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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

TOMMY BRENTON BREAKS STONY BROOK REBOUNDING RECORD IN WIN AT SFNY

Tommy Brenton scored only four points, but in many ways the senior forward was the most important player in Stony Brook's 77-61 win over St. Francis at the Pope Center Tuesday night.

Despite attempting only four shots, the 6-5 Brenton controlled the game. He grabbed seven rebounds, dished five assists and helped break the press when the Terriers turned up the heat early in the second half.

"Tommy makes it all go for us," Stony Brook coach Steve Pikiell said. "He didn't have a great game tonight, but he's a stat-stuffer. He's a very underrated player in this area. He's got a tremendous IQ and he's a warrior."

It was a typical game for Brenton, who does the dirty work. His rebound midway through the first half was the 906th of his career, making him the all-time leader in program history.

"It means a lot," Brenton said. "Just coming into this program from Day One when I was a freshman, not even knowing if I was going to play or contribute at all -- it feels like eight years later, I've been here so long -- just to know that I have that record under my belt and it will be there. Hopefully I have this for a long time."

Brenton joked that he hopes freshman forward Jameel Warney doesn't break the record. Warney had 13 points and nine rebounds Tuesday night, and is averaging 7.9 rebounds per game.

"We threw him right to the wolves," Pikiell said. "I told him that when I recruited him. He's done a great job with it."

Brenton and Warney were complemented by Dave Coley and Anthony Jackson on the perimeter. Jackson, the team's leading scorer, finished with 15 points, and Coley, a Brooklyn native, had a game-high 19 points.

"Ain't nothing like home," said Coley, who had a personal cheering section behind the Seawolves bench.

Coley's play was key during a run late in the first half when Stony Brook (7-2) turned a one-point deficit into a 40-24 halftime lead. The junior guard scored all 13 of his first-half points in the final 10 minutes.

St. Francis (2-6) cut the deficit to single digits at 40-31 in the opening minutes of the second half thanks to its pressure defense. But the Seawolves settled down and pulled away for their third straight win.

"I think this game really showed that we can finish down the stretch," Brenton said. "Coach always talks about finishing strong and don't let your lead slip away at halftime."