Dec. 30, 2011
The Stony Brook men's basketball team shot 49 percent for the game and had four players in double figures as the Seawolves withstood a barrage of Rider three-pointers in the second half to defeat the Broncs 79-62 Friday night at Pritchard Gymnasium. Stony Brook has now won six straight home games, dating back to last season.
Sophomore Dave Coley (Brooklyn, N.Y.) led the Seawolves with 16 points and is now averaging 13.4 points over his last five games. Senior Dallis Joyner (Norfolk, Va.) added 15 points, senior Bryan Dougher (Scotch Plains, N.J.) scored 14 points, and senior Al Rapier put in 12 points. Junior Tommy Brenton (Columbia, Md.) finished one point shy of a double-double with nine points and 12 rebounds. Jeff Jones led Rider with 17 points as the Broncs connected on 12 three-pointers, eight in the second half, to stay within striking distance of the Seawolves.
"I really like the way we played tonight," head coach Steve Pikiell said. "I thought our defense did a great job forcing bad shots and turnovers in the first half. In the second half, you could see how talented Rider was, but every time they scored, we scored. This was a nice win for our team heading into conference play, which will be a challenge for us."
Stony Brook (5-6) dominated the first half as Rider (3-11) played sloppy basketball. The Seawolves forced 10 Broncs turnovers that turned into nine points while turning the ball over only once themselves.
The Seawolves jumped out to a 14-4 lead early on after junior Leonard Hayes (Voorhees, N.J.) drilled a three-pointer. The Broncs closed the lead to four with an 8-0 run, but Stony Brook responded with a 20-2 run that was capped by a sophomore Anthony Jackson (Columbus, Ohio) three-pointer to make it 34-14.
Stony Brook went into halftime leading 37-19 after Brenton ended the half with a layup.
In the second half, Stony Brook carried the momentum early with four big points from Joyner, who took a pass from Rapier after a steal and hit a layup and drew an intentional foul from Jonathon Thompson. Joyner made both free throws for a four-point play to put SBU on top 41-22.
Rider then went off on the Seawolves with three-pointers. The Seawolves lead was 16, 52-36, with 11:15 left in the game when the Broncs started hitting their shots. Jones drilled a three that Coley answered with a layup, but Rider's Eddie Mitchell came right back down the floor and hit a three to make it a 12-point game.
Jones followed with another three-pointer at 8:55, and Novar Gadson took advantage of an SBU turnover to make a layup and make it a nine-point game, 56-47.
Jones nailed another three-pointer to make it an eight-point game, 61-53, but that was as close as Rider would get. Coming out of a timeout, Rapier drove to the basket and laid up over his defender for a basket to make it a 10-point game again.
Rapier then put the game away with another layup under the basket with 1:49 to play to make it 71-59 as Rider missed six of its last seven three-point attempts and finished 12-for-27 for the game. Stony Brook made all six of its free throws in the final two minutes to secure the win.
Stony Brook shot 49% for the game although it was only 7-for-21 from behind the arc. The Seawolves also outrebounded Rider, 35-28, and went to the free throw line more than twice the amount the Broncs did (23-11). The Seawolves committed a season-low seven turnovers.
Stony Brook now enters the critical part of its schedule as it opens America East play Monday against Vermont at Pritchard Gymnasium at 7 p.m. The game will be televised on Optimum Local Channel 118. For tickets, call (631) 632-WOLF or log on to GoSeawolves.org/tickets.