The Binghamton Bearcats used a strong surge late in the first half to pull to within four points of the defending Big East Champion Providence Friars last night at the Dunkin' Donuts Center in Providence.  But the hopes of an upset win vanished early in the second half when the Friars came out with a 16-1 run and never looked back downing the Bearcats 66-45 in a Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament game.

The Bearcats were down in the early going 19-3 but scored the final seven points in the first half to trail 33-29.  Providence outscored Binghamton 33-16 in the second half and did not allow a Bearcat basket until Romello Walker scored with 6:46 to go in the game.

The young Bearcats who started all freshmen and sophomores got good performances from Dusan Perovic with 13 points, Nick Madray  with 10 and Romello Walker with 9 points.

Featuring a much bigger lineup including  7'0" and 7'2" forwards the Friars owned the boards out-rebounding Binghamton 49-26.  It is the second time Providence has topped Binghamton teams.  The Friars defeated BU 119-58 in 2001.

The Bearcats continue a busy schedule by hosting Hartwick at the Events Center tomorrow night at 7 PM (air at 6:50 on News Radio 1290 WNBF).  Binghamton then heads to the Mohegan Sun in Connecticut for games versus Manhattan Friday and either Navy or Northeastern on Sunday.