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Cortland native and SUNY Cortland graduate Eamonn Mahar and the Bryant University men’s basketball team fell 84-67 to America East Conference opponent Binghamton on Sunday.
The Bearcats made a 14-3 run in the first half and continued to keep the Bulldogs in check for a majority of the contest.
Mahar said Binghamton’s first-half run early on was something the Bulldogs couldn’t adjust to the rest of the game.
The Bulldogs were missing out on two key players for Sunday’s matchup against the Bearcats. Senior guard Sherif Gross-Bullock, who leads the team in points-per-game (17.1), was out with a concussion. Kvonn Cramer is making his way back after being hospitalized for two weeks.
“We played hard (on Sunday),” Mahar said. “But we just have to find a way to be able to contribute and get those points with (Sherif) being out. We have to play defense, value that end (of the floor) and every possession of the game.”
Syracuse native Charles Pride paced the Bulldogs with 17 points and two steals.
“We just have to get back to being ourselves. We have to find our swagger again,” Mahar said. “From my point of view, I have to contribute and stay positive, and be able to be a guy these dudes can lean on when things aren’t going well.”
Eamonn’s father, Buddy, who was at Sunday’s game, told his son to be himself when coaching and to be a “common positive influence” for the players.
“He’s learned that and hopefully he’ll carry that (moving forward),” Buddy Mahar said.
Despite the loss to Binghamton, Buddy Mahar said it’s been encouraging to see Eamonn coaching in the college basketball world. Buddy was a longtime college basketball coach for Columbia University, Fordham University, and Fairleigh Dickinson University.
“It’s something he’s had a life-long passion for. Everything is working out for him,” Buddy Mahar said.
Along with his father, a handful of Eamonn’s family and friends attended Sunday’s game to support his ongoing journey on the sidelines.
“My best friends and my best people are from Cortland,” Eamonn Mahar said. “My dad means the world to me with basketball. It meant a lot that (my family) traveled to come here.”
The Bulldogs, now 13-8 on the season, will look to bounce back in their home game against University at Albany at 7 p.m. Wednesday.
“As much as losses hurt, we can take something from every loss and try to get better,” Eamonn Mahar said. “It’s back to the drawing board. We’re not going to give up. The thing about us is we’re going to keep fighting.”