Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Stony Brook's complete game routs FDU

Through its first six games, Stony Brook's unofficial team motto this year hadn't exactly been on display.
"Defense wins games, offense tells you by how much," said forward Tommy Brenton, reciting coach Steve Pikiell's mantra. It finally struck a chord Wednesday night once the whistle blew for the start of the second half in Stony Brook's resounding 70-46 win over Fairleigh Dickinson.
"In the locker room, Coach said just go out there and play defense and we'll get the shots," guard Dave Coley said. "We did."
After a shaky first half, the Seawolves (3-4) dominated the early part of the second, going on an 18-2 run and blowing open what had been a back-and-forth game. Stony Brook shot 56 percent in the second half, and FDU couldn't keep up.
"This was like old-fashioned Stony Brook basketball," Pikiell said. "We've had signs this year, halves, but we haven't done it on a consistent basis."
Coley had 16 points, Bryan Dougher 14 and Ron Bracey 10 off the bench.
The second-half catalyst might have been Dallis Joyner, the 6-7 center who picked up two fouls in the game's first four minutes and sat until halftime. When Joyner returned, it was with a renewed bounce, and his teammates seemed to feed off of it. He made a reverse layup and grabbed an offensive rebound within the first three minutes and totaled eight rebounds and eight points.
"That's our bulldog, our beast right there," Coley said. "We need him."
Neither team shot particularly well in the first half and FDU (1-7) stayed close, trailing by just eight at halftime. Stony Brook forced 21 turnovers, drew four charges, held FDU to 34 percent shooting and just one bucket in transition. The Knights' leading scorer, Lonnie Hayes, went 0-11 from the field and failed to score a point.
"We just made an extra effort to really step up, play in our gaps, get in our stance, focus on defense tonight," Brenton said.
After back-to-back close losses, this may have been the complete game Stony Brook has been expecting. "I liked the way we were today," Pikiell said. "We played like a veteran team."


Waco, Texas  – Senior Brock Jackolski (Shirley, N.Y.) has been named to the 2011 American Football Coaches Association FCS Coaches' All-America Team, the AFCA announced on Wednesday morning.
"What an awesome feeling," Jackolski said.  "Being called an All-American is one of the highest accomplishments a football player can get.  I've always wanted to call myself an All-American, and now I can."
Jackolski, who's part of the 25-member squad as an all-purpose player, recorded one of the best seasons in Stony Brook and Big South history.
He rushed for 1,418 yards, had 114 receiving yards, 55 punt return yards and 854 kick return yards, totaling 20 touchdowns.  The 2,441 all-purpose yards and 20 touchdowns are Big South single-season records.
A two-time all-conference selection, Jackolski accounted for 319 all-purpose yards against St. Anselm, scoring on runs of 1 and 21 yards and a 90-yard kick return.
He recorded six games with more than 100 rushing yards and tallied more than 150 all-purpose yards in 11 of 13 games.
Jackolski set a conference record with five touchdowns in a 76-28 win over Gardner-Webb.
He's one of five players in Big South history with more than 4,000 all-purpose yards, accomplishing the feat in just two years.  Including two seasons at Hofstra, Jackolski has totaled 6,394 all-purpose yards, which ranks 16th in FCS history.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Loss can't diminish what SBU accomplished

