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Men’s Basketball Beats Binghamton, Falls to Albany at Agganis

Terriers play in first America East semifinal since 2003

Brian Macon (MET’07) posted six points, five rebounds, three assists, and two steals in his final collegiate game on Sunday. Photo courtesy of BU Athletics

The men’s basketball Terriers fought right to the end, but couldn’t overcome a second-half scoring drought in their 54-49 loss to the University of Albany in the America East semifinals on March 4. It was the Terriers’ first AE semifinal since 2003, but the team was unable to hold off the defending AE champion Great Danes past halftime.

After defeating sixth-seeded SUNY-Binghamton (13-16) on Saturday, March 3, 62-58, the third-seeded Terriers (12-18) took a halftime lead in Sunday’s game on a last-second put-back by Brian Macon (MET’07). They had trouble with turnovers in the first half, committing 9 of their 12 miscues in that frame. Albany kept up the defensive pressure and held a lead of at least six points until 5:28, when redshirt sophomore Ibrahim Konate (CAS’09) made one of two free throws and redshirt freshman Tyler Morris (SMG’10) curled off a screen to sink a three at 3:07, slicing Albany’s lead to two, 22-20. The Great Danes pushed their edge back to five, but Valdas Sirutis (CGS’08) made an up-and-under with 20 seconds left before the break to give BU its first lead of the game, 25-24.

But BU struggled offensively during the first seven minutes of the second half, missing its first nine shots. Albany went on a 13-2 run and took a 10-point lead, 38-28, with 10:28 remaining in the game. The Great Danes extended that lead to 15 points after Brian Connolly made the second of two free throws at 2:51.

The Terriers didn’t give up — Morris dropped in a three at 2:27, and freshman Carlos Strong (CGS’08) dunked on a fast break, followed by a three-pointer at 1:23 to trim Albany’s advantage to 55-47. Unlike Saturday night, however — when BU came back from two 12-point deficits to defeat Binghamton 62-58 in the quarterfinals — the afternoon’s rally fell short.

“We’ve taken a bunch of steps in the right direction, and we played to the end, which is a credit to these guys,” says BU coach Dennis Wolff. “Albany is a strong, mature, defensive team, and I know when I look at the tape I’m going to wish we were a little more efficient offensively when they were guarding us.”

Morris led the Terriers with 12 points, and Scott Brittain (CAS’10) and Sirutis continued their solid tournament play. Brittain scored nine points and grabbed nine rebounds to earn BU’s America East Player of the Game honors, while Sirutis added six points and five rebounds off the bench. Macon posted six points, five rebounds, three assists, and two steals in his final collegiate game. Jamar Wilson and Jason Siggers tallied 14 and 13 points, respectively, to lead the Great Danes.