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Noll’s career night sends Stony Brook men’s basketball to CAA quarterfinals

Shooting guard Dean Noll isolates himself against Northeastern point guard Rashad King on Feb. 3. Noll scored a career-high 23 points in the playoff win over King’s Huskies on Saturday. MACKENZIE YADDAW/THE STATESMAN

A career-high 23 points by shooting guard Dean Noll jolted the Stony Brook men’s basketball team to a win in the second round of the 2024 Coastal Athletic Association (CAA) tournament. 

The seventh-seeded Seawolves (18-14, 10-8 CAA) eliminated the 10th-seeded Northeastern Huskies (12-20, 7-11 CAA) on Saturday night at the Entertainment & Sports Arena in Washington, D.C. The trio of Noll, point guard Aaron Clarke and small forward Tyler Stephenson-Moore combined for 63 points to bring Stony Brook a 75-65 victory. The team will now move on to the quarterfinals, where it will face the second-seeded Drexel Dragons on Sunday. 

Northeastern had a quick trigger from outside at the start, knocking down five three-pointers in the opening 10 minutes of play. However, nine points from Noll allowed the Seawolves to cling onto a 19-17 lead.

The Huskies snagged a 29-27 lead at the 2:46 mark with a three-pointer by power forward Jared Turner, but they lacked judgment and gave it right back on the next possession. Clarke drained a three-pointer over Northeastern small forward Masai Troutman, who fouled him on his way up, allowing him to convert the and-one and complete the four-point play.

The Huskies tied it back up at 29 apiece on the following trip down the court with a reverse layup by center Chris Doherty, but a three-point play by Stephenson-Moore over Turner flipped the momentum. With just over 23 seconds left in the first half, Noll lost Northeastern point guard J.B. Frankel with a nasty stepback and drilled a three-pointer to go into the break leading by six.

After misfiring on their last two shots of the first period, the Huskies came out of halftime and started on an 0-for-9 dry spell. Though Stony Brook failed to fully capitalize on the drought, it grew its lead to eight points with a catch-and-shoot three by Noll and a nifty finish by center Chris Maidoh over Doherty.

The Seawolves struggled to shake their opponents, as Northeastern center Collin Metcalf cut their lead down to just five points with 12 minutes remaining by grinding out three buckets in the paint. Though the game was theirs for the taking, the Huskies beat themselves by falling into a 2-for-11 funk over the next eight minutes.

This time, Stony Brook made Northeastern pay. Clarke carried the team on a 15-5 run by scoring seven points across all three levels to put the Seawolves up by 15 with fewer than five minutes left. With just 3:37 remaining in the game, Stephenson-Moore took a hack while shooting a three and knocked down all of his foul shots to give his team a 16-point cushion — its largest of the night.

After that, the Huskies resorted to intentionally fouling in hopes of flipping the script, but Noll, Clarke and Stephenson-Moore combined to go 11-for-13 to send them packing.

Noll’s 23 points tied a career-high total that he set on Feb. 9, 2022 while playing for Cornell. He shot 8-for-16 from the field, 3-for-6 from downtown and 4-for-5 from the charity stripe while also pulling down seven rebounds and dishing out three assists.

A couple of factors played into Noll’s career night.

“I actually didn’t score against them the very first game we played them,” Noll said in a postgame press conference. “I had zero points; first time, like, ever. So, a little revenge. And quite frankly, I didn’t want it to be my last college basketball game, so [I went] out there with some energy.”

Head coach Geno Ford shouted out Noll while praising the whole team.

“Huge win for us,” Ford said in a postgame interview with The Statesman. “Dean had it going but I felt like everyone that played well.”

Fresh off being named a member of the 2023-24 All-CAA Second Team, Stephenson-Moore proved the voters right on Saturday. He poured in 21 points while shooting 6-for-11 from the field and 3-for-7 from deep. He also hit all six of his free throws and hauled in five rebounds.

Clarke was Stony Brook’s third-leading scorer with 19 points on 5-of-13 shooting from the field. He went 3-for-7 from three and 6-for-7 from the free-throw line. He co-led the team with three assists alongside Noll.

Power forward Andre Snoddy was a big contributor for the Seawolves, as he picked up a game-high 11 rebounds. It was the eighth double-digit rebound game of the year. On defense, Snoddy collected the team’s only three steals and tallied its lone blocked shot of the night.

Overall, Stony Brook shot .426/.450/.909 overall while holding Northeastern to a .354/.304/.571 triple slash. Despite shooting the ball more efficiently, the Seawolves were outrebounded 42-36 and committed two more turnovers.

Troutman led the Huskies with 16 points on 5-of-16 shooting. Point guard Rashad King dropped a double-double with 12 points on 4-of-10 shooting plus a career-high 11 assists. Turner scored 12 points on 5-of-9 shooting from the field, 3-of-6 of which was from deep.

Metcalf had the best game of his NCAA career with 14 points while making all six of his field goals but just two of his six free throws. He added nine rebounds, eight of which were offensive.

Northeastern will head back home while Stony Brook will remain in the nation’s capital to take on Drexel tomorrow. The Dragons are 20-11 overall and 13-5 in CAA play this year. Opening tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m.

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About the Contributor
Kenny Spurrell
Kenny Spurrell, Assistant Sports Editor
Kenny Spurrell is an Assistant Sports Editor of The Statesman. He is a senior English major and journalism minor at Stony Brook University. He began covering sports for The Statesman during the Fall 2021 semester. Since then, he has covered men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s lacrosse and football. His passion for sports derives from his many years of playing basketball, football and baseball. He is a Long Island native from Selden, N.Y. and has dreams of becoming a sports journalist.
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