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Monday, January 17, 2011

Stony Brook rebounds in big way

Stony Brook's Dave Coley goes up for a
Photo credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

The season appeared to slip-sliding away from the Stony Brook men's team.
The Seawolves (7-9, 2-2 America East) had dropped three games in a row and has had a difficult time scoring lately. In the three losses -Vermont, Cornell, Binghamton- Stony Brook averaged just 50.3 points per game.
All of that changed against New Hampshire on Saturday. But it took a while for the change to take place. Stony Brook was stuck on 16 points for what seemed like forever. The Seawolves trailed, 30-16, with 11:18 left in regulation.
The offense took over from there as the Seawolves scored 48 points over the next 22 minutes for a 64-60 win in double overtime.
Although the offense was refreshing, coach Steve Pikiell was more pleased with the defense.
Pikiell said: "I kept telling our guys to worry about defense and rebounding. Then the shots will come. Despite the score, our guys kept their focus on the game and made big plays down the stretch. We hit a couple of shots and then made our free throws at the end. Marcus' [Rouse] free throws were huge, and Dallis' [Joyner] free throws were huge. Everyone chipped in today. They battled hard and never gave up."

Outside of the offensive explosion over the second half and two overtimes, what made the victory all the more impressive was the play of Pikiell's youngsters. Sophomore Marcus Rouse (13 points) and freshmen Anthony Jackson (12) and Dave Coley (11) did most of the damage. Bryan Dougher had 11 points, but shot 2-for-12.
The joy was short lived, however as the Seawolves were stopped at home by Albany, 52-50, on Monday.
But the bottom line is Stony Brook's future is in good hands. The young players, who have been forced into action because of some early injuries, have responded well. Sure, the Seawolves would love to be better than 7-10, but a 2-3 mark in the America East isn't such a bad thing so early in the season. They are still within striking distance of conference leader Maine (4-1).