Cook, Neller Shoot Men's Basketball Past Binghamton, 64-58
BALTIMORE- Junior guards Ryan Cook (Laurel, Md./Pallotti) and Brian Neller (Red Bank, N.J) scored and 20 points and 16 points respectively and led UMBC to a 64-58 victory over Binghamton in America East Conference action.
Cook and Neller each scored 12 second-half points, combined for 24 of UMBC's 34 markers in the half and the final 13 UMBC points. Cook earned Player of the Game honors, while Binghamton freshman post Ben Dickinson earned his team's accolade with a team best 16 points.
UMBC never trailed, scoring the game's first nine points, but the Bearcats got as close as 20-18 on two Chris Longoria free throws with 5:28 to play in the stanza. A Joey Getz (Philadelphia, Pa.) baseline jumper with five seconds left in the half propelled UMBC to a 30-24 advantage at the break.
The Retrievers took their biggest lead on a Chase Plummer (Plainfield, N.J.) three-point play, surging ahead, 50-37 with 8:30 remaining. But an 8-1 Binghamton response got the contest back to two possessions at 51-45 with 6:05 to play.
Plummer misfired on the other end, but Cook tipped in the carom to restore the lead to eight points. Binghamton crept to within seven points twice, but a right-wing three-pointer by Neller to stretch the lead to 60-50 with 1:17 remaining sealed the victory.
UMBC (2-4 America East, 3-15) snapped a four-game slide, while Binghamton (0-18, 0-6) on remains winless on the season.
Plummer added 13 points and a game-high eight rebounds for UMBC. Binghamton sophomore guard Jimmy Gray stuffed the stat sheet with 10 points, five assists, three steals and two blocked shots.
Both teams hit 25 of 52 shots from the floor and UMBC had just one more free throw (8-7) than the visitors. But the Retrievers hit 6 (of 15) from behind the arc, while Binghamton made just 1 of 5. The Retrievers had allowed 33 treys to league foes in its last four games.
UMBC hosts Vermont on Sunday, Jan. 22, with a 1:00 p.m. tip-off time scheduled.