Stony Brook, N.Y. - The Stony Brook men's basketball team fell behind Vermont by 17 points, only to come back and get as close as four points, but could not complete the comeback, losing to the Catamounts, 51-43, in the final of the America East Championship Saturday in front of a sold-out Stony Brook Arena crowd of 4,423.
Despite the loss, Stony Brook (22-9) has still won 19 of its last 22 games and, by virtue of its regular season championship, has earned an automatic bid into the NIT.
Sophomore Dave Coley (Brooklyn, N.Y.) and senior Al Rapier (Chicago, Ill.) each scored 10 points to lead the Seawolves, who could not get anything going on the offensive end. Stony Brook shot just 29.3 percent for the game, including 4-for-19 from three-point range.
Senior Bryan Dougher (Scotch Plains, N.J.) scored eight points on the day. His first three-pointer of the game pushed him past D.J. Munir to become the program's all-time leading Div. I scorer. Dougher now has 1,597 points for his career with at least one more game to play.
Vermont was led by Four McGlynn's 14 points. Brian Voelkel had 15 rebounds and seven assists and was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player.
"Give credit to Vermont, they were the better team today," head coach Steve Pikiell said. "If you don't score, you can't win the game, and today we could not find the basket. But I'm proud of our guys. They have had a great season, won 22 games, and we still have basketball left to play. We get to go to a postseason game when so many other teams are done for the year."
Shooting was the name of the game as the Catamounts hit their shots early on, and the Seawolves could not. Vermont built a 22-9 lead by making nine of its first 16 shots while SBU had just three field goals until Rapier made a layup at 5:56 to end UVM's run.
The halftime score was 26-19 in favor of the Catamounts as the Seawolves made just eight field goals.
In the second half, back-to-back three-pointers from junior Marcus Rouse (Upper Marlboro, Md.) and Dougher, cut SBU's deficit to six, 31-25, but McGlynn was a thorn in SBU's side, nailing a three-pointer at 16:07 and 14:09 to make it a 12-point game again, 37-25.
Vermont's lead grew to 17 when Voelkel hit a three-pointer at 9:56 to make it 46-29.
The Seawolves fought back as Coley nailed a three-pointer at 6:46 to make it a 10-point game. He then grabbed a Dougher miss on the offensive glass and put it back in at 6:06 and then grabbed a defensive rebound and went coast-to-coast for a layup and the foul. He completed the three-point play and all of a sudden SBU trailed by only six, 47-41, with 5:24 to go.
That would be the last field goal of the game by either team. Vermont went the last 9:56 without connecting on a field goal, but the Seawolves could not capitalize, missing their last seven shots.
Dougher was fouled on a three-point attempt and made two of three free throws to make it 47-43 Catamounts with 1:00 to play, but Vermont made four of six free throws to seal the win.
Stony Brook will make its second national postseason tournament appearance in the last three years and will find out its NIT opponent Sunday night on the NIT Selection Show, live on ESPNU at 9 p.m.