DURHAM, N.H. – Sophomore point guard Chandler Rhoads (Berryville, Va.) matched a season high with 15 points on a career-best seven field goals, but Binghamton University rallied back from a 14-point deficit to post a 66-61 victory over the University of New Hampshire men's basketball team in America East action Saturday afternoon at Lundholm Gymnasium.
Binghamton snapped a four-game losing streak to improve to 4-10 by winning its America East conference opener. UNH now sits at 6-9, 0-3 in America East after suffering its fourth consecutive setback and just its sixth defeat in the last 21 games at Lundholm. The Wildcats also lose for the first time in six games that have been decided by five points or less this season.
Rhoads, UNH's America East Player of the Game, hit 7 of 11 shots for his 15 points, adding two rebounds and an assist. Senior Tyrone Conley (Burlington, Vt.) scored a team-leading 16 points on 6-for-16 shooting from the field, pulled down six rebounds, handed out three assists and recorded two blocks for the Wildcats. Conley extended his double-digit scoring streak to nine games, which is the longest stretch of his career.
Mahamoud Jabbi tallied a game-high 17 points for Binghamton, shooting 7 of 12 from the field. Greer Wright, Binghamton's America East Player of the Game, chipped in with 16 points and five rebounds, hitting 8-for-12, before leaving with an ankle injury with 6:49 remaining in the game.
UNH raced out to a 16-4 lead, connecting on its first four 3-point field goal tries. Junior Brian Benson (Rochester, N.Y.) knocked down a pair of treys, with Conley and Rhoads also hitting from long range.
The Wildcats built the lead to 27-13 with 6:39 left in the half on a Rhoads layup, but Binghamton closed out the half on a 16-6 run, trimming New Hampshire's halftime advantage to 33-29. After starting the season 5-1 when leading at halftime, UNH has now dropped back-to-back games after behind ahead at the break.
Benson recorded nine points and eight rebounds and has now posted eight or more boards in four straight contests, which is the longest streak of his career.
The Bearcats took the lead for the first time, 40-37, with 15:11 left in the game on a 3-point field goal from Chretien Lukusa. Consecutive baskets from Conley re-gained the lead for the Wildcats, and after Wright and sophomore Chris Matagrano (Sayreville, N.J.) traded buckets, a Conley three-point play gave UNH a 46-42 lead with 9:45 remaining.
Binghamton followed with a 13-1 run, however, receiving nine points from Jabbi and four from Wright to take a 55-47 lead with 4:48 left. The Bearcats grabbed the lead for good, 48-46 with 7:43 to play on a jumper from Jabbi, who closed the run with a 3-pointer.
The lead grew to nine – Binghamton's largest of the game – at 64-55 with 1:01 on the clock, but a long jumper from freshman Jordon Bronner (Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.), a pair of Conley free throws and a putback layup from Benson sliced it to 64-61 with 19 seconds left. But after a pair at the line from Jimmy Gray, UNH did not score and stopped fouling as the clock ran out.
Bronner chipped in with five points, two rebounds, three assists and a steal in a career-high 28 minutes. Senior Dane DiLiegro (Lexington, Mass.) tallied four points, six boards and two assists.
Binghamton outshot UNH, 51 percent (26-51) to 41 percent (24-59) from the floor, including 54 percent (14-26) to 35 percent (10-29) in the second half. The Bearcats also turned the ball over just nine times, while forcing 12 Wildcat turnovers. UNH controlled the glass by a 36-25 margin, including 16-6 on the offensive end, which led to a 15-4 advantage in second-chance points.
Conley finished with 1,036 points and moved passed Dirk Koopman (1,023), Paul Dufour (1,026) and Derek Counts (1,026) for 21st place on UNH's all-time scoring list.
UNH welcomes the University of Hartford into Lundholm Gym for an America East conference battle Tuesday night, Jan. 11, at 7 p.m. For tickets, call (603) 862-4000 x 5 or CLICK HERE.