Monday, March 7, 2011

The New York Sports Index

Think the heat is on in New York? Expectations skyrocketed for the Knicks after an emotional win over the Heat last Sunday. However, a mid-week win over the Hornets was bookended by ugly losses to the Magic and Cavs. Their response against Atlanta? Defense - and Amar'e Stoudemire, of course.
Last week: 5
First, Lavin blew a gasket in the Johnnies' loss to Seton Hall, showing the amount of emotion the first-year coach brings to the table each night. Then, on Senior Night, the Storm topped South Florida for win No. 20 on the season - a mark nobody thought St. John's would reach this year. Lavin led St. John's to its first official 20-win season since 1999-2000. Next up: the Big East Tournament.
Last week: Not ranked
Gillies' check-heard-round-the-world was all the buzz in NHL cybersphere this week. The night the enforcer returned from a nine-game suspension, an illegal hit sent Gillies back to the sideline for 10 games. Think he learned his lesson? Don't count on it, especially after both his teammates and GM Garth Snow positioned themselves in Gillies' corner.
Last week: Not ranked
Break up the Isles! Long Island's lovable losers knocked off Minnesota and St. Louis but lost to New Jersey. Of course, with the Isles, with good news always comes bad news. This time? Probably too little, too late.
Last week: Not ranked
He scored from second base! He scored from second base! OK, so that's a bit of a reach in terms of true excitement, but for Mets fans, there's been little to cheer about of late. More importantly, Beltran avoided a big soap opera earlier in the week when he told manager Terry Collins that he will move to right field to help save his knee and clear the way for Angel Pagan. When was the last time a high-profile New York baseball player transitioned from one position to another with such little hiccup?
Last week: Not ranked
Raised in Baldwin, a Nassau CC and Hofstra alum, and now on to the UFC. Weidman beat up veteran striker Alessio Sakara in his UFC debut in Louisville, living up to the hype as the next great middleweight prospect. The best part? He's young (26), and fresh (5-0).
Last week: Not ranked
Has there ever been a more analyzed two innings of spring training baseball than Oliver Perez's pair of shutout innings on Thursday? The multi-million dollar bust pitched his way back into contention for a rotation spot with the Mets, scattering two hits while throwing 15 of his 25 pitches for strikes. Of course, whether that's good news or bad news is still far from being determined.
Last week: Not ranked
The talk around the Seawolves' practice facility last week was about having "one good weekend." What else would you expect a team with a 13-16 record to say? And, they got what they wanted. No. 5 SBU beat No. 4 Albany on Saturday then upset No. 1 Vermont on Sunday to earn a spot in the America East final this Saturday. On the line? A .500 record . . . and an automatic berth into the NCAA tournament.
Last week: Not ranked
The Rangers' right winger accounted for 20 percent of his season total with four goals on Sunday in a 7-0 drubbing of the first-place Philadelphia Flyers. Callahan also had an assist.
Last week: Not ranked
The man that Brandon Jacobs singled out as the catalyst for the downfall of Giants football - his disappearance, not appearance - will get out of jail early this summer. Will Tom Coughlin try to convince management to bring him back?
Last week: Not ranked

Stony Brook Men's and Women's Basketball Highlights

Stony Brook vs Vermont

Stony Brook vs UMBC

Hayes, SBU upset Vermont, reach final (Newsday)

