DURHAM, N.H. – Senior Jordon Bronner (Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.) scored a game-high 19 points but the University of New Hampshire men's basketball team fell to the Binghamton University Bearcats 72-71 in overtime on Wednesday night at Lundholm Gymnasium.
Tied 71-71 with 1.2 second remaining in overtime, Binghamton's Jordan Reed nailed 1 of 2 free throws to give the Bearcats the victory.
Marlon Beck scored 17 points to pace Binghamton, while Reed added 16 points, six rebounds, three assists, and six steals for the Bearcats, who move to 6-18 overall and 3-9 in the America East with the win.
Bronner scored 19 points on 6-for-11 from the floor and 5-for-7 from beyond the arc to pace UNH. Senior Chris Pelcher (Albany, N.Y.) added his seventh double-double of the season (12 points, 10 rebounds) and Jacoby Armstrong (Sachse, Texas) chipped in with 14 points and five boards for the Wildcats, who fell to 6-18 overall and 4-7 in America East Conference play.
The Bearcats got off to a hot start to open the game, jumping out to a 6-0 lead just 1:25 in. Bronner got UNH on the board a minute later, converting his first 3-pointer of the night on a feed from Jaleen Smith (Freeport, Texas).
After Binghamton's Roland Brown scored a layup and a free throw to put the Bearcats up 9-3, the Wildcats used a 10-3 run to take a 13-12 lead. Armstrong opened the run for UNH when he gathered an offensive rebound and converted a put-back layup. Bronner followed with six of the next eight points for UNH, hitting a pair of 3's to put UNH ahead by one.
Two minutes later, trailing 13-15, the Wildcats launched a 9-0 run to regain the lead. Sophomore Frank Okeke (DeSoto, Texas) got it started for UNH when he hit his only trey of the night. Bronner took the torch from there, draining two more 3-balls to put UNH up 22-15 with 9:25 remaining in the half.
With 6:02 left in the half and down by seven, the Bearcats produced a 9-0 run of their own to go up 28-26.
The teams traded baskets over the next five minutes, but Bighamton took a 36-33 lead into the break.
Bronner led all scorers with 15 points on 5 of 7 shooting at the break. Pelcher added eight first-half points as the Wildcats shot 50.0% from the floor (12-for-24) and 54.5% from downtown (6-for-11).
Karon Waller paced the Bearcat offense in the first period with nine points. Reed chipped in with eight points, three assists, and three steals as Binghamton shot 44.8% (13 of 29) and 40.0% from beyond the arc (4 of 10).
The Bearcats opened the second half much like the first, using an 8-0 run to go ahead by 11, 44-33. The Wildcats quickly answered with five straight points to cut the lead to six, but Binghamton immediately responded with four of its own to extend the lead to 48-38 with 16:03 remaining.
Trailing 50-43, the Wildcats fought back with a 9-0 run to take its first lead of the half. Armstrong scored the first four points of the stretch for UNH, burying two free throws before hitting a jumper from the top of the key to bring UNH within three. Pelcher followed with a jumper of his own before senior Patrick Konan (Gainesville, Fla.), in his first game back from a leg injury, drained a 3-pointer to give UNH the 52-50 lead.
With 4:01 remaining in the game the Wildcats scored four straight points to go up 60-54. Binghamton refused to go away, using a 5-0 run to cut the lead to one point with 1:34 left.
After a pair of Bronner free throws put UNH up three with 4.2 seconds to go, Beck was awarded three free throws after being fouled in the act of shooting a 3. The Binghamton freshman drained all three to knot the score and force overtime.
In the extra session UNH opened with four straight points on a pair of Armstrong free throws and an Armstrong layup. Trailing by four with 1:36 remaining, the Bearcats used a 7-0 run over the next 1:05 of play to go ahead 71-68 with 31 seconds left.
Freshman guard Daniel Dion (Cedar Park, Texas) answered for UNH, hitting a long 3-ball from straight away to tie the score at 71-71 with 19 seconds to go.
Reed got the ball at the end for the Bearcats, taking his defender to the basket and drawing a foul to earn two free throws. The sophomore star hit the back-end of the pair to put the Bearcats ahead for good, 72-71.
UNH shot the ball very well during the contest, hitting on 48.0% of its shots (24-for-50) and 52.4% of its 3's (11-for-21), but was hampered by 18 turnovers. Binghamton shot 35.7% for the game (25 of 70) and 30.4% from deep (7 of 23) to help them earn the win.
The Wildcats return to action Saturday night at 7 p.m. when they travel to Hartford for a date with the Hawks. UNH returns to Lundholm Gymnasium on Wednesday, Feb. 19 when they play host to the University of Vermont at 7 p.m. For tickets, visit UNHWildcats.com or call (603) 862-4000.