March 4, 2012
Watch the tip-in (ESPNNewYork.com)
West Hartford, Conn. - Senior Dallis Joyner (Norfolk, Va.) tipped in an offensive rebound with four-tenths of a second remaining to break a 55-55 tie and send the Stony Brook men's basketball team to a 57-55 win over Albany in the semifinals of the America East Championship.
The offensive rebound by Joyner was one of a season-high 22 for the Seawolves, who turned those second chances into 20 points. Overall, Stony Brook, which came into the game with the seventh-best rebounding margin in the country, outrebounded the Great Danes 45-26.
The win sends the top-seeded Seawolves (22-8) to the America East Championship final for the second consecutive season, and this year they will host the game against No. 2 seed Vermont on Saturday, March 10 at Stony Brook Arena at 11 a.m. The victory is Stony Brook's 13th win in its last 14 games and 19th in its last 21. SBU's 22 victories ties the program's Div. I record, originally set in 2009-10.
Joyner finished with 14 points, eight rebounds and two blocks. Senior Bryan Dougher (Scotch Plains, N.J.) had a team-high 15 points, and junior Tommy Brenton (Columbia, Md.) battled through foul trouble to produce eight points, nine rebounds, four assists and two steals.
Albany was led by Gerardo Suero's game-high 17 points. The Great Danes knocked down 11 three-pointers, but the Seawolves dominated the paint, 36-16. Stony Brook has allowed six opponents to make 10 or more three-pointers in a game this season, but the Seawolves have won them all.
"It was a great game, and a great finish," head coach Steve Pikiell said. "Albany played a great game, I expected nothing less. Our guys hung tough through the three-pointers and made winning basketball plays tonight. Dallis never gets any credit, but he had a fantastic game on both ends of the floor, and he's been doing it all season."
With under a minute remaining in the game, Stony Brook led Albany 53-52. After Albany's Mike Black missed a layup, the Seawolves called timeout to set up. Brenton got the ball on the right block and swung a pass to a streaking Joyner, who cut through the lane and made an easy layup on the left side to put SBU up 55-52.
Albany then had its turn, and Jacob Iati was left wide open to nail a three-pointer with 37 seconds remaining to tie the game at 55-55.
Stony Brook set up for one final shot. The ball went to sophomore Dave Coley (Brooklyn, N.Y.), who tried to drive the lane and was defended closely. He backed out and then went 1-on-1 with his defender. He stepped in and back and took the shot with about four seconds on the game clock. The ball hit the front of the rim, and there were bodies going after it. Joyner got his hand on the ball and tipped it up to the basket, and it swished through the net as the buzzer sounded.
The officials then conferred and watched the replay and then confirmed the call that the basket was good, sending the Seawolves into a happy frenzy.
The thrilling conclusion was a fitting end to an epic semifinal between the SUNY rivals that featured six ties and nine lead changes. The first half was played at a frantic, offensive pace as both teams found the basket early and often. Brenton set the pace early with four points, including a layup at the 15:00 mark that gave the Seawolves a 14-8 lead.
However, moments later, Brenton picked up his second foul of the game while defending Suero. He was forced to sit the rest of the half, and momentum shifted in Albany's favor. The Great Danes went on an 11-3 run that included back-to-back-to-back three-pointers from Black, Suero and Guerrier to give Albany a 19-17 advantage.
Stony Brook hung tight and fought back as Dougher answered the call with a three-pointer to re-claim the lead. A Joyner hook shot followed, and the Seawolves led 22-19 with 10:42 to go in the half.
Albany went on another run and hit a few more three-pointers. Luke Devlin's three at 4:24 gave UA its largest lead of the half, five points, making it 31-26. Stony Brook fought back again and ended the half with the last five points, including a Dougher three-pointer that made it a 33-33 tie at halftime.
Dougher made his presence felt again with a pair of layups to put the Seawolves up four, 37-33, but Albany came right back with a 9-0 run that featured another Guerrier three-pointer, making it 42-37 in favor of the Great Danes.
The two teams traded ties and leads until a 6-0 Seawolves run that was capped by a Dougher layup put Stony Brook on top 53-47 with 5:08 remaining in the game. Not to be deterred, the Great Danes again went to the three-pointer as Suero drilled a trey at 4:39 to cut it to 53-50. A Blake Medcalf layup at 3:31 then made it 53-52.
Stony Brook then controlled the clock with offensive rebounding, grabbing three between 3:31 and 2:05. Albany took only one shot for three minutes, including a player control foul by Suero. Black's missed layup set up the final turn of events that led to Stony Brook's victory.
Stony Brook finished the game shooting 38.5 percent while committing only seven turnovers. Albany shot 39.6 percent and 55 percent from behind the arc while turning the ball over only eight times.
Stony Brook now will face either No. 2 Vermont in the conference final Saturday at Stony Brook Arena at 11 a.m. The game will be nationally televised on ESPN2. Ticket information is available now.
Stony Brook completed a season sweep of Albany and Binghamton this season (6-0), the first time's that happened since the 2000-01 season when the Seawolves went 2-0 against each team...Bryan Dougher is now only two points away from breaking the school's all-time Div. I scoring record...he has 1,589 points for his career...Stony Brook improved to 5-1 in America East Championship games held at Chase Arena...Stony Brook has now outrebounded its opponent in 26 of 30 games this season...only one America East team has outrebounded the Seawolves (UMBC on Feb. 9 -- a Seawolves win)...the +19 rebounding margin was SBU's largest of the season against a Div. I opponent (+30 vs. Div. III Mount Ida)...the two-point win was SBU's first game decided by one possession since Dec. 3 at Eastern Illinois, a three-point loss.