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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


Seawolves Ready To Turn Tough Losses Into Big Wins

The Seawolves finished the season with eight victories in the America East, the most in the team’s DI history. But they were so close to so much more.

The 8-8 finish in conference play and fifth seed in the conference tournament are two great accomplishments by themselves. These standards looked to be years away before the season started.

But they’ve used their league leading defense (60.4 ppg) and timely offensive contributions to push every team in the league to their limit.

“I know one thing, teams don’t want to play Stony Brook,” Coach Pikiell said. “That’s a new thing from the past. We’ve been in almost every game, from (teams ranked) one through nine”.

Saturday night’s opponent, the #4 New Hampshire Wildcats, defeated the Seawolves twice this season. But Stony Brook was four seconds and a tough three-pointer away from claiming a victory in one of those games.

Tyrece Gibbs nailed a long jumper to tie the game with four seconds left, and the Seawolves could not capitalize in overtime in the team’s match-up in the last game of the season..

“If he took that shot 10 more times, I don’t know if he makes it any times,” Pikiell said. “He made a tough, difficult shot.”

The #3 seed in the tournament, the Boston University Terriers, lost at Pritchard Gym on senior night, and played Stony Brook in a four over-time thriller in Boston in January.

In that game the Seawolves had multiple opportunities to pick up the victory, but again came up just short.

Freshman Bryan Dougher had a good look at a possible game tying jump shot, and fellow freshman Tommy Brenton missed a tip-in just before the clock expired.

On senior day in Burlington, Stony Brook battled #2 seed Vermont to the bitter end.

This time it was the Seawolves who were able to hit a clutch shot to send the game to overtime. Dougher’s jumper from the foul line allowed Stony Brook five more minutes to knock off one of the conference’s best teams.

The Catamounts did not put the Seawolves away until there were 15 seconds left in overtime, when they hit a pair of free-throws to go up by five points.

At home in January against conference leading Binghamton, the Seawolves once again held a lead with four seconds remaining. The Bearcats D.J. Rivera spurred a late comeback and knocked down a jumper to again send the Seawovles into overtime. It took a cluctch shot from Emanuel Maybin to propel Binghamton to the win.

Those combined 25 seconds could have swung four games against the league’s best teams in favor of the Seawolves, giving them a 12-4 record which would have tied them with Binghamton and Vermont atop the league.

Pikiell won’t allow his team to think about what could have been.

“It’s a new season for everybody,” he said. “By the time we play Saturday night there will be three teams left.”

But his young team has come together during the season, and he believes they’ll be up for the challenge.

“We improved in a lot of areas,” he said. “We improved our toughness, and three-point shooting, and we’re number one in almost every defensive category.”

Young and improved, but still aware of what a tournament run would do for the program.

“It’s March Madness now, they know.”

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