Hit the front end of a one-and-one.
That was all senior guard Bryan Dougher needed to do on Sunday in the America East semifinals in order to tie the Stony Brook Division-I program scoring record.
“I didn’t know it was on the line there, my mom and my girlfriend told me afterwards,” Dougher said on Wednesday. “I honestly put the record in the back of my mind and I wasn’t even thinking about it.”
Good thing, too, because the free throw rimmed out, and Dougher did not score again all game. The Seawolves went on to win, however, giving Dougher another chance.
There is no avoiding it now. He stands at 1,589 career points for Stony Brook, just one shy of the 1,590 scored by D.J. Munir during his career for Stony Brook from 2000-04, and the Seawolves’ win in the semifinals means that Dougher, who leads the Seawolves with 13.3 points per game, is a lock to break the record in the America East championship game against Vermont on Saturday (11 a.m., ESPN2, WUSB 90.1 FM).
For Dougher, who said he does not think about the record at all during games, the scoring record represents everything he set out to do as an individual at Stony Brook.
“It was the first goal I set when I got here, was to not only win but my first personal goal was to beat the division-I scoring record, and I’m almost there,” Dougher said.
Dougher already holds a piece of history in the all-time Stony Brook record for three-pointers made, with 331 – more than a hundred more than the former record holder. To Seawolves head coach Steve Pikiell, for Dougher to set the scoring record would only be fitting.
“It’s just a tribute to him to get the scoring championship in school history,” Pikiell said. “He’s been unbelievable on and off the court. From day one he hasn’t missed a day of practice, he hasn’t missed a game.”
Just as important as his toughness – Dougher has started every game since his freshman year – was his willingness to take a chance on Stony Brook at a time when the program was nothing.
“We were the ninth-place team in the league, and probably out of nine teams we were probably closer to the 15th place than close to the eight,” Pikiell said. “He believed in us when nobody believed in us in basketball, and he’s just been a rock for our program.”
Four years later, Dougher has two regular season championships under his belt. But Pikiell has bigger plans for his point guard.
“I’m real happy for him and proud but I want him to wrap up his senior year with a trip to the dance,” Pikiell said. “He’ll break it quickly in this game. So hopefully we’ll get done with that and we’ll be moving on to other goals for him.”
Other goals like bringing March Madness to Stony Brook for the first time in school history, an achievement not lost on Dougher.
“This will be the biggest game of my career ever,” Dougher said. “I don’t think (a win would) sink in right away, but that was the goal four years ago when I stepped onto campus.”
Amy Streifer contributed reporting.
Two years ago, the men’s basketball team won the America East regular season title for the first time. It followed that by hosting the first post-season basketball game in Stony Brook Division-I history, a National Invite Tournament game against Illinois.
And on Saturday, the Seawolves men’s basketball team will host the No. 2 Vermont Catamounts in the America East championship game, with the conference championship and the resulting NCAA tournament bid on the line. But first, the Seawolves have to get past the Catamounts, which could prove difficult in itself.
Last weekend, the Seawolves barely scraped through the quarter and semifinal rounds of the tournament with wins over No. 9 Binghamton and No. 4 Albany.On Saturday, the Seawolves relinquished a lead to the Bearcats in the second half, only to pull away and win by a 78-69 score.Then on Sunday, it took a last-second tip from senior Dallis Joyner to send the Seawolves through, as Joyner scored with 0.4 seconds left in the game to break a 55-55 tie.
Now, the Seawolves face a very tough Catamounts team that has survived the trap of the America East tournament, outlasting the resilient Hartford Hawks, who had already upset No.3 Boston University, beating the Hawks in double overtime, 77-73.Vermont had four players score in double digits, led by Sandro Carissimo with 18. Four McGlynn had 16 points for the Catamounts, including four three-pointers. Both will have an impact for Vermont, who was one of the two teams to beat Stony Brook in the America East regular season.Senior captain Bryan Dougher, who already holds the record for three-pointers made, will almost certainly break the Stony Brook Division-I scoring record, as he is just two points away from the 1,590 points scored by D.J. Munir, who played for Stony Brook from 2000-04.