WEST HARTFORD, Conn. - If, as the old line goes, dancing is a contact sport, then Stony Brook just may be ready for that NCAA formal that commences later this month.
Tightly embracing Vermont - and not in an affectionate way - No. 5 seed Stony Brook brought a smothering defense against the America East Tournament's top seed and waltzed to a 69-47 semifinal win Sunday.
The surprising result - and fairly shocking ease of it - helped Stony Brook turn a below-.500 season on its head over the weekend, setting up a conference championship final against Boston University at noon Saturday in Boston, with the winner welcome to participate in March Madness.
Vermont (23-8) never led; in fact, never even gained a tie as the league's two best defensive teams hunkered down for a bruising scrap that soon was turned into an exhibition of versatile basketball. Stony Brook (15-16) showed all its colors: ball movement, dead-eye shooting, collapsing double-teaming.
Sophomore Leonard Hayes, who didn't crash the starting lineup until 12 games ago, embodied his team's better-late-than-never performance with a career-high 20 points, shooting 6-for-7 from the three-point line.
Each time Vermont showed the least inclination to mount even the slightest challenge, Hayes would drop the hammer with another three-pointer - when Stony Brook led 40-34 (the closest Vermont had been since the first half), and again at 47-38, and again at 54-44.
The basket was not getting any larger, Hayes insisted, though it appeared that way each time he fired. His lasers - so unlike Stony Brook's midseason scattershot offense - led to a contagion of hot hands.
"Lenny made some big shots and it just carried on,'' said guard Chris Martin, the team's only senior, who again was spared his final college game. "We just ran with it.''
Martin was a victim of the foul-a-minute early going, twice whistled for infractions in the first three minutes and forced to the bench the rest of the half. But he started the second half with a knifing layup on Dallis Joyner's assist and wound up with 14 points, three rebounds and three assists in only 21 minutes.
As impressive as limiting Vermont to 32-percent shooting (14-for-44), and holding leading scorers Evan Fjeld, Joey Accaoui and Brendan Bald to a total of 19 points - half their usual total of 38 - was the way Stony Brook's team filled up the boxscore.
Bryan Dougher had only two points, 11 below his average, and shot 1-for-9, but he did have team highs in assists (four) and steals (three). Al Rapier had eight points and six rebounds.
Beyond his scoring, Hayes had six rebounds and two blocked shots. "First of my career,'' he said with a grin.
Ten players scored, nine players got rebounds and six got assists for Stony Brook, which shot 48 percent. "One thing about all our injuries this year,'' coach Steve Pikiell said, "is that we played a lot of guys a lot of minutes, and that's why I had a lot of faith in all my guys.''
And this time, all of them had happy feet.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Shooting and Defense lifts Stony Brook to America East Championship final

Leonard Hayes (Voorhees, N.J.) scored a game-high 20 points after making a career-high six three-pointers to lift the No. 5 seed Stony Brook men's basketball team to a 69-47 victory over No. 1 seed Vermont in the semifinals of the 2011 America East Championship and advance to next Saturday's title game.

Stony Brook (15-16) will either travel to No. 2 seed Boston University or host No. 6 seed Hartford, depending on tonight's outcome. The Seawolves advance to their first-ever America East final and are just the fourth No. 5 seed to ever reach the final.

Hayes was 7-for-10 from the field and 6-for-7 from three-point range. He also had six rebounds and two blocks. He was part of an infectious shooting Seawolves team that shot 27-for-56 from the field (48.2 percent) and made eight three-pointers. Chris Martin (Springfield Gardens, N.Y.) had 14 points, 12 in the second half, to supplement Hayes' scoring.

Stony Brook's defense also played a critical role in the victory, holding Vermont to 31.8 percent shooting and just 14 field goals. The Seawolves forced 16 UVM turnovers that turned into 18 points.

"I love the way we played tonight," head coach Steve Pikiell said. "We went for it. Chris made big plays, Lenny made big plays, all of our guys made big plays. And we played great defense. We really came right at them. It's a great win for our program after all the adversity we went through this season."

Stony Brook controlled the entire first half with physical play in the paint and strong shooting. The key was Fjeld picking up his second foul at 13:55, setting up a Seawolves 6-0 run that included a Dougher jumper put the Seawolves on top 15-8. The Catamounts were within three, 17-14, when the Seawolves strung together a 10-3 run that was buoyed by a pair of Hayes three-pointers and capped by Dave Coley's jumper at the 4:00 mark.

Stony Brook took a 27-20 lead into halftime after shooting 44 percent and limiting the Catamounts to six field goals.

Stony Brook opened the second half on a 10-2 run to extend its lead into double digits. Danny Carter (Windsor, England) sank a three-pointer, which was followed by jumpers from Marcus Rouse (Upper Marlboro, Md.) and Anthony Jackson (Columbus, Ohio) to give the Seawolves their largest lead yet, 37-22.

