One minute, Stony Brook was cruising along with a comfortable cushion over University of Maryland-Baltimore County. Then a rare seven-point possession gave the Retrievers a one-point lead with 9:35 left and threatened to turn the America East Conference game on its head Monday night at Pritchard Gymnasium.
But when the Seawolves regained a one-point lead with 4:49 left, Stony Brook coach Steve Pikiell told his players it was "winning time.''
With a nod to junior guard Bryan Dougher, Pikiell put the ball in the hands of his best shooter, and Dougher delivered back-to-back three-pointers that helped send the Seawolves on their way to a 69-59 victory.
The second of those threes came from beyond NBA range near the top of the arc, gave Stony Brook a 66-58 lead with 1:02 left and allowed Dougher to tie the school career record for three-pointers at 221. Josh Little had set the record from 1997-2001.
"Tonight, it was big-play time, and he took care of business,'' Pikiell said of Dougher.
"I can't take him out of the game. Bryan looked at me [in the huddle] and shook his head, so we ran his number a couple of times. It was nice to have him step up.''
Dougher led Stony Brook (9-12, 4-5 America East) with 19 points and shot 5-for-9 from three-point range. Marcus Rouse and Eric McAlister added 12 points each and Dallis Joyner grabbed 12 rebounds.
UMBC (3-19, 2-7) is last in the conference and certainly looked beatable most of the game, but when Travis King converted a three-point play at the 9:49 mark to cut Stony Brook's lead to 52-49, things got heated.
The officials - a crew Pikiell said he never had seen previously - called a technical foul on the Seawolves' Danny Carter for pushing after King's foul shot.
King stayed at the line and buried two more free throws, and the Retrievers retained possession. Chris De La Rosa, the league's leading scorer, then was fouled and hit two more foul shots for a 53-52 lead with 9:35 to play.
But after De La Rosa made three more foul shots for a 56-53 lead with 8:56 remaining, Stony Brook finished the game on a 16-3 run. UMBC's last field goal came with 5:03 to play as the Seawolves clamped down on defense.
"Defense kept us in it,'' Dougher said.
The Seawolves have been offensively challenged much of this season, so Dougher knew it was on him to produce in crunch time.
"I've been here the longest,'' he said. "I have to be a leader and take those shots. The record means a lot. I have to give thanks to my teammates for setting the screens to get me open. I had to be confident.''