It does not hurt, either, that the game will be at home, where the Seawolves have yet to lose. All 13 home games, while played in Pritchard Gymnasium and not in the Arena, which is downstairs, have been wins for Stony Brook, which joins the likes of Syracuse, Kentucky and Michigan State in being undefeated on home court this season.
The championship game is scheduled to tip off at 11 a.m., and will be aired live on ESPN2.
Stony Brook survived Binghamton on Saturday afternoon to advance to the America East semifinals. Here’s everything you need to know about today’s matchup:
Who: No.1 Stony Brook vs. No.4 Albany
When/Where: 5 p.m., Sunday, March 4 at Chase Family Arena on the campus of the University of Hartford
Last Time Out:
Stony Brook barely scraped past No. 9 Binghamton in the quarterfinals, winning 78-69. Binghamton tied the game up in the second half, but a huge Seawolves run put the game out of reach. Tommy Brenton led the Seawolves with 14 points, 11 rebounds, five steals and three assists.
Albany cruised in its quarterfinal game, knocking off No. 5 New Hampshire, 63-45. Geraldo Suero was the lead performer for the Great Danes, scoring 24 points and grabbing nine rebounds.
-Stony Brook defeated Albany in both regular season meetings, winning the home leg 81-68 and the away 76-69.
-Senior Bryan Dougher is 17 points away from breaking Stony Brook’s Division-I scoring record.
-Brenton’s five steals in Saturday’s quarterfinal were a championship tournament record
-Stony Brook has never lost against Albany in the championship playoffs, winning twice
-The Seawolves are 22-9 all-time when Tommy Brenton scores in the double digits.
Stony Brook — Tommy Brenton (8.1 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 3.3 apg), Bryan Dougher (13.3 ppg, 3.6 rpg)
Albany — Geraldo Suero (21.8 ppg, 5.8 rpg), Logan Aronhalt (13.8 ppg), Mike Black (13.5 ppg)
Keys to the Game:
1) Stop Suero: The Albany junior has been a dominant scorer all year, and some felt he had an argument for the player of the year award that went to Boston’s Darryl Partin. He’s efficient, with the seventh-best field goal percentage in the conference. And he’s in the top ten in the America East in a bunch of other categories: rebounding, assists, steals and free throw shooting.
2) Get Dougher Going Dougher was cold in the quarterfinal, going just 1-for-5 from three. It’s been something of a trend of late, but getting him to shoot the way that everyone has seen him shoot could be very important in keeping up with Albany should the Seawolves fail at holding them back.
3) Stop Suero: Not a typo — it just can’t be emphasized enough. Stony Brook isn’t an incredibly consistent scoring offense, and to get in a shootout with Albany — which is almost inevitable — could be very dangerous for the Seawolves.
So this is it. A second regular-season championship in three years, and now the Seawolves have never been in a better position to make it to the NCAA national championship tournament.
The road to the tourney goes through Hartford, where Stony Brook will have to avoid some early March madness in the conference tournament – a feat that has been easier said than done in recent years. But this group has the talent, the depth and the leadership to punch its ticket to the dance.
Please, please don’t blow it.
For the first time since they arrived here, the starters on the floor for Stony Brook will be more senior than their opponents. It’s important that they take advantage of it this time.
Last year, after a season that started with high expectations and was riddled with injuries along the way, the Seawolves improbably made it to the conference finals, only to blow an enormous lead under the weight of a huge second-half performance by Boston University senior John Holland.
That one hurt, but this year, the seniors waiting to have a monster game are wearing Stony Brook uniforms.
Danny Carter, Al Rapier, Dallis Joyner and Bryan Dougher are all playing in their final season, and this is their last chance to make another mark on Stony Brook and the America East.
Make no mistake — this senior class, and let’s include Tommy Brenton, who is a junior after sitting out last season with an injury — has already made its mark on this program. When they came in, Stony Brook wasn’t even getting a winning record, much less conference titles. Dougher turned down Princeton to play for Stony Brook, and now stands 30 points away from having the most points in the school’s Division-I history. They took a chance on Stony Brook, betting on head coach Steve Pikiell and their own abilities to take them to the ultimate prize of the NCAA tournament.
