Sunday, March 7, 2010

Head Coach Matt Senk becomes first coach in program history to win 500 games.

Wilmington, N.C. - Sophomore Tyler Johnson (Chatsworth, Calif.) allowed just two runs in 7.1 innings and struck out 10 to lead the Stony Brook University baseball team to a 3-2 win over the Akron Zips in its 2010 season opener on Saturday morning at Brooks Field. Stony Brook defeated UNC-Wilmington, 6-2, in its second game of the day behind three hits and three RBI from senior Rob Dyer (Selden, N.Y.). With the win over Akron, Stony Brook head coach Matt Senk became the first coach in program history and the third in America East history to win 500 games.
The all-time wins leader in Stony Brook baseball history, Senk has enjoyed 17 winning seasons with SBU and has won 30 or more games seven times. He has compiled a 298-231 record and two America East tournament titles since the Seawolves move to Division I in 2000.
Stony Brook jumped on top in the second against the Zips as freshman Tanner Nivins (Kitchener, Ontario), in his first collegiate at-bat, drilled a homer to center with two outs. Johnson cruised early on as he retired the first 12 Akron batters, five by strikeout.
Junior Stephen Marino (Lake Grove, N.Y.) pushed the Seawolves lead to 2-0 in the fifth as he led off the inning with a home run to left. Johnson allowed his first base runner in the fifth as Kyle Hallet doubled to start the inning. But Johnson then picked Hallet off and retired the next two hitters on a strike out and a ground out to keep the Zips off the board.
The Seawolves picked up another run in the seventh as sophomore Sal Intagliata (Franklin Square, N.Y.) walked with one out and then moved to second on a single from senior Justin Echevarria (Uniondale, N.Y.) Senior Chris Maier (Farmingdale, N.Y.) followed with a run-scoring single to put SBU on top 3-0.

Akron finally got on the board in the eighth as Johnson hit Brian Kordal and then gave up a two-run home run to Brandon White. But freshman Jasvir Rakkar (Brampton, Ontario) then entered the game and retired the next two hitters to get out of the jam.
Freshman William Carmona (Hempstead, N.Y.) entered the game in ninth for the Seawolves and retired the side in order to secure Senk's 500th win. Johnson allowed just two hits in his 7.1 innings and did not walk a batter.
UNC-Wilmington grabbed the early lead over SBU in the second game of the day as Andrew Cain hit a solo home run with two outs in the fourth against sophomore starter Nick Tropeano (West Islip, N.Y.). But Stony Brook rallied to take the lead in the fifth on run-scoring singles from senior Michael Stephan (Patchogue, N.Y.) and Dyer.
The Seawolves tacked on two more in the seventh on a sacrifice fly from junior Chad Marshall (Paris, Ontario) and an RBI double from sophomore Pat Cantwell (West Islip, N.Y.). SBU put the game away with two more runs in the eighth on a two-out two-run double off the bat of Dyer.
Tropeano picked up the win for Stony Brook as he allowed two runs on four hits in 7.1 innings. The right-hander struck out six and walked just two. Freshman Maxx Tissenbaum (Toronto, Ontario) recorded three hits for the Seawolves.
Stony Brook will play two more games on Sunday at Brooks Field, taking on Akron at 10 a.m. before squaring off against UNC-Wilmington at 1:30 p.m.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

No. 1 Stony Brook Defeats No. 8 Albany, 68-59, To Advance To America East Semifinals

Seawolves to play winner of No. 4 Boston University/No. 5 Hartford on Sunday at 5 p.m.

West Hartford, Conn. - Sophomore Tommy Brenton (Columbia, Md.) scored 13 points and grabbed a season-high 16 rebounds to lead the top-seeded Stony Brook University men's basketball to a 68-59 win over the No. 8 Albany Great Danes on Saturday afternoon at Chase Arena in an America East quarterfinal game. It is the first time since 2004 that the Seawolves have advanced to the semifinals. SBU will now take on the winner of Saturday's quarterfinal game between No. 4 Boston University and No. 5 Hartford on Sunday at 5 p.m. at Chase Arena.

"Terrific win for our team," Stony Brook head coach Steve Pikiell said. "We struggled a bit offensively but our defense was really solid all day and that's what won us the game. Chris [Martin] was able to get the line early to get us going and Tommy played an outstanding all-around game.

It was the seventh double-double of the season for Brenton, who has recorded double-digit rebounds in five of his last six games. Junior Chris Martin (Springfield Gardens, N.Y.) scored a team-high 15 points as he knocked down 12 of his 15 free throw attempts. Sophomore Bryan Dougher (Scotch Plains, N.J.) and senior Muhammad El-Amin (Lansing, Mich.) each chipped in with 12 points for the Seawolves, who held Albany to 33.3 percent shooting.

Albany jumped to a 11-7 lead behind seven early points from Will Harris before freshman Marcus Rouse (Upper Marlboro, Md.) drilled a three to bring SBU within one. The Great Danes answered with a 7-2 run to take a six-point lead but Martin then hit one of two free throws and freshman Preye Preboye (Springfield, Mass.) followed with an acrobatic lay-in off a feed from Brenton to trim the Albany lead to three.

