Despite Disappointment Binghamton Has A Bright Future

In an arena filled with 3,289 rowdy Stony Brook fans on Wednesday night, Binghamton managed to give them a heck of a scare.

The Bearcats controlled the game’s first half, giving the Seawolves trouble with their press and zone defense. As the crowd got louder in pressure situations, the Bearcats rose to the occasion, hitting tough shots in coming back from down as many as 11 points in the second half to cut the lead to three.

“I thought they gave us everything they had, like they’ve been doing, we gave ourselves a chance to win,” Binghamton head coach Tommy Dempsey said after the 62-57 season-ending loss to Stony Brook. “Couple of times it looked like it was going to get away from us, but we really responded and had a shot in the air to tie the game in the last minute, so I just feel really good about where we are right now heading into next season.”

“I feel like we’ve really grown throughout the year. I can’t wait to get back on the court with these guys in a couple of weeks and start preparing for next year.”

Binghamton controlled the tempo early on, pressing, trapping and playing a strong zone defense that kept the Seawolves from scoring a point for just over six minutes.

“I think we prepared better for this game, last game we played hard, but I don’t think we executed as well as we did this game,” freshman Romello Walker, who added 10 points of his own, said. “I think we came out played hard and we executed.”

They took a punch from Stony Brook, who mounted a second half 14-0 run to grab a lead by as many as 11. They also continued to make the mistakes young teams do, turning the ball over 17 times to just six assists, but they still had a chance to tie in the game’s final minute.

“We play really hard, we don’t pass it quite like we need to, that’s what we’re going to have to get better at,” Dempsey said. “We have a young team that turns the ball over and we have found a way to play through that.”

“We don’t blame each other, we just keep moving forward and defending. We know that we’re turnover prone, at times we don’t shoot the ball great. We have some offensive deficiencies with this young squad this early in their careers, but we’ve learned how to play through those and we’ve done that with energy and defense.”

While their record finishes at 6-26, one fewer win than last season’s performance, the progress on the court reflects in their young talent and their style of play. Freshman Willie Rodriguez, who was named to the America East All-Rookie team, scored a game-high 19 points and showed off his versatile game as a scorer from backing down big men to making open jump shots. Their 2-2-1 full court pressure rattled the Seawolves at times, and at other times turned the ball over near half court, which created scoring opportunities for the Bearcats.

“Where we are today is, I’m really really excited,” Dempsey said. “This isn’t a 6-26 team right now. This is a team that can compete with the top teams in this league and they’re going to get a lot better. It’s going to be a lot of fun here over the next couple of years.”

Ryan Restivo wrote the America East conference preview for the 2014-15 Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook. He covers the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, the America East conference and Hofstra for Big Apple Buckets. You can follow Ryan on Twitter @ryanarestivo or contact Ryan at rrestivo[at]

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