Now, they stand three games away. Each game will be the biggest they’ve ever played, in part because each could be the last in college for these seniors.
And it’s important that they treat it this way. The conference tournament is never a cakewalk, as proven by Stony Brook last year. And last week, Binghamton — possibly the worst team in the country at a dismal 0-26 — knocked off America East frontrunners Vermont in a game that gave the Seawolves the inside track to this regular season championship.
But this group has been good about keeping its focus all year. That’s how the team got here in the first place, taking care of business against the lesser teams.
Sunday’s game was a prime example of this, as the Seawolves handled a Maine team that finished in the middle of the pack. It was an easy game to look past, but Stony Brook stayed level and celebrated as a result.
All year, the players have talked about how the coaching staff has kept on them, never letting them rest on their laurels or take a game off.
“They’re too confident,” Pikiell often said in the post-press conference. He deserves a lot of the credit for putting this group together and keeping them playing as hard as they can all game, every game.
They will need every ounce of that effort and focus next weekend. Add a dash of seniority, a sprinkle of good shooting and a healthy helping of defense and rebounding (Brenton being back in the mix doesn’t hurt, either) and the championship game will be in Stony Brook on March 10.
So this is it: NCAA tournament or bust. But first, take care of business, and bring the championship game to Stony Brook.
Two years ago, when Stony Brook men’s basketball won its first regular season America East title, the student sections poured onto the court in celebration.
But on Sunday, when the Seawolves wrapped up a second regular season championship in three years with a 55-48 victory over Maine, the Red Zone stayed put.
There are loftier goals this year.
The win – Stony Brook’s 14th America East victory, a program record – makes the Seawolves the top seed in next week’s America East championship tournament in Hartford. It also gave this year’s outgoing senior class of Dallis Joyner – who led the way with 12 points and six rebounds — Bryan Dougher, Danny Carter and Al Rapier a celebration in what was their last game at Pritchard Gymnasium.
“It’s a tremendous honor,” Carter said of winning a second title with this senior class. “We kinda came in fearless. It didn’t matter to us what the history was, we were going to make our own history. We did that, a little bit. But we’re not finished yet.”
Stony Brook will play the winner of Thursday night’s game between Binghamton and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County in the quarterfinals of the America East championship tournament next Saturday. The semifinals will be held on Sunday, March 4, and should the Seawolves win both games, the final would be played at Stony Brook.
The winner of the America East championship tournament earns the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA national championship tournament.
On Monday, it seemed a long shot that Stony Brook would even get the top seed, after a loss to Vermont gave the Catamounts the same record as the Seawolves and the inside track to the top spot via the tiebreaker.
But on Tuesday, Vermont lost to previously winless Binghamton and Stony Brook took care of business at Hartford, giving Stony Brook the opportunity to win the regular season title outright and secure the top seed with the win over Maine on Sunday.
“Coach Dan (Rickard) told us earlier in the season, Binghamton is going to win a game, we didn’t know who it was going to be against,” Joyner said. “I never lost faith, I knew that every team in this league could beat you.”
On Sunday, Stony Brook cruised through the first part of the first half, building up a 15-point lead with 8:42 to go in the half. The Seawolves were in total control, outrebounding the Black Bears 16-8 and scoring 12 second-chance points to Maine’s zero.
But a 13-4 Maine run before halftime cut the Seawolves lead to six at halftime.
The Stony Brook offense continued to sputter in the second half, as Maine cut the lead to one point early on. The Black Bears crashed the boards hard, taking the rebounding advantage and dominating inside. Dougher, who was 29 points away from the Stony Brook Division-I program scoring record coming in, was 0-for-6 from the field in the second half, finishing with nine points.
“Every team tries to limit my looks,” Dougher said. “But I missed some good ones, and I took some tough ones. They just didn’t really fall today.”