Vermont fought back, but every time the team got close, Hayes stepped up with a dagger three. After a free throw brought UVM within six, 40-34, Hayes took a pass from Martin and drilled a three to put SBU back up by nine. UVM closed within seven again, but Dallis Joyner (Norfolk, Va.) cleaned up a Martin miss with a dunk and then Bryan Dougher (Scotch Plains, N.J.) fed a wide-open Hayes for a another three to put SBU up 12, 50-38. Vermont's Matt Glass sank a three to pull within 10, but two minutes later, Hayes finished off the Catamounts with his fourth triple of the half.

Martin iced the game with 10 points in the final six minutes to extend his career and lift the Seawolves to one victory away from an NCAA Tournament bid.

Stony Brook advances to AE final

Stony Brook's Chris Martin drives the baseline
Photo credit: Joseph D. Sullivan

Adversity. It’s a word that we probably use way too much in sports.
Coaches, players and the media…We are all guilty in the overuse of the word. Relatively speaking, though, Stony Brook has every right to use it, especially with so many player games -at least 53- lost to injury
Seawolves coach Steve Pikiell had no problems spouting it out on Sunday.
“It’s a great win for our program after all the adversity we went through,” Pikiell said after Sunday’s 69-47 shellacking of Vermont in a CAA semifinal.
The adversity he was referring to? Tommy Brenton was lost for the season with a knee injury last summer. Chris Martin missed 13 games with a torn meniscus and Marcus Rouse missed five games with the same injury. Junior center Dallis Joyner and freshman guard Dave Coley also missed games with injuries this season.
With all eligible players at or near 100 percent, Stony Brook is playing basketball at the level Pikiell expected them to be at. Stony Brook has won four straight games and six of its last eight.
The Seawolves (15-16), who will face the winner of Hartford and Boston University, are just one win away from its first appearance in the NCAA Tournament as a Division I program.
Leonard Hayes led the Seawolves with 20 points and Martin added 14. Stony Brook also got eight points each from Joyner and Al Rapier.
“I love the way we player. We went for it,” Pikiell said. “Chris made big plays. Lenny made big plays. We played great defense and came right at them.”
If Stony Brook manages to pull off the miracle and win the tournament, some will frown on a sub-.500 team in the dance.
But a further examination of things would reveal Stony Brook deserves everything it gets. The injuries were more problematic than most people think. Brenton (7.6 ppg, 9.7 reb) led the America East in rebounding last season and shot 53 percent from the field.
Losing Chris Martin, who averaged 10.8 points last season, for so many games was also a killer. Not having two experienced players to lean on really made things tough for the Seawolves this year, especially on offense. If Stony Brook had Brenton and Martin for a full season, there's no doubt the record would've been better.
Everything happens for a reason.
Pikiell’s youth-laden crew, which includes four freshman, four sophomores and only one senior, really benefitted from the on-the-job experience.
Those experiences are what could be what earns Stony Brook its dancing shoes.

