.
The televised game is the second of four men’s basketball games aired on TWCS during the 2012-13 season. At halftime, longtime team physician and recent BU Athletics Hall of Fame inductee Dr. Doug Kerr will be honored as he winds down his 29-year tenure with the athletics department. Kerr has spearheaded humanitarian efforts across the globe and the month-long Soles for Souls shoe collection campaign, which culminates with the Cornell game, was undertaken by BU’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) in his honor.
Soles4Souls is a Nashville-based charity that has delivered 19 million pairs of shoes to over 125 countries both for crisis relief and to support micro-enterprise projects. In support of SAAC’s effort, head men’s basketball coach Tommy Dempsey will coach the game shoeless. Women’s coach Nikki Scholl went without shoes in her team’s game against Niagara on December 10.
All pairs of shoes collected on campus this month will be shipped to a Soles4Souls warehouse where they will then be prepared for worldwide delivery.