But the Seawolves were able to hang on throughout. With the lead at one, Rapier drove inside and hit the basket and drew a foul with a little under nine minutes left in the game. Joyner hit a layup immediately after, then grabbed a defensive rebound, was fouled, and sank both parts of the one-and-one to give Stony Brook some breathing room at 46-39 with 8:30 to go.
Stony Brook was able to hold on the rest of the way, buckling down on defense.
“We grinded it out, and that’s what we pride ourselves on doing,” Dougher said. “We came up with the big stops when we needed it.”
The next game for the Seawolves is the quarterfinal of the America East championship tournament in West Hartford, Conn., on Saturday, March 3.
Rebounding from a devastating loss to Vermont last Sunday, the Stony Brook men’s basketball team recovered from a nine-point second-half deficit to beat the Northeastern University Huskies, 76-69, on Saturday afternoon in Boston.
Sophomore Dave Coley led the Seawolves with 21 points, including some clutch free throw shooting at the end of the game to seal Stony Brook’s 15th win in 17 games. Senior Dallis Joyner added a doule-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
The Seawolves (18-8) have rolled through conference play, defeating each team once with only the loss to Vermont and a January defeat at Boston University blemishing their 12-2 conference record. The loss to Vermont (19-10, 12-2 AE) gave the Catamounts the inside track to the top seed in the America East championship tournament with just two conference games to go.
Stony Brook will visit fifth place Hartford (8-19, 7-7 AE) on Tuesday before wrapping up the regular season against seventh place Maine on Feb. 26 at 1 p.m. Vermont, meanwhile, will play winless Binghamton (0-25, 0-13 AE) and second-to-last place University of Maryland, Baltimore County (4-23, 3-11) to close out its conference season before the championships begin on March 1 in Hartford.
Saturday’s game, part of the ESPN BracketBusters series, was Stony Brook’s final non-conference game of the season.
A 16-6 Northeastern run in the middle of the second half stretched the host’s lead to 55-46 with a little over eight minutes to go in the game.
But the Seawolves clawed their way back, starting with a put-back dunk by junior Tommy Brenton with 4:46 left in the game. Brenton would finish with 13 points, seven rebounds, seven assists, two blocks and two steals.
Brenton assisted on a Coley three that brought the Seawolves back within two points, then dunked again to put Stony Brook ahead for good.
“I thought we played really well today, had good energy and made big plays,” Seawolves head coach Steve Pikiell said in a press release. “At the end, we made some defensive stops, grabbed offensive rebounds and made the most of our opportunities against a very good team. Now we look forward to getting back to league play Tuesday at Hartford.”
Tuesday’s game at Hartford is scheduled to tip off at 7 p.m., and can be heard on WUSB 90.1 FM.
Getting goals from eleven different players, Stony Brook blew out Manhattan 19-3 Wednesday evening at LaValle Stadium.
Junior Janine Hillier lead the way for Stony Brook with 3 goals and 5 assists. Junior Demmianne Cook and freshman Amber Kupres also had scored 3 goals in the rout.
Stony Brook dominated Manhattan early. After Cook scored her second goal of the game with 13:03 left in the first half, the clock began to go onto running time.
By the end of the first half, Stony Brook was up 15-0, having out-shot Manhattan 20-1.
As time expired, Stony Brook’s Kaitlyn Harrison attempted a behind-the-back shot, but was stopped by Manhattan goalkeeper Christina Fiorinelli.
In the second half, Stony Brook head coach Joe Spallina slowed the tempo of his offense and began to play more of his bench players.
Chrissy Gutenberger scored all three of Manhattan’s goals in the second half.
Stony Brook will finish a three-game homestand on Sunday against Central Connecticut State next Sunday at 1 p.m.
The NCAA issued a public reprimand and suspension from Stony Brook’s next championship opportunity to junior Matt Faiella of the Seawolves football team, according to an NCAA release last week.
Faiella, officially a linebacker on the roster even though he has seen most of his playing time at fullback, was found to have used “an inappropriate and offensive racial reference on his Twitter page to describe Towson University student-athletes.” Because both Towson and Stony Brook were participating in the FCS (Football Championship Subdivision) championships at the time of the tweet, it was considered championship misconduct, the release explained.