The ending wasn't the way Chuck Priore would have scripted it for a Stony Brook team that was bent on upsetting No. 1 Sam Houston in an FCS second-round game Saturday at Bowers Stadium. The Bearkats (12-0) drove 83 yards to score with 1:01 left and pull out a 34-27 victory that preserved their perfect record.
But as Priore said, "We certainly won't be judged by that last five-minute drive. I know that. We won't allow them to be.''
No, the Seawolves (9-4) came too far and accomplished too much to be defined that way. This was a team that rebounded from a 0-3 start to win nine straight games, earning its first undisputed Big South championship and recording its first FCS playoff victory by beating Albany in the first round the previous week. It lost starting quarterback Michael Coulter to a season-ending knee injury after four games and rallied brilliantly behind backup Kyle Essington.
"I've been part of 30 years of coaching, and this is my 12th year as a head coach,'' Priore said. "This team was a special team. This team didn't get rattled ever. It was sort of amazing to me. Sometimes I wanted to get mad, and I couldn't get mad at them. They'd come off the field and they'd be ready to play the next play. We've answered touchdowns all year, and we've answered with big stops on defense.''
Just a week ago, it was the defense coming up with a game-saving interception by Dominick Reyes against Albany. Then SBU stunned Sam Houston and a crowd of 8,161 by taking a 10-3 lead, the Bearkats' first halftime deficit of the season.
When SHSU came back to take a 17-10 lead on two third-quarter touchdowns, the Seawolves didn't accept their fate and fade away. With their pair of brilliant running backs, Brock Jackolski and Miguel Maysonet, stymied by the nation's leading rushing defense, the Seawolves switched gears.
Essington hit bomb after bomb to wideouts Kevin Norrell, who caught four passes for 114 yards and a touchdown, and Matt Brevi, who had three catches for 94 yards and a TD. They came back to tie the score at 20 and again at 27 with 6:37 to play.
Sam Houston coach Willie Fritz was suitably impressed. "Stony Brook played a sensational ballgame,'' Fritz said. "They were very well-coached and they had an excellent game plan.''
"We accomplished a lot,'' Brevi said of Stony Brook's first nine-win season. "We're going to next year with a lot of momentum, and we have a lot of guys coming back. They're hungry to be back here because it's not a good feeling when you lose.''
Unfortunately for Brevi, he's in the group of seniors who won't return, but they leave knowing they made a lasting imprint. Jackolski, who transferred in from Hofstra two years ago, is another player who found a home and did all he could to improve it.
"It's an awesome experience to play the No. 1 team in the nation and to do it with my fellow teammates who I've grown a good relationship with,'' said Jackolski, who scored his Big South-record 20th touchdown of the season.
Stony Brook athletic director Jim Fiore probably has a better perspective than anyone on what this season means to SBU athletics. "A lot,'' Fiore said. "They represented us in ways we've never had. They raised expectations and showed resilience. They put us on the map in a sport where we didn't have scholarships just five years ago.''
Stony Brook -- the name is beginning to resonate now.

Sam Houston outlasts Stony Brook, 34-27

HUNTSVILLE, Texas -- If Stony Brook accomplished nothing else, it served notice to the Football Championship Subdivision that there's a new player on the national scene.
The Seawolves led No. 1 Sam Houston State by seven points at halftime, and even after the game turned around in the third quarter, Stony Brook twice came back from seven-point deficits to tie the Bearkats in an FCS second-round playoff game Saturday at Bowers Stadium.
But when time ran out, Sam Houston still was standing as tall as the granite statue of its namesake at the edge of town, with its unbeaten record intact. The Bearkats (12-0) drove 83 yards to win the game, 34-27, on Tim Flanders' 7-yard run with 1:01 to play.
"It was a dogfight from beginning to end,'' Bearkats safety Darnell Taylor said. "[Stony Brook] was the best offense we played all season. They schemed us, and they had good guys. They're a good team.''
Sam Houston's team motto is "prove it,'' which the Bearkats did. But the Seawolves (9-4), who had won nine straight games, proved they belonged.
Stony Brook took a 10-3 halftime lead on a 37-yard touchdown pass from Kyle Essington to Matt Brevi and a 32-yard field goal by Wes Skiffington. The scoring plays were set up by runs of 30 yards by Miguel Maysonet and 65 yards by Brock Jackolski as SBU rolled up 121 first-half rushing yards on the nation's top rushing defense (59.0).
It was the first time Sam Houston had trailed at halftime all season, and the seven-point margin tied its largest deficit.
But everything changed in the third quarter when Stony Brook went three-and-out on its first three possessions and punted into a wind gusting to 20 miles per hour. Starting at the SBU 42 after Skiffington's 23-yard punt, Sam Houston tied it on a 5-yard pass from Brian Bell to Richard Sincere and then drove 57 yards to go ahead 17-10 on Bell's 5-yard run.
"It's always tough when you have a short field to defend,'' said Seawolves linebacker Grant Nakwaasah, who had a terrific game with eight tackles, including three for losses. "They made adjustments at halftime and we didn't come up with the plays we needed.''
Sam Houston held SBU to 150 yards rushing for the game and only 29 in the second half, when the Seawolves had the ball for just 11:30. Jackolski finished with 86 yards on 14 carries and Maysonet had 73 on 16 carries.
"As soon as we came through the hole, their safeties were coming down real hard,'' Jackolski said. "It was frustrating, but it opened up the passing game.''
Essington completed only 9 of 29 passes, but they went for 226 yards, two touchdowns and a series of big plays.
After the teams traded field goals early in the fourth quarter to leave the Bearkats in front 20-13, Essington hit Brevi for 38 yards to set up a 3-yard touchdown pass to Kevin Norrell that tied the score at 20.
On Sam Houston's next play, Bell's pump fake got Stony Brook cornerback Donald Porter to bite up, and Bell hit Trey Diller running wide-open down the right side for an 80-yard touchdown and a 27-20 lead.
"The biggest thing in the game was the field position in the third period and the big play we gave up after we tied it up,'' Stony Brook coach Chuck Priore said. "They faked a bubble pass. Our corner came down to play the bubble, and our safety came down. It's human error. They executed it. They deserve it. It was a good call on their part.''
But the Seawolves were undaunted, driving 73 yards -- helped by a 45-yard completion to Norrell -- and scoring on Jackolski's 2-yard run to tie it at 27 with 6:37 remaining. A pass-interference penalty on Taylor on fourth-and-9 set up the score.
"Our offense, we're fighters,'' Essington said. "Last week, we were down [by 18] against Albany and came back.''
But in the final six minutes, Sam Houston proved why it's No. 1. The Bearkats gained 68 yards on the ground in their winning drive, including a couple of key option runs by Bell.
"They played cover, and it allowed Brian to run more options than usual and he made good decisions,'' Sam Houston coach Willie Fritz said. "We didn't play great, but Stony Brook had a lot to do with that.''

