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Men’s Basketball Drops Tough Game to Binghamton

After a lay-up by Demetrius Young, the Seawolves were up four points with 1:07 remaining in the game, a disjointed Binghamton possession resulted in a steal by Tommy Brenton.

It seemed as if the Seawolves would grind out their third consecutive conference win and inch closer to a top four spot in the America East.

But the Bearcats D.J. Rivera had different plans.

Muhammad El-Amin, who finished the game with 16 points on 5-16 shooting and is an 83 percent shooter from the charity stripe, went to the line for two free-throws and the chance to push Stony Brook’s lead to six points.

Rivera, who finished with 22 points, his fourth consecutive game scoring 20 or more, grabbed the rebound off the second El-Amin miss and drove up the floor. He stopped just short of the three-point arc and drained a contested jumper to bring his team back within one.

Running out of time, Binghamton reluctantly sent Bryan Dougher, a 79 percent free-throw shooter, to the line. But Dougher could only make one of two.

The Bearcats called timeout to set up a play, and again it was Rivera putting a dagger in the Seawolves heart. He nailed a mid-range jumper with four seconds left to send the game to overtime.

“I knew he’d have the ball down the stretch of the game,” Head Coach Steve Pikiell said. “I didn’t want to double him, I wanted Marques Cox to guard him. Marques is one of the best defenders in the league. We just didn’t get it done.”

Unfortunately for the Seawolves, the ace defender Cox would also get to decide the game on the offensive end.

Tommy Brenton made one of two free throws to tie the game at 61 with nine seconds left, but once against the Bearcats had an answer.

This time it was Emanel Mayben, who scored 12 points on 4-15 shooting but did dish out ten assists, who drilled a jumper with only four seconds remaining.

With no timeouts left, the Seawolves moved the ball up the court as quick as possible, and a 30-foot three point attempt by Cox came up well short, missing the basket entirely and sending Stony Brook to a disappointing defeat.

“We’re a good defensive basketball team, we just need to get some stops,” Pikiell said. “We scored plenty of points to win this basketball game tonight if our defense was a little better when it needed to be.”

The Seawolves held the Bearcats to 23 of 53 from the field (43.4 percent) which is slightly lower than Binghamton’s season average. But Stony Brook was not able to capitalize on its large rebounding disparity.

Stony Brook also made 23 field goals, but shot the ball 70 times from the floor. They out rebounded Binghamton 52-33, including 24-8 on the offensive end.

El-Amin, Brenton, Young, and Dallis Joyner all had at least five offensive rebounds. Brenton had 17 total, while Young pulled down 13.

“We stopped them in transition and we played our pace,” Pikiell said. “We wanted to hold them 10 under their average score, they average 70.4 points per game, and even with overtime we held them to 63. I thought we did a good job.”

“We just came up a little bit short,” he said. “You have to make free throws down the stretch, and you have to make that big stop in regulation. And we didn’t.”

Notes: Brenton’s 17 rebounds ties his career high. He also had 17 in a four over-time loss to Boston University on 1/19. Dougher is 7/39 (17.9 percent) from the field in his last four games, Young’s 5/14 (35.7 percent) is the worst shooting day of his career (min. 5 attempts). Young’s 13 rebounds were a season high and one off his career high (14 vs. Dartmouth, 12/1/07). This game was the 14th consecutive in which El-Amin has scored at least 12 points.

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