Saturday, January 12, 2008

Gordon's 32 Points Leads Binghamton Past Men's Basketball

Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information

Albany, N.Y. – Mike Gordon scored a career-high 32 points and made eight three-point field goals in leading Binghamton to a 71-57 America East Conference victory over UAlbany on Saturday, Jan. 12 at SEFCU Arena.

Binghamton (6-10, AE 2-2) snapped a 46-46 deadlock with eight consecutive points. Gordon, who made 11-of-17 from the field, including 8-of-11 from beyond the arc, drilled a 3-pointer to put his team ahead for good. Lazar Trifunovic, who had 13 points and seven rebounds, followed with a left-handed jump hook on the baseline. Gordon ended the decisive run with a 30-footer that beat the shot clock with 6:45 remaining.

Trifunovic, a 6-foot-8 sophomore, hit a driving bank shot three minutes later for a 60-50 lead. UAlbany (7-9, AE 2-2) closed within five points when Jon Iati delivered a three-pointer from right of the key. The Great Danes’ Jerel Hastings then came up with a steal off the inbounds pass. But Brian Connelly missed in the lane in an effort to make it a one possession game. Binghamton’s Reggie Fuller converted in transition and his team was on the way to its first road win of the season.

“We had great ball movement,” said Gordon, a senior guard who added five rebounds, two assists and two steals. “We worked the ball inside and out, especially when they were trying to double Lazar (Trifunovic). I just knocked down shots.”

In the first half, the Bearcats made their opening six field goal attempts en route to a 16-9 lead, as Gordon canned a 23-footer from the right wing. Milos Klimovic added another long-range jumper to increase his team’s advantage to double figures with 6:02 left in the period.

The Great Danes, who trailed by five at the intermission, rallied from a 44-36 deficit behind the play of Brian Lillis, a 6’5” senior who had 25 points and 11 rebounds. Brian Connelly and Iati each sank three-pointers to help their draw even. Lillis canned a 12-foot bank from the right side to tie the contest at 46 apiece with 9:21 to play.

“(Mike) Gordon dominated the game,” offered UAlbany coach Will Brown, whose team had won 21 of its previous 24 home contests. “He surprised me how well he shot the ball. He is like any good player who gets into a rhythm and gains confidence. We missed a ton of easy shots and were on our heels throughout most of the game.”

Dwayne Jackson added 10 points off the bench for the Bearcats, who shot 55.6 percent from the field on 25-of-45 attempts. Hastings and Connelly netted nine points each, as UAlbany lost for the just second time at home this season.

“There was definitely something missing from top to bottom (today),” said Lillis, who recorded his third career double-double. “We have an inexperienced team with not enough leadership. I am not really concerned with I did, because I hate losing."

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