Mahamoud Jabbi, seen earlier this season in a game against East Stroudsburg, hit a jumper with 14 seconds lift to lead the Bearcats past Cornell.
Photo by Jonathan Cohen
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Senior forward Mahamoud Jabbi drained an 18-foot jumper from the right corner with 14 seconds left to lift Binghamton to a 69-68 comeback victory over visiting Cornell on Dec. 18 at the Events Center. After Jabbi’s jumper, the Bearcats withstood three Big Red misses in the paint and a few more tips off the rim in a frantic closing six seconds.
The Bearcats trailed for most of the game and were down 64-60 with 2:30 remaining before Jabbi struck. First he drilled a three-pointer from the corner to pull Binghamton to within one, 64-63, with 2:09 left. A driving layup from senior forward Moussa Camara gave the Bearcats a lead, 65-64, with 1:24 left. The teams then traded free throws - senior forward Greer Wright hitting a pair that gave Binghamton a 67-66 lead with 45 seconds left. Cornell moved the ball on the interior for its final basket - a layup by Mark Coury with 30 seconds left that restored the Big Red’s lead, 68-67. But Wright drove the lane on the other end and dished out to Jabbi, who hit the long jumper with a foot on the line for the winning margin.
The Big Red crafted a 13-point halftime lead after shooting 50 percent in the opening frame. Cornell, which enjoyed a 42-27 margin on the glass, put up 18 more shots and had a 20-2 advantage in second-chance points.
But the Bearcats clamped down defensively in the second half, holding Cornell to eight field goals and just 29 percent shooting.
“The game was all about sheer toughness,” head coach Mark Macon said. “It was a great comeback and testament to our guys digging in and taking care of our home court. It was a tale of two halves. Cornell was doing whatever they wanted in the first half and we weren’t playing. Then in the second half we pushed up on them and forced them to do things weren’t comfortable doing. We settled down and played tough, hard-nosed basketball and got our shots.”
Jabbi scored a team-high 13 points on 5-for-7 shooting. Camara added 12 points and six rebounds.
On Dec. 21, Binghamton couldn’t recover from an 18-point deficit and lost to visiting St. Peter’s, 61-56.
Down 12 at intermission, Binghamton held the Peacocks to six field goals and 20 points in the second half but struggled on its own offensive end (9-of-29, 31 percent) and saw its modest two-game win streak snapped.
The Bearcats, who led the first four minutes of the game but never again, nearly rallied for the third straight game in the closing minutes. Down 58-53 with 14 seconds remaining, Wright made an off-balance three-pointer to cut the margin to two, 58-56. Binghamton sent St. Peter’s guard Nick Leon to the line, where he made 1-of-2 with 12 seconds left, giving the Bearcats a chance to tie the game. Electing not to use a timeout, Binghamton left it in the hands of Wright, whose heavily-contested three bid from the wing was short of the rim with four seconds left. Darius Conley sank two free throws with two seconds left to seal the win.
“We need to come out of the gates real aggressive and play 40 minutes,” Macon said. “We needed to execute better in the first half. We need to put a full game together. We just couldn’t finish it off ... it was too little, too late.”
Wright tallied a game-high 18 points (11 in first half) but hit just 6-of-20 from the floor. Camara scored 15 points (all in second half) in 24 minutes and Jabbi set a career-high with 14 rebounds.