U-M-B-C (15-16) at Binghamton (22-8)
Saturday, March 14th, 11:02 a.m. (et)
The Sports Network
By John Agovino, Associate College Basketball Editor
FACTS & STATS: Site: Events Center (5,142) -- Binghamton, New York. Television: ESPN2. Home Record: UMBC 8-5, Binghamton 11-2. Away Record: UMBC 5-11, Binghamton 9-6. Neutral Record: UMBC 2-0, Binghamton 2-0. Conference Record: UMBC 7-9, Binghamton 13-3. Series Record: Series tied, 5-5.
GAME NOTES: Looking to repeat as American East Conference champions, the UMBC Retrievers will take the floor this morning at the Events Center against the Binghamton Bearcats in the conference title game.
Last year the Retrievers claimed their first-ever American East title, defeating Hartford, 81-65. This year UMBC did not enjoy much success in league play, finishing with a 7-9 conference mark, after losing three of its last four games. However, the Retrievers have found their tournament form, and opened the event with a thrilling, 79-75 overtime win over Boston. The team followed that victory with a 64-58 decision over Albany.
As for the Bearcats, they have won their last 10 contests to get to this point in the season. Binghamton, which finished with a league best 13-3 record, began tournament action with a 73-65 win over Hartford, and followed that victory with a 72-67 decision over new Hampshire.
After 10 matchups on the hardwood between the two schools, the Retrievers and Bearcats are tied at 5-5. Earlier this season, UMBC got the better of Binghamton by a score of 84-78, but the Bearcats returned the favor in late February with a 71-51 victory.
Jay Greene erupted for 29 points on 7-of-12 shooting from the floor to lead the Retrievers to a hard-fought, 64-58 victory over Albany. UMBC shot just 40.0 percent in the victory, but used an 18-of-25 showing from the foul line to its advantage. Darryl Proctor was the only other player in double figures in the victory, as the forward tallied 15 points, to go along with a game-high eight rebounds. Throughout the season the Retrievers ave relied heavily on Proctor, who is pacing the team with 20.2 ppg and 8.7 rpg. As for Greene, he is contributing 12.9 ppg on the season, while also leading the team with 182 assists. As a whole however, UMBC has been inconsistent offensively, and heads into the title game averaging just 66.2 ppg.
Binghamton only shot 40.7 percent against New Hampshire, but the team was able to seal the deal with a 22-of-27 clip from the foul line. D.J. Rivera poured in a game-high 26 points and also grabbed eight rebounds, while Emanuel Mayben tallied 19 points for the Bearcats. Malik Alvin registered 10 points, while Reggie Fuller tallied nine points, to go along with seven boards. Rivera has been the main scoring option on the season for Binghamton, as the guard is netting 20.1 ppg, to go along with 6.6 rpg. Mayben is contributing 11.7 ppg and has dished out a team-high 136 assists, while Alvin is posting 11.6 ppg. As for Fuller, he is chipping in just 9.9 ppg, but has grabbed a team-best 7.0 rpg. On the year, the Bearcats have been mediocre at best, averaging 70.5 ppg on a 43.9 percent shooting effort.
The Retrievers have fought their way to their second straight title game, but this time around do not expect UMBC to claim victory. The Bearcats are too strong and will likely raise the trophy at the end of regulation.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Binghamton 73, UMBC 63
03/14 10:27:54 ET