Stony Brook appealed the decision, but the public reprimand and suspension were upheld by the Administrative Committee of the NCAA Division I Championships/Sports Management Cabinet.
As Stony Brook was no longer participating in the championships when the process was completed, Faiella’s suspension will apply to the next championship in which his team is involved.
“This was a very unfortunate incident, but racially insensitive characterizations are unacceptable and will not be tolerated,” said Jim O’Day, chair of the Division I Football Championship Committee and director of athletics at the University of Montana. “The offensive language of this nature by Mr. Faiella, whether intentional or not, was unsportsmanlike and discredited the championship overall.”
A Stony Brook athletics spokesperson said that the department was aware of the incident, but that no one would be made available for comment and the department had no statement to make.
Faiella, a health sciences major, played in all 13 games for the Seawolves, starting in one.
Stony Brook won an outright Big South championship and an FCS playoff game for the first time in school history in 2011, before exiting the championship at Sam Houston State on Dec. 3. Spring practice begins in March in preperation for the next season.
It had been a long time since the Stony Brook men’s basketball team was behind on the scoreboard at the end of the second half — nine straight games, dating back nearly a month to Jan. 14 at Boston University.
But that losing taste was in the Seawolves’ mouths again on Sunday, as the University of Vermont Catamounts wrenched the pole position in the race for the top seed in the America East championships away from Stony Brook with a 68-49 win in Burlington.
If both Stony Brook and Vermont win their remaining games, they will finish with identical records at the top of the table, but the Catamounts will earn the top seed courtesy of the tiebreaker.
The Seawolves (17-8, 12-2 AE) failed to make a single three-point basket, going a combined 0-for-15 from beyond the arc. Senior Bryan Dougher was responsible for seven of those misses.
Senior Dallis Joyner was the only Seawolf that did not have an off night, as he went 5-for-5 from the floor, contributing 13 points.
Freshman Four McGlynn led the Catamounts (17-10, 11-2 AE) with 24 points.
It was Vermont that got off to a strong start, pulling away to an early 21-9 lead. But the Seawolves clawed their way back to within one point and went into the locker room down 23-22.
The second half was all Catamounts. Vermont went on a 13-0 run in the middle of the second to stretch the lead to 48-30 with just seven and a half minutes to go.
Stony Brook was unable to recover despite the best efforts of sophomore Dave Coley, who scored seven of his nine points in the second half.
The Seawolves shot just 33 percent from the field and an icy 58 percent from the free throw line, and the visitors made just one field goal in the final 4:30.
The loss came on the heels of Stony Brook’s ninth straight conference win, which was at home against the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, on Thursday night.
The Seawolves barely escaped with a win over the league’s second-worst team, beating the Retrievers 80-68. The score was tied about halfway through the second half when Stony Brook went on an 8-0 run to take the lead for good.
Four Seawolves scored in double digits, with sophomore Anthony Jackson leading the way with 17 points. Dougher had 16, while Joyner and Marcus Rouse had 14 each.
Stony Brook has a week off before heading to Boston to take on Northeastern at 1 p.m. on Saturday as a part of the ESPN Bracketbusters series. The game did not make the ESPN television package, but can be heard live on WUSB 90.1 FM.
Seawolves head coach Steve Pikiell loves to tout his team’s league-leading defense. But on Saturday night, it was once again the offense that took center stage as the Stony Brook men’s basketball team knocked off the Albany Great Danes, 76-69, at SEFCU Arena.
Following up on an 80-48 demolition of Binghamton on Wednesday night, the Seawolves kept the offense hot, using an efficient second half to power past the Great Danes, who were handed their first home loss of the season.
Senior Al Rapier picked up a double-double, scoring 10 points and grabbing 12 rebounds for the Seawolves, while sophomore Dave Coley led the team in scoring with 17 points.
Senior Bryan Dougher continued his personal hot streak as well, putting up 14 points for Stony Brook.
