Dec. 27, 2008
NEW ORLEANS - Senior Daniel Puckett led three Green Wave players into double figures with 20 points, but Binghamton's D.J. Rivera scored 22 of his game-high 24 points in the second half to help the Bearcats slip past Tulane, 74-73, in front of 1,104 at Fogelman Arena.
Tulane (5-6) and Binghamton (6-4) traded the lead 16 times and the contest featured 10 ties. The Green Wave took its last lead when Puckett was fouled on a made lay-up and he drained the ensuing free throw for the conventional three-point play to give TU a 60-58 advantage with 5:36 remaining in the game.
However, Tulane's lead was short lived as Emanuel Mayben broke free for a lay-up to tie the game at 60 apiece. The teams once again traded the lead before Rivera and teammate Dwayne Jackson sandwiched a pair of three-pointers around two free throws from Tulane junior Kevin Sims to give the Bearcats a 68-64 advantage with 2:53 remaining.
Binghamton extended the lead to six points, its largest of the game, on a Jackson lay-up with just under two minutes left. However, the Green Wave scraped back into the contest on a pair of Sims free throws and junior Asim McQueen grabbed a missed lay-up by Sims and laid in the uncontested shot underneath the basket to draw Tulane to within two points, 70-68, with over a minute to go.
But Tulane was unable to come up with key rebounds down the stretch and was forced to foul. The Bearcats hit four charity shots to once again lead by six points with 0:09 remaining. Sims fed senior Robinson Louisme for a dunk with 0:08 left in the game and Sims drained a long trey at the buzzer for the final score.
"Binghamton came in and made plays in the last five minutes of the game and we were not able to defend them enough to win the game on our home floor," Tulane head coach Dave Dickerson said. "D.J. Rivera had 22 points in the second half and was the deciding factor in the game. He scored every bucket down the stretch and got every big rebound. We were not able to score the basketball and come up with timely rebounds that we needed to, and that's what cost us the game."
Sophomore Kris Richard finished with 15 points, while Sims chipped in 11 points and five assists. Puckett also grabbed a team-best seven boards.
Along with Rivera, Malik Alvin contributed 14 points and six assists, while Jackson finished with 13 points, and Mayben added 11 points.
Tulane led for a majority of the first half, building its largest lead of five points on several occasions, including its last one a jumper by sophomore Johnny Mayhane at the 11:37 mark in the opening period. Binghamton took a brief lead on a pair of Jackson three-pointers, but Richard trey at 4:49 gave the Wave the lead for the remainder of the period and the Green Wave led at intermission, 36-35.