Martin's 18 lift Stony Brook into semis


WEST HARTFORD, Conn. - Sunday will be one more last chance for Stony Brook and its only senior, Chris Martin. At least one more.
With a resolute 67-61 victory over Albany in an America East Tournament quarterfinal Saturday, Stony Brook hung on to this often troublesome season by tapping every resource available: Three-point baskets, stubborn defense, rebounding muscle and timely free-throw shooting.
After Albany cut a 56-48 deficit to 56-54, Martin scored nine of Stony Brook's last 11 points in the final 3:08, going 5-for-5 from the free-throw line. With the Seawolves ahead 61-59, two free throws each by Martin with 1:07 left, sophomore Leonard Hayes with 16 seconds to go and Martin again, with seven seconds left, put Stony Brook within two games of .500 at 14-16.
And, better than that, preserved faint hope for Stony Brook of qualifying for its first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance. Top seed Vermont (23-7) will offer the next challenge in the semifinals at 5:04 p.m. Sunday, with that winner playing next weekend for the America East title and automatic invitation to The Big Dance.
For Martin and his teammates, who twice were beaten by Albany (16-16) during the regular season, staying alive helped soothe the physical and spiritual aches that have followed last year's breakthrough 22-win campaign. Of the 53 player-games lost to injury, Martin had 13 absences while rehabilitating a surgically repaired knee.
"I didn't play a lot of games this year and I knew this could've been my last game,'' he said. "I told myself, I told my team, it wasn't happening. We weren't going to lose.''
A 6-1 guard, Martin personally provided team-high numbers in points (18, 16 of those in the second half) and assists (five), reprising the slashing drives to the basket so often missing from the team's repertoire during his forced sabbatical. And with the Seawolves ahead by four in the final seconds, he secured his sixth rebound to clinch it.
What began with junior guard Bryan Dougher lighting Stony Brook's offensive fuse, pumping in four three-point baskets in the first 31/2 minutes, spread to a team-wide conflagration that fulfilled coach Steve Pikiell's pregame designs.
He wanted "four 10s,'' he said - 10 made three-pointers, 10 offensive rebounds, 10 assists and 10 or fewer turnovers. Stony Brook had 11 turnovers, but the goals for three-pointers (10-for-19), rebounds (10 of the total 31 on the offensive boards) and assists (11) were met.
Albany made its most serious run midway through the first half, building a 27-20 lead on three consecutive baskets by its all-conference senior guard from Brentwood, Tim Ambrose. But Stony Brook's high-yield jump-shooting (48 percent for the game) produced a 34-34 halftime tie, and Albany's last lead was at 36-35 with 18:23 to play.
Dougher (12 points) didn't score again after his fiery start, but "he got them energized early on,'' said Albany coach Will Brown, a Dowling College grad. "He got them comfortable, then in the second half Martin did such a good job.''
"Everybody chipped in,'' Pikiell said. To wit, Hayes with 11 points, including those late free throws; Dallis Joyner's nine points and 10 rebounds; freshman Eric McAlister's six first-half points to stanch Albany's growing lead; the four defenders (Martin, Preye Preboye, Marcus Rouse and Dave Coley) who hounded Ambrose.
Ambrose had 24 points but shot only 3-for-7 from the field in the second half while rendering Pikiell "thankful that the next stop for him is graduation.''
For Stony Brook, the months of fixes and patches are just about papered over. And the team plays on . . .

McBride's four goals lift SBU

McBride's four goals lift SBUJordan McBride scored four goals and Kevin Crowley added three as No. 7 Stony Brook beat Marist, 13-7, in men's lacrosse Saturday in Poughkeepsie.

The Seawolves scored the game's final eight goals after falling behind 7-5. Stony Brook held Marist scoreless for the game's final 19:36.
Freshman Matt Bellando scored his first collegiate goal with 3:51 left in the game. McBride and Crowley also scored in the fourth quarter.
Hauppauge's Tom Compitello missed the season opener but notched three assists in his return for the Seawolves (1-1).
"I think Compitello's presence in the lineup was a big factor," coach Rick Sowell said. "I know he's going to help Jordan going forward. Today, we tried to get Jordan some looks in transition and he was able to score a few."
McBride scored twice in a first quarter that ended in a 2-2 tie. Stony Brook's Timmy Trenkle (Commack) scored with 9:25 left in the second quarter to tie it at 3.
A man-up goal from McBride to Crowley cut the Seawolves' deficit to 6-5 with 6:43 left in the third. Morgan Faller's goal at 4:36 of the third quarter put Marist ahead 7-5.
Stony Brook controlled possession for the rest of the third and goals by Robbie Campbell and Graham Adams tied the score. Crowley scored with 49 seconds left in the third to put Stony Brook ahead 8-7. Brett Drost's goal off a feed from Jericho's Jared LeVerne made it 9-7. Nine seconds later, Trenkle scored for a 10-7 lead.
Adam Rand won 18 of 21 draws.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Chris Martin has Sr. moment for Stony Brook