Stony Brook started off strong, taking a 16-9 lead after a 9-0 run punctuated by an Anthony Jackson three-pointer. Jackson scored 11 points, and was 3-for-3 from three-point range.
Albany went on a 9-0 run, led by Gerardo Suero, who had seven of those points, including a three-point play at 6:52 to put the Great Danes back on top, 23-21. The Seawolves trailed by three at the half.
Coley’s efforts early in the second pushed Stony Brook back in front for good with a layup at the 16:58 mark.
Albany got back within two, but the Seawolves were able to maintain their distance, leading by as many as 11 with a little over two minutes to play. Stony Brook made enough free throws in the end to complete the victory and hang on to first place in the America East.
Stony Brook is now 10-1 in America East play, and holds a one-game lead over second-place Vermont. Boston University fell to 8-3 with a 68-67 loss to the Catamounts last week.
The Seawolves continue conference play on Monday night at New Hampshire (8-13, 3-7 AE). Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. The game can be seen live on ESPN3.com.
Binghamton University hadn’t won a game all season when they entered Pritchard Gymnasium to take on the first-place Stony Brook men’s basketball team on Wednesday night, so it was understandable if they found hope in a slow start for the Seawolves.
But that start rapidly devolved into a plain old blowout, as Stony Brook pulled away in the first and cruised in the second to a 82-48 win over the last-place Bearcats.
Anthony Jackson led the Seawolves off the bench with 14 points, and Bryan Dougher had 13. Every Seawolf who saw time scored and got a rebound, and nine different Seawolves contributed assists in the game, totaling 19. The Stony Brook bench accounted for 45 points in a total team effort.
“We try to stay ready to provide that spark off the bench, so it’s no dropoff when the first team comes off,” Marcus Rouse, who scored 11 for the Seawolves, said.
“I think we have a starting five on the bench, honestly,” Jackson added.
The Seawolves started the game sluggishly, going only 3 for 8 in the first five minutes and allowing the Bearcats to keep it close.
Then the three-pointers rained down, as Jackson (2), Lenny Hayes (2) and Marcus Rouse contributed to five straight three-pointers, giving the Seawolves a 21-8 lead with 11:15 to go in the first.
It was all part of dominating 44-9 run that saw the Seawolves take a 50-15 lead into the half. It was a dream half for Stony Brook, which shot as good from three-point range as it did from the free throw line, hitting 75 percent from each. The team tallied 11 assists from five different players, including four for Dallis Joyner.
Jackson led the way with 14 first-half points, including four three-pointers.
“It was our defense, we played good defense,” Pikiell said. “It doesn’t really matter how many threes you make when you hold a team to 15 [first-half points].”
The shooting cooled off slightly in the second half, but not by much — the Seawolves sank a program-record 14 three-pointers.
“Those guys can hit shots, so I wasn’t surprised,” Pikiell said. “Those guys are all very capable of hitting threes, and tonight they put it together.”
The win extended Stony Brook’s unbeaten streak at Pritchard Gym to 12, dating back to last season. It also clinched a winning record in the regular season for just the second time in America East play.
Ron Bracey missed the game with a knee injury, but is expected back in the lineup soon.
Stony Brook now goes on the road for five of its next six, with the next game at Albany on Saturday. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.
A collective sigh of relief went out from Seawolves nation and a few overzealous students even rushed the floor as Stony Brook men’s basketball beat the Boston University Terriers for the first time in nearly two years, 66-57, Friday night at Pritchard Gymnasium.
“Our coaches have been reminding us about that streak all season,” junior Tommy Brenton, who finished with nine points, eight rebounds and four steals, said. ”Coming into this game we knew, it was in our scouting report. Five in a row they had our number. So we had to play harder, play more defense, play better offense. We needed this win bad.”
The victory handed the Seawolves (13-7, 8-1 AE) sole possession of first place in the America East conference, and extending Stony Brook’s winning streak at Pritchard to 11 games, one shy of the school’s Division-I program record.
Senior Bryan Dougher led the Seawolves with 20 points, including three three-pointers.
“If he misses 10 shots, he’s going to take shot 11, 12, 13,” Pikiell said of Dougher. “He’s got a good swagger about him.”
