It was easy to tell a lot was on the line in Friday night's America East first-place showdown between Stony Brook and Boston University when Terriers star Darryl Partin missed a three-pointer and then body-slammed the Seawolves' Tommy Brenton. Somehow, Stony Brook survived a 17-0 second-half run by BU to pull out a 66-57 victory before a sold-out Pritchard Gym crowd of 1,630 and ESPNU's cameras. Despite going 10:18 without a field goal during BU's comeback, Stony Brook (13-7, 8-1) finished on a 19-6 run in which Bryan Dougher scored seven of his 20 points.
Brenton had nine points, eight rebounds and four steals for the Seawolves, who have won 10 of their last 11. Partin topped the Terriers (11-12, 7-2) with 21 points and six rebounds, and the Seawolves held point guard D.J. Irving to seven points.
BU's winning streak ended at seven games. Stony Brook also ended a four-game losing streak against the Terriers, who beat the Seawolves in the conference final last season and knocked them out in the semifinals the previous season. It was a much-needed breakthrough for Stony Brook against its nemesis.
"Absolutely," Brenton said. "The coaches have been reminding us all season about the streak. We needed this one bad."
Brenton didn't even mind roughhousing with Partin. "He was going for the ball," Brenton said with a smile. "The game was up and down. Without the crowd, our sixth man, it would have been rough. This was like a championship college game. I'm sure we'll see them again."
Stony Brook and BU rank 1-2 in the America East in field-goal defense, but they couldn't stop each other in the first half as the Terriers shot 59.1 percent to the Seawolves' 51.9 as SBU took a 37-33 halftime lead. Dougher scored eight points to spark a 10-0 burst for a 47-34 lead, and that led to an outburst by BU coach Joe Jones that drew a technical foul. That set off the Terriers' 17-0 run, which gave BU a 51-47 lead with 6:03 remaining.
"I got my first tech of the year," Jones said. "Our guys started going after rebounds harder and defended better. We tend to play in spurts. It was as intense as I thought it was going to be. [Stony Brook] plays as hard as any college basketball team in the country."
Dave Coley's foul shot ended the Seawolves' drought. Coley found Al Rapier for a dunk at 4:12 that was the first SBU field goal in 10:18 and Coley tied the score at 54 on a jumper.
Dougher took over from there to get Stony Brook to the finish line first.
"Basically, it's about everyone keeping their poise," Dougher said. "We get a little déjà vu. It's happened before. It showed a lot about the character of the guys."