 By Greg Logan, Newsday

Stony Brook's Chris Martin (30) drives against Binghamton's
Photo credit: Joseph D. Sullivan
There are a lot of hard-luck stories littering Stony Brook's roster thanks to a season-long battle with injuries. But the Seawolves finally found the silver lining as Chris Martin bounced back from his latest knee injury to stage his own personal Senior Day in a 67-61 win over Albany in the first round of the America East tournament Saturday in Hartford.
Stony Brook's only senior wasn't ready to see his career end just yet, especially since he missed 13 earlier games with various knee injuries. Martin scored a team-high 18 points and added six rebounds and five assists to put the Seawolves (14-16) in the conference semifinals Sunday against the winner of a game between top-seeded Vermont and Binghamton. Bryan Dougher added 12 points, leonard Hayes scored 11, and Dallis Joyner had nine along with 10 rebounds.
Tim Ambrose led the Great Danes (16-16), who were seeded fourth and swept the regular-season series over SBU, with 24 points. But Stony Brook recorded its third straight win by shooting 47.8 percent, including 52.6 percent from three-point range 910 of 19).
Stony Brook trailed by seven points in the first half before drawing even at 34 by halftime. Two Martin foul shots gave the Seawolves a 37-36 with 18:22 left to play, and even though the lead never was more than eight points, SBU never lost it the rest of the way.
With 46 seconds remaining, Ambrose made two foul shots to pull Albany within two at 63-61. Martin then missed a layup, but Joyner got the offensive rebound, and the Danes had to foul Hayes, who made both for a 65-61 lead at the 16-second mark. After Ambrose missed a layup, Martin put the game out of reach with two more foul shots with seven seconds showing.
"We're happy to come out with a victory against a tough Albany team that has some great players," coach Steve Pikiell said. "Our guys played hard, shot the ball well and we did a good job defending their guys. Ambrose had a good game for them, but I thought we stopped their other big threats, and that was the difference."

Chris Martin leads men's hoops to America East semifinal sunday

America East Championship Central

Senior captain Chris Martin (Springfield Gardens, N.Y.) scored a season-high 18 points, 16 in the second half, and added five assists to lift the Stony Brook men's basketball team to a 67-61 victory over Albany in the quarterfinals of the 2011 America East Championship, Saturday in West Hartford, Conn. The No. 4 seed Seawolves advance to Sunday's semifinals against either No. 1 Vermont or No. 8 Binghamton at 5 p.m.
Martin was one of three Seawolves in double figures, joining Bryan Dougher (Scotch Plains, N.J.), who had 12 points, and Leonard Hayes (Voorhees, N.J.) who had 11 points. Stony Brook shot 47.8 percent for the game and made 10 or more three-pointers for the seventh time this season, all victories.
Albany was led by Tim Ambrose, who had 24 points on 8-of-14 shooting. The rest of the team was held to 14-for-39 (35.9 percent) from the floor.
Stony Brook has now beaten Albany in the America East quarterfinals for the second straight year and has now advanced to the tournament semifinals for the third time, including 2004 and 2010.
"It was a great game by both teams today, and we're happy to come out with a victory against a tough Albany team that has some great players," head coach Steve Pikiell said. "Our guys played hard, shot the ball well and we did a good job defending their guys. Ambrose had a good game for them, but I thought we stopped their other big threats and that was the difference."

Both teams came out firing three-pointers in the first half. Dougher was the main culprit, sinking four treys before the first media timeout.  Hayes got into the act with a triple of his own at 12:53 that gave the Seawolves a 17-11 lead.

Albany fought back with a 12-1 run and then took a 27-20 lead with 7:14 left in the first after Ambrose connected on a layup. Ultimately, the two teams deadlocked at 34-34 going into halftime.
Martin then took over the second half with his aggressiveness in driving to the lane. He made three of four free throws early that ultimately put the Seawolves on top for good. Later in the half, it was 47-46 Stony Brook after a Luke Devlin layup when Dallis Joyner (Norfolk, Va.) slammed home his second dunk of the afternoon off a pass from Martin to spark a 9-2 run. Joyner had a free throw at 6:14 that put the Seawolves up 56-48.
Albany got within two points again after a layup from Logan Aronhalt made it 56-54, but Martin stepped up and made big play after big play. He split a pair of defenders at the top of the key and then weaved around the arm of Albany's John Puk for a layup. Ambrose answered with a layup of his own, and then Marin took a pass from Joyner down the baseline, drove towards the hoop and made another layup and the foul. He completed the three-point play with a free throw and the Seawolves led 61-56 with 2:28 remaining.
Albany fought back to make it 63-61, and then Joyner came up with a big play. Martin missed a layup that was blocked by Puk, but Joyner came down with the offensive rebound and then kicked it out to Hayes, who was fouled. Hayes made both free throws with 16.3 seconds left to make it a four-point game and ice the victory. Joyner, who leads America East in offensive rebounds, had a team-high 10 rebounds on the day, six on the offensive glass.
Martin, who had missed 13 games this season due to knee injuries, was 8-for-9 from the line and had just one turnover in 23 minutes. Over his last three games, he has averaged five assists.
Stony Brook's semifinal game will emanate from Chase Arena at 5 p.m. Sunday, live on WUSB Radio 90.1 FM and on America East TV streaming. For more information, visit America East Championship Central.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Stony Brook women go down swinging