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Nice SBU reception for Brevi's comeback route (Newsday)

In the fall of 2006, Matt Brevi was out of college and feeling sorry for himself.
Brevi had hoped to play football at South Florida in his hometown of Tampa, a dream that was shattered, he said, when he failed to attain the required SAT score.
"I kind of gave up on football,'' said Brevi, now a key wide receiver for Stony Brook. "I didn't care about it anymore. I didn't have anywhere else to go. I kind of got down on myself. It was very frustrating for me. Knowing that you can play at the Division I level and having everything taken away is really tough.''
In December 2006, Brevi received a phone call from the staff at Fort Hays, a Division II school in Kansas, and slowly started to resurrect his academic and athletic careers.
His brother Chris, who played at Iowa and later at Stony Brook, helped set him back on course.
"He told me, 'Everything is going to be better. Wherever you go, you've got to make the most of your opportunities,' '' Matt said. "That's what I did at Fort Hays.''
After a good season there, Stony Brook entered the picture.
Coach Chuck Priore learned about Brevi from Sean Callahan, who coached Brevi at Armwood High School in Tampa and whose son is current Seawolves linebacker Casey Callahan.
"From the moment he joined our program, he had some natural leadership ability,'' Priore said. "He was talented; he needed to learn our system. As he learned, he got better and better. And he excelled in the classroom. He'll be graduating and has been a good team leader.''
Brevi has caught 28 passes for 522 yards and leads the receivers with six touchdowns. In his three years at SBU, he has caught 93 passes for 1,534 yards and 13 touchdowns.
"If you mention the word [physical], it's by far Matt Brevi,'' offensive coordinator Jeff Behrman said during a conference call with ESPN3, which will broadcast Stony Brook's FCS second-round playoff game against Sam Houston Saturday in Huntsville, Texas. "He is somebody that's going to go in there and block the safety, crack those guys and put them on the ground. He's done that numerous times for us this year.''
Brevi does not mind looking back at the past; it helps him appreciate the present -- and future. "I'm very blessed to have the season I had this year and also to graduate,'' he said. "Coming from the summer of 2006 and not even knowing if I was ever going to graduate from college to now, actually being able to have a plan, setting my goals and achieving them.''

STONY BROOK Men's hoops announces record broadcast schedule for 2011-12

Seawolves will have 18 games on television, including three national broadcasts, and all 28 games on WUSB Radio.