The Terriers (11-12, 7-2 AE) have been responsible for Stony Brook exiting the conference championship tournament for the past two seasons, including a come-from-behind victory in last year’s tournament final, and haven’t lost to Stony Brook in five meetings. Boston is also the only team to have beaten the Seawolves in conference play this year, but that 61-55 loss was avenged on Friday.
From the beginning, a Seawolves win was very much in doubt. Boston guard Darryl Partin came out of the gate firing, hitting four of five from three-point range in the first half. He finished with 21 points and six rebounds. “That’s just what he does,” Pikiell said.
But the Seawolves buckled down defensively, going on a 25-9 run over most of the last 10 minutes that led to a halftime lead, 37-33.
Stony Brook carried the momentum out of the break, going on a 10-1 run. But then the offense hit a wall. Boston would be the only team to score from the field for more than 10 minutes. The Terriers regained the lead with 8:56 left in the game, and continued on a run of their own, scoring 17 unanswered points.
“They pressured us a little more at that point in the game, and we didn’t really execute well, set screens well, guys weren’t getting open,” Dougher said. “It’s happened to us a few times before, but we’re a veteran team and tonight we were able to pull out of it, and it really showed a lot about the character of our guys.”
A slam by Al Rapier gave the Seawolves a glimmer of hope with just 4:12 to go, as Stony Brook trailed, 53-52. The lead went back to the home team on a Joyner free throw with just under three minutes to play, then a Dougher three with 2:29 on the clock sent the packed house into a frenzy and cemented the Seawolves lead for good.
Strong free throw shooting down the stretch – 80 percent in the last two minutes — gave Stony Brook its 10th win in 11 games. But the Seawolves say they are prepared to press on and not ease into complacency.
“It’s still halfway through, so we’ll take it game by game and not relax and slip up in the remaining games,” Brenton said.
The Seawolves continue America East play on Wednesday when they host Binghamton at 7 p.m.
There’s no team in the America East with a better record against Stony Brook this season than Boston University, and that’s exactly who will be trying to spoil the Seawolves’ perfect home record at 9 p.m. on Friday night at Pritchard Gymnasium.
The game, nationally televised on ESPNU and billed as a red-out – with the Seawolves wearing their red away jerseys — by the school, will hand the winner sole possession of first place in the America East conference. Boston and Stony Brook have identical 7-1 conference records.
And even though the Terriers defeated Stony Brook in Boston just two weeks ago in Boston – the Seawolves’ only loss in the last 10 games — for senior Dallis Joyner, the pressure doesn’t come from the prospect of losing again, but from the clock winding down on his college basketball career.
“I just think that every game is added pressure now because it’s coming down to minutes for us,” he said. “Every possession counts now. It’s going to be over soon, so you’ve got to take advantage of that.”
The Seawolves haven’t beaten Boston since Jan. 30, 2010, when Stony Brook earned a 71-55 win. Since, The Terriers have come out on top in five consecutive meetings, including last season’s America East championship game and a conference tournament matchup the year before.
Despite that streak and the quick turnaround after Wednesday night’s 60-37 drubbing of Hartford, the Seawolves feel they are prepared to deal with the Terriers.
“We’re gonna go after it,” Stony Brook head coach Steve Pikiell said. “We’re capable, very capable. If we play defense like we did tonight, like we’ve been, we’ll be fine and we always score enough points to win. But it will be a challenge, they’re the best team in the league.”
The magnitude of the game doesn’t add any pressure for Stony Brook’s rock and leading scorer, senior Bryan Dougher. Dougher averages 13.7 points per game and can be deadly from beyond the three-point arc, as he was when he scored a season-high 23 on Wednesday.
“We’re going to come in and do what we always do,” he said “I’d be surprised if any coaching staff in the country watches more film and prepares better than our coaches do, so we’ll be prepared.”
Playing at home won’t hurt, either.
“Home court has been a big advantage for us for the past three years,” Pikiell said. “It’s been a tough place to play. Hopefully Friday it will be a real tough place to play.”