Stony Brook's Kirsten Jeter (32) drives around Manhattan's
Photo credit: Joseph D. Sullivan

It wasn’t the best of seasons for the Stony Brook women, but they made it interesting at the end.
Senior forward Kirsten Jeter ended her career on a high note with 17 points and 11 rebounds in the Seawolves 74-65 loss to top-seeded UMBC in an America East quarterfinal on Friday night. Jeter, who also scored her 1,500th career point in the game, was an All-America East second-team selection.
A loss is a loss and no team wants to lose, but there are a lot of positives to take from the game if you’re a Stony Brook fan. Sure, the Seawolves final record (7-23) is something no one wants to remember. But the last few weeks were an eye-opener for the program.
Wins over Maine (76-55) and Binghamton (54-37) and close losses to Hartford (67-63) and Boston (72-68) University, could serve as a foreshadowing.
The reason for the optimistic feelings: the emergence of Juanita Cochran. Cochran had a career-high 22 points in the win over Binghamton, eight points and eight rebounds in the win over Maine on Thursday night and 15 points and seven rebounds against UMBC.
The 6-2 sophomore center had been dealing with a stress fracture this season, which limited her effectiveness early on. If Cochran returns healthy next season, the Seawolves could surprise.
Interim coach Evelyn Thompson certainly sees the potential.
Said Thompson: “Let me first say that the words to describe this team… I mean I can’t even come up with the words to truly describe this team. Exceptional is what I will say because these young women could have easily folded based on all of the adversities we have been through this year. But they haven’t and instead they have grown into this fantastic team that I am so, so proud of and so blessed to have coached.”
Stony Brook loses seniors Jeter, Misha Horsey and Jodie Plikus. But Horsey and Plikus played in a total of nine games this season. Everyone else returns, including Cochran, second and third-leading scorer Sam Landers and Destiny Jacobs and junior guard Tamiel Murray.
So there is talent, enough to warrant feelings of hope for next season.
The question is who is going to coach the team next season. Thompson took over for Michele Cherry. Stony Brook athletics director Jim Fiore announced earlier this season the program would conduct a national search for a coach.

No. 1 UMBC edges Women's Hoops in AE Quarterfinals

Final Stats

West Harford, Conn. - Senior Kirsten Jeter (Elmont, N.Y.) led three Seawolves in double-figures with 17 points but Michelle Kurowski had 26 points and 13 rebounds to lead the No. 1 UMBC Retrievers to a 74-65 victory over the No. 8 Stony Brook University women's basketball team in an America East quarterfinal game on Friday at Chase Arena.
Jeter also pulled down 11 rebounds and become the sixth player in program history to score 1,500 points in the second half. Sophomore Juanita Cochran (Saginaw, Mich.) added 15 points and seven rebounds while sophomore Sam Landers (Springfield, Va.) chipped in with 10 points.
UMBC had just nine made field goals in the second half but went 23-for-31 from the line in the period. After shooting over 40 percent in three of the last four games, the Seawolves were held to 36.1 percent shooting. Stony Brook finishes the season at 7-23.
The Seawolves trailed by 10 with 2:10 left but scored the next four points to get within six and then forced a UMBC turnover in the backcourt. But junior Tamiel Murray (Teaneck, N.J.) missed on a contest lay-up and Meghan Colabella leaked out for an easy lay-up on the other end to put the game away.
Stony Brook led 11-7 early but UMBC then went on a 14-4 run to take a 21-14 lead with eight minutes left in the half. SBU closed within three on back-to-back hoops from sophomore Gerda Gatling (Woodbridge, Va.) and junior Destiny Jacobs (Glen Burnie, Md.) but the Retrievers held the Seawolves scoreless over the next six minutes, building their lead to 27-18.

