Plummer’s Second Half Heroics, Neller's Hot Shooting Lead Men’s Basketball Past Binghamton, 61-58

Junior Chase Plummer

VESTAL, N.Y. – UMBC junior forward Chase Plummer (Plainfield, N.J./St. Patrick) scored 13 of his 17 points in the second half and senior guard Brian Neller (Red Bank, N.J./Christian Brothers Academy) made six three-pointers to lead the UMBC men's basketball team past Binghamton 61-58, Wednesday evening at the Events Center.

Plummer also grabbed a game-high ten rebounds for UMBC (5-16, 3-5 AE) to complete his fifth double-double of the season and second in as many games to earn the America East Player of the Game honor.

Freshman Jordan Reed led all scorers with a game-high 21 points in the losing effort for Binghamton (3-18, 1-7 AE). 

The game was back-and-forth throughout with neither team able to grab a lead larger than six and the two squads exchanging the lead 14 times.  Following a lay-up by Reed with 3:25 remaining in the game, senior guard Ryan Cook (Laurel, Md./St. Vincent Pallotti/Chestnut Hill College) launched a three from the wing to put the Retrievers up by two, and they would not trail again.

With 37 seconds remaining, freshman guard Aaron Morgan (Washington, Pa./Council Rock North) drained two free throws to put UMBC up by five but the hosts cut the lead to three on a tip-in byJimmy Gray.  Binghamton got the ball again down just three, could not complete the comeback as Gray's last second heave clanked off the rim to seal the win for the Retrievers.

UMBC started the game hot, hitting its first three shots to jump out to an early 8-2 lead.  This would prove to be the largest lead of the game for either team as the Bearcats clawed right back with an 8-1 run to take their first lead of the game 10-9 following a three-pointer by Taylor Johnston.  The tight play continued as each team answered the others' runs.

Binghamton tied the game and then took the lead 25-24 on two free throws by Javon Rolling, but went into halftime trailing after Plummer cut through the defense for a lay-in and the Retrievers stymied the host's final attempt.

The second frame proved to be even tighter as the two rivals were knotted with the same score on another five occasions. 

Following another lay-in by Plummer at the 18:56 mark to tie the game at 29-29, Binghamton held the Retrievers scoreless for nearly three minutes, but could only build a four-point advantage. While UMBC could not match its hot shooting from the weekend at Boston University (52.5-percent), the Retrievers limited Binghamton to just 38.9-percent shooting to hang in on the road.

The Retrievers hung tough through their defense and never trailed by more than two before Cook's three put them up for good.

UMBC now returns home to the RAC Arena to begin the second half of America East play against Maine on Saturday, Feb. 2.  Tip-off between the Retrievers and Black Bears is set for 7:00 p.m.

Game Notes

-          With the win, UMBC tightens Binghamton's all-time series lead to 11-9. 

-          After losing five consecutive road games at the Events Center from 2008-2011, the Retrievers have now won in Vestal two straight years.

-          Neller's six three's bring his career total to 224 and move him into sole possession of fifth place all-time at UMBC ahead of Brian Hodges.