LOWELL, Mass. – Graduate student John Hall (Philadelphia, Pa.) registered a double-double off the bench for the UMass Lowell men’s basketball team (13-13, 5-9 AE) in a 78-64 setback against Binghamton (11-13, 8-7 AE) at the Tsongas Center on Saturday.
Although the game featured nine lead changes and the score was only separated by a bucket seven minutes into the second, Binghamton used 79.2% shooting from the floor after halftime to pull ahead for the remainder of the outing.
“Our backs are really against the wall now,” said Head Coach Pat Duquette. “We will see how we respond.”
Hall, who totaled 10 points and 10 rebounds, was one of four double-digit performers for the River Hawks. Senior Allin Blunt (Crownsville, Md.) paced all UMass Lowell scorers with 15 points, while sophomores Ayinde Hikim (Washington, D.C.) and Max Brooks (Waldorf, Md.) chipped in with 14 and 10, respectively.
The teams established a fast tempo right from the tip and traded baskets on either end of the court with the board even on two occasions before Hall took control and scored the first six of eight unanswered points for the River Hawks to create a 19-11 margin with 11:45 remaining in the first half.
Jumpers from Blunt and sophomore Quinton Mincey (Upper Marlboro, Md.) stretched the difference to nine less than three minutes later. However, an 11-2 spurt by the visitors erased the difference and knotted the score, 26-26, at 4:51. The Bearcats then forced two more stalemates in the waning minutes before scoring a breakaway layup in the final seconds to take a slight, 34-32 edge into the break.
Binghamton stretched its lead to two possessions coming out of halftime, but Brooks hit a jumper and Hikim followed with a three ball to put the home team back in front, 39-38, with 17:35 still to go.
Although the Bearcats regained a four-point buffer, an alley-oop, and-1 from Mincey and a huge dunk by Brooks made it a one-point game, until the visitors tallied nine straight points to create the first double-digit difference of the night, 56-46, at 10:32.
A long three from senior Everette Hammond (Silver Spring, Md.) put the River Hawks within six and four minutes later, and an and-1 from Hikim closed the gap back to single-digits for the final time, 68-59, with 5:14 on the clock, but the Bearcats outscored the home team 10-5 to seal the outcome.
The River Hawks now host Stony Brook on Wednesday, February 23 at 7 p.m.