Gatling banked in a three from the left wing with the shot clock winding down to end the Stony Brook drought and cut the UMBC lead to six. Tope Obajolu hit two free throws to push the Retriever lead back to eight but Cochran scored an inside hoop in the final minutes as the Seawolves went into the break trailing 29-23.
After hitting six of their first 12 shots, the Seawolves went cold, going 3-for-14 the rest of the half.
UMBC took control at the start of the second half, scoring seven of the first nine points to take a 36-25 lead. The Retrievers hit just three of their first eight shots of the half but went 8-for-11 from the foul line over the first six minutes
Stony Brook got within eight twice, first on a three from Landers and then on a two free throws from Cochran. But Kurowski and Colabella answered with back-to-back threes to push the Retriever lead to 14 midway though the half.
The Seawolves again rallied, going on an 8-2 run to climb within eight but SBU went scoreless over the next 2:30 as UMBC built its lead back to 12 with seven minutes to go. Stony Brook pulled within seven with just over two minutes left on a Jeter hoop but Michelle Brokans drilled a three from the corner to push the lead back to 10.

Stony Brook's Bryan Dougher named second-team All-America East

Junior guard Bryan Dougher (Scotch Plains, N.J.) of the Stony Brook men's basketball team has been named to the All-America East second team, the conference announced at its annual awards reception prior to the start of the 2011 America East Championship.

Dougher, who earns second-team honors for the second consecutive season, was Stony Brook's leading scorer during the regular season, averaging 13.2 points per game while shooting 34.7 percent from the field and 35.7 percent from three-point range. He also led the team in three-pointers made (81), assists (60),  steals (27) and free throw shooting (.863).

Among his conference peers, Dougher ranked 11th in America East in scoring, second in free throw shooting and second in three-pointers made per game (2.8).

Dougher has had four 20-point games this season and has buried five or more three-pointers in a game seven times, including four times during conference play.

Dougher has played 91 career games at Stony Brook and is the school's all-time leader in three-pointers made with 242. He is also the program's 21st student-athlete to record 1,000 career points and is now 11th all-time in scoring with 1,61 points. In addition to his two All-Conference honors, he was named to the America East All-Rookie team as a freshman in 2009.

Dougher and the Seawolves were 13-16 overall and 8-8 in America East during the regular season and enter the 2011 America East Championship as the No. 5 seed. Stony Brook will take on No. 4 seed Albany in the tournament quarterfinals Saturday at Chase Arena in West Hartford, Conn., at 12 p.m. Full tournament information is available at America East Championship Central.

SBU needs one good weekend for Big Dance


This could be Stony Brook's bridge over the troubled waters of a hard-knocks 13-16 season. Three wins in the America East Tournament in West Hartford, beginning with tomorrow's noon game against Albany, and this battered team would be transported onto the NCAA Tournament's golden shores.
Because the America East is one of 31 conferences whose tournament champion is granted an automatic berth in The Big Dance, Stony Brook coach Steve Pikiell's preseason observation - that everything comes down to "having a good weekend" - offers hope to all. Even a team that lost 53 player-games to injury and labored through persistent offensive woes.
It won't be easy. Fifth-seeded Stony Brook lost both regular-season games to fourth-seeded Albany (16-15) and needed four wins in its last five conference games just to finish 8-8 in America East play. Plus, the health issues hardly have been resolved.
Pikiell doubts he will able to use freshman guard Dave Coley, the team's third-leading scorer and Pikiell's "lockdown defender," for significant minutes Saturday because Coley recently returned from a knee injury.
Tommy Brenton, the junior forward with more career point-rebound double-doubles than anyone on the roster, was lost for the season before it began because of knee surgery. Stony Brook's only senior, Chris Martin, lost 13 games to knee surgery. Sophomore guard Marcus Rouse, the second-leading scorer (7.6) behind junior guard Bryan Dougher (13.2), missed five games rehabilitating a surgically repaired knee. Junior Dallis Joyner, the team's leading rebounder (6.7), was slowed early in the season by a bad ankle.
"There have been a lot of ups and downs, with Tommy going down and Marcus getting hurt," Dougher said. "But we fought through it all, had some good games and bad games. We haven't had the record we expected, but I know it only takes one good weekend in the tournament to achieve our goals."
A year ago, regular-season champion Stony Brook learned the bitter lesson about the tournament weekend, losing in the semifinals to fourth-seeded Boston University and settling for its first NIT appearance.
"We know if we win three games, it'll make it a lot sweeter," Joyner said. "Last year we had a great record but we didn't get the job done [in the tournament]. There's definitely a sense of urgency; we've just got to turn that urgency into production."

