MAINE vs. BINGHAMTON
Time, site: Saturday, 7 p.m., Events Center, Vestal, N.Y.
Records: Maine 13-7 (7-1 America East), Binghamton 6-15 (3-5)
Series, last meeting: Binghamton leads 12-9, UMaine 77-51 on 1/15/11
Key players: Maine — 6-7 F Troy Barnies (14.2 ppg, 7.7 rpg, .527 FG pct.), 6-3 G Gerald McLemore (12.1 ppg, .824 FT pct.), 6-3 G Terrance Mitchell (10.1 ppg, .480 FG pct., .438 3-pt. FG pct.), 6-1 G Raheem Singleton (8.7 ppg, 4.1 apg), 6-7 F Murphy Burnatowski (7.6 ppg), 6-7 F Alasdair Fraser (5.7 ppg, 4.0 rpg, .553 FG pct.); Binghamton — 6-7 F Mahamoud Jabbi (10.2 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 1.7 bpg, .506 FG pct.), 6-6 F Moussa Camara (9.2 ppg, .786 FT pct.), 6-2 G Chretien Lukusa (7.1 ppg, 2.5 apg), 6-9 C Kyrie Sutton (6.8 ppg, 4.5 rpg, .495 FG pct.), 6-0 G Jimmy Gray (6.3 ppg, .786 FT pct.)
Outlook: The Black Bears look to extend their win streak to seven and maintain their hold on first place in the AE standings coming off Tuesday’s 64-50 victory over New Hampshire. Sixth-place Binghamton has dropped five in a row, including Wednesday’s 71-66 decision at Boston U. UMaine begins a stretch during which it plays two straight and four of the next five on the road. So far, the Bears are 3-0 in league play away from Alfond Arena. The Bearcats are shorthanded as all-conference forward Greer Wright has been rendered ineffective by an ankle injury. Sutton, who didn’t play in the first meeting, returns to bolster the Binghamton frontcourt. The contest matches the league’s top offensive team in UMaine (70.0 ppg, .463 FG pct.) against a Bearcats defense that is giving up 71.1 ppg on 46 percent shooting. Keys for the Bears include limiting the Bearcats to one shot and taking advantage of their considerable depth.
MAINE vs. BINGHAMTON
Time, site: Saturday, 3 p.m., Events Center, Vestal, N.Y.
Records: Maine 3-17 (1-7 America East), Binghamton 13-8 (6-2)
Series, last meeting: Maine leads 10-9, Binghamton 78-52 on 1/15/11
Key players: Maine — 5-9 G Ashleigh Roberts (10.5 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 2.1 apg), 5-9 G Katelyn Vanderhoff (8.4 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 3.3 apg, 2.1 spg), 5-11 G Amber Smith (10.0 ppg, 4.2 rpg), 5-11 G Tanna Ross (7.8 ppg), 6-4 C Ali Nalivaika (5.7 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 2.2 bpg), 6-1 F Shareka Maner (1.2 ppg, 2.3 rpg); Binghamton — 5-6 G Andrea Holmes (14.7 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 4.0 apg, 2.1 spg), 6-0 F Viive Rebane (10.8 ppg, 7.4 rpg, .519 FG pct.), 6-0 G Orla O’Reilly (9.4 ppg), 5-10 F Kara Elofson (9.4 ppg, 7.8 rpg), 5-8 G Jasbriell Swain (9.0 ppg, 7.0 rpg).
Outlook: The Black Bears would dearly love to snap their five-game losing streak, but that will be a tough chore on the road against the Bearcats, who are 7-0 at home. Last-place UMaine is coming off Wednesday’s 67-47 loss to New Hampshire during which the Wildcats scored 41 second-half points. Binghamton has won seven of its last nine games, but lost 65-60 Wednesday at Boston U. The Bears have been bothered by turnovers and the inability to play consistently well on the defensive end. Binghamton thrives on defense and leads AE while allowing only 56 ppg on .358 shooting. The Bearcats also lead the league in rebounding margin at plus-4.2 and are effective scoring in transition. They also had a 41-point second half in the first meeting with UMaine.