Saturday, January 15, 2011

Stony Brook comes all the way back to beat UNH in double OT

The Stony Brook men's basketball team overcame a 14-point, second-half deficit with clutch shots and free throws to force overtime and go on to beat New Hampshire 64-60 in double overtime Saturday at Pritchard Gymnasium.

"Our players fought hard today, played good defense and made big plays at the end," head coach Steve Pikiell said. "All of our guys chipped in, and it was nice to see our players rewarded for their hard work."

With only 11:18 remaining in the game, the Seawolves (7-9, 2-2 America East) had scored only 16 points in the game and were down to the Wildcats 30-16. However, the Seawolves fought their way back into the contest with clutch play. Bryan Dougher (Scotch Plains, N.J.) and Marcus Rouse (Upper Marlboro, Md.) knocked down three-pointers on back-to-back possessions to make it 35-27 UNH with 7:15 to play.

Still down seven, 42-35, and time running out, Dougher drew a foul to get to the line and hit free throws, followed by a huge three-pointer from Coley after gaining some separation from his defender with his dribble. Stony Brook was down 42-40 with 1:21 on the clock.

After a pair of Chandler Rhoads free throws for UNH put the Wildcats up 44-40, the Seawolves came back with a pair of Dallis Joyner (Norfolk, Va.) free throws get within two. Rhoads again went to the free throw line, but missed both to set the scene for the final play. Dougher got the ball and drove to the basket, and UNH's James Valladares was called for a blocking foul. Dougher sank both free throws to tie the game and send it to overtime.

Stony Brook led 48-47 with 1:32 left in overtime, but New Hampshire's Tyrone Conley drilled a wide open three-pointer after some strong ball movement to put the Wildcats up 50-48. After a missed three from Danny Carter (Windsor, England), Rhoads hit one free throw to make it a three-point game.  Again, Stony Brook had to come back, and this time Rouse took the ball and attempted a three, but was fouled by Conley. Rouse calmly sank all three free throws to tie the game. Conley had a shot to win it, but Dave Coley (Brooklyn, N.Y.) blocked the shot cleanly, forcing another extra frame.

Stony Brook then caught fire with a 6-0 run in double overtime as Anthony Mayo (Philadelphia, Pa.) opened the period with a layup and then a 16-foot rainbow jumper followed by a Rouse jumper to put the Seawolves up 57-51. New Hampshire, playing only seven players, showed signs of fatigue. The Wildcats were 3-for-12 from the field in the final five minutes, forcing them to foul. Stony Brook was only 5-for-9 from the free throw line in the second overtime, but it was enough to hold on.

In total, Stony Brook was 19-for-28 from the free throw line, but more importantly made all the important ones at the end. In the final five minutes of regulation plus both overtimes, the Seawolves were 12-for-18.

Rouse, America East Player of the Game, led the Seawolves, who shot 32.3 percent for the game, with 13 points, despite missing most of the first half with a nose injury. Anthony Jackson (Columbus, Ohio) added 12 points and seven rebounds. Coley had 11 points and eight rebounds, and Dougher chipped in 11 points and five assists. Joyner led SBU with 11 rebounds.

Conley, UNH's America East Player of the Game, led the Wildcats with 14 points, but was only 5-for-24 from the field. Brian Benson pulled down 22 rebounds in the game to lead all players. UNH shot 30 percent for the game and was a woeful 50 percent (12-for-24) from the field.

The win was Stony Brook's first overtime victory since March 7, 2008 and ended a string of five straight OT losses.

Stony Brook is back in action Monday against Albany at Pritchard Gymnasium at 5 p.m. The game will be televised regionally on MSG-Plus.