A Harris hoop put the Great Danes back up by five but the Seawolves then ran off 10 straight points to take a five-point lead with three minutes remaining in the half. SBU held Albany scoreless for almost seven minutes during the run.
A Logan Aronhalt three ended the Albany drought before Martin hit two free throws to give SBU a 27-23 advantage. The Great Danes scored five of the next seven points to draw within one but a put-back dunk from sophomore Dallis Joyner (Norfolk, Va.) with 30 seconds left sent Stony Brook into the break with a 31-28 lead.

Joyner scored the first hoop of the second half, slamming home a feed from Brenton. But Albany responded by scoring eight of the next 11 points to tie the game at 36. The Seawolves scored the next four points though, on a Brenton drunk and an El-Amin hoop, to take the lead for good.

The Stony Brook advantage would grow to seven with 16 minutes remaining as Dougher drilled his first triple of the game. Stony Brook still led by six midway through the half but Brenton then completed a three-point play and followed with two free throws to give the Seawolves a 54-43 lead with seven and a half minutes remaining.

Tim Ambrose scored the next hoop but Dougher scored on a reverse lay-up and then followed with a three to give Stony Brook its largest lead of the game, 59-45, with four and a half minutes left. Albany hit four late threes to close within six with 46 seconds remaining. But the Seawolves hit three free throws over the final 44 seconds to put the game away.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Stony Brook Eliminates Binghamton, Advances to America East Semis

WEST HARTFORD, Conn. - Fourth-seeded Stony Brook nearly led from beginning to end, pulling out a 71-60 victory over fifth-seeded Binghamton Friday night at the Chase Family Arena at the Reich Family Pavilion in the quarterfinals of the 2010 America East Championship presented by Newman's Own.
The Seawolves (10-19, 7-9 America East Conference) were led by junior guard Misha Horsey's 20 points, 16 of which were scored in the second half to help Stony Brook seal the victory over the Bearcats (11-19, 7-9 AE).
"I told [Horsey] during one of the timeouts, 'You need to start taking shots,'" said Stony Brook head coach Michele Cherry, who won her first-ever America East Championship game. "She looked to be more aggressive."
"I don't think she thought she needed to put the team on her back, but that's essentially what she did."
Stony Brook took control of the game from the beginning. Junior forward Kirsten Jeter scored eight of her 15 points to start the game for the Seawolves, giving them the early 8-2 lead.
After Binghamton crept back, Stony Brook broke the game open. With about 16 minutes to go in the first half, the Seawolves went on an 18-4 run, giving them a 15-point lead.
The early deficit put the Bearcats at a serious disadvantage early that they weren't able to recover from.
"Come tournament time, you've got to be ready to go," Binghamton head coach Nicole Scholl said. "By the time we had finally settled in, they had gotten a big enough lead and jump on us that it was really hard to recover."
Binghamton worked its way back into the game, coming as close as four on a three by junior guard Jackie Ward with 10:08 left to go.
However, Horsey would then take control and give Stony Brook a comfortable lead that they would not relinquish.
Sophomore guard Andrea Holmes added a game-high 22 points for the Bearcats in the losing effort.
The Seawolves advance to the America East Championship semifinals on Sunday, where they will face top-seeded host Hartford.

Muhammad El-Amin Named MBB Player of Year; Brenton/Dougher Second Team; Steve Pikiell, Coach of the Year in 2010 America East Awards!

Men's Basketball All-Conference Team (PDF)

West Hartford, Conn. (March 5, 2010) – Senior guard Muhammad El-Amin (Lansing, Mich.) of the Stony Brook University men’s basketball team was named the Kevin Roberson America East Player of the Year on Friday at the conference’s annual awards banquet. The leading scorer on the America East’s top team during the regular season, El-Amin is the first player in program history to earn the conference’s top honor. Stony Brook head coach Steve Pikiell became the first coach in school history to earn America East Coach of the Year honors after leading the Seawolves to their first America East regular season title and a 21-7 overall record. In addition, sophomores Bryan Dougher (Scotch Plains, N.J.) and Tommy Brenton (Columbia, Md.) were named to All-America East second team and senior Andrew Goba (Durban, South Africa) was selected to the America East All-Academic team. Brenton also earned a spot on America East All-Defensive team. El-Amin also became the first Stony Brook player ever selected to the five-player All-America East first team. In his second season with the Seawolves, El-Amin is just 77 points from 1,000 and just 14 points from setting the program’s Division I record for points in a season. El-Amin ranked second in the America East in scoring during conference play (19.1 points per game) and scored 23 in the 82-78 victory over Vermont on Feb. 24 that clinched the Seawolves’ first America East regular season title. Brenton led the America East in rebounding (9.6 per game) for the second straight season in addition to ranking second in steals (1.8 per game) and eighth in assists (2.8 per game). The 6-5 forward grabbed 279 rebounds, breaking his own Division I program record of 266 that he set last season. A 2009 America East All-Rookie selection, Brenton became the 14th player in school history to record 500 rebounds on Feb. 13 against Binghamton. Dougher shot an America East best 50.5 percent from three during conference play and ranked third in the America East with 3.1 threes per game. The 6-1 guard set a program record for threes in a season (83) and his overall three-point percentage of 40.8 percent ranks 14th in the country. An America East All-Rookie selection last season, Dougher also ranked 10th in the conference in scoring (13.6 points per game). A two-time captain, Goba has played in 25 games this season. He has also excelled off the court as he is a two-time Dean’s list selection and a three-time America East honor roll recipient. Last May he earned a Bachelors of Science in Health Science with a 3.03 GPA and this year he is working on a second baccalaureate in philosophy. In his fifth season at the helm of the Seawolves, Pikiell guided SBU to a record-breaking 2009-10 regular season. In addition to claiming the schools first ever regular season title, Stony Brook set program records for overall wins (21) and conference wins (13). In search of its first America East Tournament title, top-seeded Stony Brook opens the 2010 America East Tournament on Saturday against No. 8 Albany. Game time is set for 12 p.m.


