It figured that Stony Brook might suffer a letdown coming off its nationally televised victory over Boston U. to face winless Binghamton Wednesday night at Pritchard Gym, and sure enough, the score was tied early when the first media timeout was called at 15:06. Coach Steve Pikiell made a wholesale substitution, sending in four reserves, and the Seawolves lit it up, making five three-pointers in five possessions.
By the time Stony Brook's 82-48 victory was over, the Seawolves had hit a school-record 14 threes in 26 attempts, and SBU's 45 bench points were nearly enough to beat the Bearcats by themselves. It was a tremendous turnaround from the six-point win Stony Brook (14-7, 9-1 America East) scored four weeks earlier at Binghamton (0-22, 0-10).
Pikiell showed his team that game tape and emphasized the need to play with more energy, and that's what the bench provided. Backup point guard Anthony Jackson led the way with 14 points, hitting 4 of 8 from three-point range, and Marcus Rouse added 11 points, shooting 5-for-7. Bryan Dougher was the only starter in double figures with 13 points. Robert Mansell led the Bearcats with 10 points.
The weird thing about Stony Brook's five straight three-pointers was that they all came from the right wing. It began with the first of two threes by Leonard Hayes and included two by Jackson and one by Rouse as the Seawolves shot out to a 21-8 lead.
"It was preparation," said Jackson, whose .471 three-point shooting percentage leads America East. "In warm-ups we go hard and shoot gamelike shots so we can be ready coming off the bench to be instant offense . . . This game was very important coming off against someone not doing as well. There can't be a drop-off. You can't be lackadaisical."
The first half ended with Jackson burying a three from the top of the arc for a 50-15 lead that marked Stony Brook's largest output in a single half since Jan. 17, 2010 against Hartford. A three by Danny Carter from well beyond the arc with 14:14 left to play gave Stony Brook its biggest lead at 63-23.
Pikiell gave his bench extended minutes in the second half, knowing five of the next six games come on the road, and the reserves responded.
"We stay ready and try to give a spark," Rouse said. "I try to take the opportunity in whatever time I get. This game helps our confidence a lot."