VESTAL, N.Y. – Shooting a season-best 62.7% (32-51) from the floor and led by four, double-digit scorers, the UMass Lowell River Hawks men’s basketball team (5-8, 4-5 AE) defeated Binghamton (1-11, 1-8 AE), 92-78, in an offensive showdown on the road on Saturday.
As a team, the River Hawks also controlled the boards in the contest, outrebounding the Bearcats, 40-28. Senior Obadiah Noel led all scorers with 26 points on 85.7% shooting from the field and 12 free throws. With his performance, Noel became just the second River Hawk to surpass 1,500 career points at the Division I level. Sophomore Connor Withers added his second career double-double with 19 points and a personal-best 12 rebounds. Classmate Kalil Thomas (New Orleans, La.) set a career-high of his own with 16 points on the day, while junior Allin Blunt (Bowie, Md.) rounded out the scorers in double figures with 10 points.
“It was great to get a road win against a resilient and well-coached Binghamton team that kept coming back at us,” said Head Coach Pat Duquette.
The River Hawk offense started strong from long range, using a trio of triples in the first five minutes to build an early, 15-4 advantage. The Bearcats scored the next six, including a four-point play, to make it a two-possession game, but freshman Max Brooks (Waldorf, Md.) banked in a layup and followed with a two-handed slam to spark a 12-3 run that put his squad ahead, 27-13, with 9:31 remaining in the first half.
Binghamton responded with a 10-2 spurt of its own to cut the difference to just six and was able to stay within eight until Withers and Blunt combined for three straight buckets to put the River Hawks on top, 40-28, at 4:12. Both sides traded baskets down the stretch, as Blunt and Daley paced the UMass Lowell scoring in the last two minutes, giving the visitors a 47-37 edge at the break.
Coming out of halftime, the Bearcats pulled within five before the River Hawks put together a streak of 12 unanswered that was capped off by a three from Thomas to lead, 61-44, with 14:16 left to play. Less than three minutes later, Thomas drained another long ball and freshman Anthony Blunt (Bowie, Md.) pulled up for a jumper to give UMass Lowell its largest buffer of the afternoon, 68-49, at 11:41.
The River Hawks maintained at least a 14-point advantage until a 14-3 Bearcat run put the home team back within six at 76-70 with 6:46 to go, but layups from Thomas and Withers on three consecutive possessions padded the lead. Binghamton then made it a seven-point game with just over three minutes to go, although Noel and Thomas would tally 10 of the final 13 points of the afternoon to seal the 92-78 outcome.
UMass Lowell and Binghamton will close out the weekend series tomorrow, Sunday, January 16 with a noon tip from the Events Center.
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