2011-12 Men's Basketball Broadcast Schedule (PDF)
2011-12 Stony Brook Athletics Broadcast Schedule

Stony Brook University Men’s Basketball will appear on television at least 18 times during the 2011-12 season, which shatters the school record, the program announced after America East released its full television package Wednesday. The Seawolves will have three nationally televised games, one on ESPNU and two on CBS Sports Network, which will compliment Stony Brook’s eight-game package with Cablevision’s Optimum Local.
In addition, all 28 regular season games and all potential postseason games will be broadcast on the radio at WUSB 90.1 FM and online at
“Having at least 18 games on television this season says a lot about how far our program has come,” head coach Steve Pikiell said. “We are honored to be representing Stony Brook University on so many platforms on local, regional and national levels. This will be our opportunity to reach millions of homes nationwide and show them how our student-athletes compete hard both athletically and academically.”
Stony Brook’s headlining broadcast will be its Jan. 27 home game against Boston University, which will air on ESPNU, which reaches 72 million homes across the country. The Seawolves will be looking to knock off the defending champion Terriers in a rematch of last season’s America East Championship final. The game will also be a part of Stony Brook’s Winterfest 2012.
Stony Brook also will have a pair of games broadcast through ESPN3, which is ESPN’s live multi-screen sports network, a 24/7 destination that delivers thousands of global sports events annually and accessible online via It is available to approximately 70 million homes at no cost to fans who receive a high-speed Internet connection or video subscription from an affiliated provider. Stony Brook’s game at Boston University on Jan. 14 and at New Hampshire on Feb. 6 will both be carried by ESPN3.
The Seawolves hoops team will appear on CBS Sports Network for the first time ever with a pair of February games. The team will play at Vermont Feb. 12 and host Maine Feb. 26 in the regular season finale. CBS Sports Network, which televises over 2,000 hours of live programming a year, is available to 98 million homes nationwide.

Stony Brook will also have other regional television dates on the schedule. The team’s Dec. 11 game at Boston College will be broadcast in the New England region on NESN. The following week’s Dec. 17 appearance at Madison Square Garden vs. Rutgers in the MSG Holiday Festival will be televised on MSG at noon. The Feb. 4 game at Albany will be regionally televised by Time Warner Cable Sports.
The national and regional television package is supplemented by an eight-game local package through Cablevision’s Optimum Local, which was announced back in October. The Seawolves will appear on iO TV digital cable’s channel 118 in Nassau and Suffolk County beginning with the Dec. 7 game vs. Fairleigh Dickinson and will include all America East games with the exception of Jan. 27 and Feb. 26.
Stony Brook men’s basketball, under seventh-year head coach Steve Pikiell, is off to a 2-3 start to the 2011-12 season. The Seawolves have returned 12 letterwinners from last season’s team that advanced to the America East Championship final for the first time in program history. The Seawolves have been picked to finish either first or second in most media/coaches polls and will compete for their first-ever America East championship and NCAA Tournament bid.

Sacred Heart defeats Stony Brook women’s hoops, 55-33

Fairfield, Conn. – Stony Brook University’s women’s basketball team fell to the Sacred Heart Pioneers, 55-33, on Wednesday night at the Pitt Center. It was the second straight loss for the Seawolves.

“We competed hard but just didn’t execute the way we need to on the offensive end of the court,” Stony Brook head coach Beth O’Boyle said. “But we’ll come out and practice hard tomorrow and get ready for a good Rider team next Tuesday.”

Junior Gerda Gatling (Woodbridge, Va.) led Stony Brook as she matched a career-high with 10 points and junior Jessica Previlon (Brooklyn, N.Y.) chipped in with five points and nine rebounds.  Callan Taylor paced Sacred Heart with 19 points and 11 rebounds.

Sacred Heart started the game strong; hitting five of its first seven shots to take a 16-4 lead six minutes in. The Seawolves held the Pioneers without a field goal over the next five and a half minutes but still trailed 18-5 with nine minutes to go in the half.

Gatling gave the Seawolves a much needed lift off the bench though, scoring six points over the next two minutes as SBU cut the Sacred Heart lead to 25-13 with six minutes remaining. The teams traded hoops over the next five minutes but SHU scored the final five points of the half and took a 32-15 lead into the break.

Sacred Heart shot 46.4 percent over the opening 20 minutes and scored 10 points off nine Stony Brook turnovers. The Pioneers also had a 21-15 rebounding edge.

Gatling continued her strong play to start the second half, hitting a long jumper to answer an early Sacred Heart hoop. But the Pioneers scored eight of the next 10 points to take a 40-19 lead with 14:11 left.

Sacred Heart pushed its lead to as many as 25 and Stony Brook got no closer than 19 the rest of the way. It was the fifth win in six games for the Pioneers.

Stony Brook returns to action on Tuesday, traveling to take on Rider. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.