Stony Brook 76, Maine 55

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Women's Hoops routs Maine to open AE Tournament

West Hartford, Conn. - Senior Kirsten Jeter (Elmont, N.Y.) led all scorers with 26 points as the No. 8 Stony Brook University women's basketball team rolled to a 76-55 victory over the No. 9 Maine Black Bears in the first round of the 2011 America East Championships on Thursday at Chase Arena.
Jeter went 10-for-16 from the field and had eight rebounds and five steals. The five steals made her just the fifth player in America East history with 1,400 points, 700 rebounds and 250 steals. Sophomore Sam Landers (Springfield, Va.) added 13 points for the Seawolves, who advance to take on top-seeded UMBC in the quarterfinal round on Friday at 6:05 p.m.
Maine scored seven of the game's first nine points but the Seawolves (7-22) took control from there, going on an 18-4 run to take a 20-11 lead just over eight minutes into the contest. After missing seven of its first 10 shots, the Seawolves knocked down nine of their next 14 attempts.
A three from Landers with the shot clock winding down gave SBU a 27-15 advantage but the Black Bears then went on an 8-2 run to cut the Stony Brook lead to 29-23. Junior Tamiel Murray (Teaneck, N.J.) ended the run with a floater in the lane though as Stony Brook capped the half on a 12-3 run to head into the break with a 41-26.
Stony Brook picked up right where they left off at the beginning of second half, opening on a 15-3 run to take a 56-29 lead. The Seawolves held Maine without a field goal for nearly five minutes to start the half.
The Seawolves lead would grow to as much as 33 on three straight triples from sophomore Dani Klupenger (Aurora, Ore.) with just under over five minutes to go. Stony Brook coasted from there on its way to its third victory over the Black Bears this season.

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Brittany Williams had a team-high 13 points for Maine, which shot just 33.9 percent from the field. Stony Brook shot 50 percent from the field in the first half and 45.5 percent for the game.
Stony Brook out-rebounded Maine, 46-28, led by Murray's game-high nine boards. Sophomore Juanita Cochran (Saginaw, Mich.) added eight points and eight rebounds.

Kirsten Jeter honored by America East

West Hartford, Conn. - Senior forward Kirsten Jeter (Elmont, N.Y.), of the Stony Brook University women's basketball team has been to the All-America East second team, the conference office announced at its annual awards banquet on Thursday. Jeter was also named to the America East All-Defensive team.
Jeter averaged a team-high 13.8 points per game and ranked third in the America East in scoring during conference play (15.7 ppg.). Named to the conference's All-Defensive team for the first time, Jeter led the America East in steals per game (3.0) and ranked 10th in t rebounding (7.0 per game).
She is the active America East leader in points (1,467), rebounds (739) and steals (246) and on Saturday she played in her 118th career game, tying Dana Ferraro `08 for most games in program history. Named to the all-conference second team for the second straight season, Jeter ranks in the school's top-10 in points (sixth), rebounds (seventh) and steals (fifth).
This season, Jeter also became the fourth player in school history and only the 18th player in conference history to have 1,400 points and 700 rebounds. She is also just four steals shy of becoming just the fifth player in America East history to have 1,400 points, 700 rebounds and 250 steals.
The eight-seeded Seawolves open the 2011 America East tournament tonight against No. 9 Maine at Chase Arena. Game time is set for 6:05 p.m. The winner advanced to take on top-seeded UMBC in the quarterfinal round on Friday at 6:05 p.m.