West Hartford, Conn. - Junior Kirsten Jeter (Elmont, N.Y.) of Stony Brook's women's basketball team was named to the America East All-Conference second team today at the conference's awards banquet held in the Harry Jack Gray Conference Center on the University of Hartford campus on Thursday afternoon. Jeter led the Seawolves this season in scoring (14.2 ppg), rebounding (7.4 rpg) and steals (2.1).
"I'm very grateful to the coaches in the America East Conference for recognizing Kirsten," said head coach Michele Cherry. "I'm happy for Kirsten that all of her hard work and outstanding play throughout the season did not go unnoticed."
This is the third time Jeter has been named to an all-conference team, making the third team last season and the all-rookie team as a freshman. Earlier this season, Jeter became the 14th player in program history to record 1,000 career points. She is also just the sixth player to have at least 1,000 career points and 500 rebounds.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Steve Marcus Article, Newsday 3/2

Stony Brook University making the NCAA Tournament but not Hofstra? For years, that seemed impossible in men's basketball. Now, it is plausible. And it is because of the conferences and venues.
This is a haunting time of the year for Hofstra. It is approaching the Colonial Athletic Association Tournament and the very unfriendly confines of Richmond Coliseum, where good winning seasons always end in southern discomfort.
For Hofstra, it is a reminder of a decision made by a previous administration in 2001 that negatively impacts the basketball team to this day: Hofstra removed itself from the America East Conference - along with Delaware, Drexel and Towson - with the thought of helping its football team gain conference affiliation and also for the promise of a higher basketball profile and multiple NCAA bids in the CAA. But no former America East school has won the CAA Tournament.
Will this year be any different? Hofstra will play its first game in the tournament against Georgia State Friday on a supposedly neutral court. But whatever fan base shows up will root for the underdog Panthers, a 10th seed. A Hofstra victory only ups the eventual hometown ante and the likelihood of eventually facing the cream of the CAA in Old Dominion or Virginia Commonwealth.
The southern feel of the venue is inescapable and Hofstra, with teams much stronger than this edition, has been unable to conquer the atmosphere that undoubtedly favors the opponent.
Hofstra (18-13) has won at least 20 games four times since leaving the America East and has no NCAA bids to show for it. Each of those seasons ended with a loss in Richmond.
Stony Brook, a favorite for the first time in the America East, has a much more neutral road to qualify for the Big Dance. It will play its first tournament game Saturday in Hartford's Chase Arena. You can be sure Stony Brook will arrange for a ferry load of fans. It wouldn't be surprising to see Stony Brook's marching band invade the arena.
Hometown Hartford doesn't figure to get past Maine in its first game. No local rooting interest exists after that. Win twice in Hartford and Stony Brook, as the regular-season champion, is entitled to be home for the tournament championship game. Even at hastily prepared Stony Brook Arena, the atmosphere will help ensure a Stony Brook victory, just as it did for Hofstra in 2000 and 2001.
And if Stony Brook doesn't make it to the NCAA Tournament, it is already assured of an NIT bid. Hofstra is not. It will have to look toward the obscure College Basketball Invitational.
Why is Hofstra on this treadmill and why does it stay in the CAA? The decision to leave America East was largely based on football, which it has dropped, starting next season.
At the time of its decision, Hofstra had no conference for its football team and the CAA offered inclusion in what was then called the Atlantic 10. Even with the abolishment of football, Hofstra would gladly move all of its programs into the A-10, if invited. (University president Stuart Rabinowitz implied as much to WFAN's Mike Francesa during an interview in December about dropping football.) But there are no openings - and little interest by A-10 members.
This means that one good winning season after another ends in predictable fashion - a loss in the CAA Tournament in Richmond.
At some point, maybe even this season, Hofstra basketball coach Tom Pecora will throw up his hands and look elsewhere. He turned down Seton Hall in the past. Will he do the same if, for instance, Fordham calls? That would get him into the A-10, albeit with a bottom feeder.
The solution available to Hofstra - and one it should consider - is to go back to America East. It refuses to seek d├ętente with Stony Brook, which Hofstra has dropped from its men's basketball schedule, and also believes backpedaling would hurt its image. But it would create a great local rivalry and enable both to shoot for college basketball's ultimate prize