Martin leads men's hoops to semifinal sunday
March 5, 2011
Senior captain Chris Martin (Springfield Gardens, N.Y.) scored a season-high 18 points, 16 in the second half, and added five assists to lift the Stony Brook men's basketball team to a 67-61 victory over Albany in the quarterfinals of the 2011 America East Championship, Saturday in West Hartford, Conn. The No. 4 seed Seawolves advance to Sunday's semifinals against No. 1 Vermont at 5 p.m.
Martin was one of three Seawolves in double figures, joining Bryan Dougher (Scotch Plains, N.J.), who had 12 points, and Leonard Hayes (Voorhees, N.J.) who had 11 points. Stony Brook shot 47.8 percent for the game and made 10 or more three-pointers for the seventh time this season, all victories.
Albany was led by Tim Ambrose, who had 24 points on 8-of-14 shooting. The rest of the team was held to 14-for-39 (35.9 percent) from the floor.
Stony Brook has now beaten Albany in the America East quarterfinals for the second straight year and has now advanced to the tournament semifinals for the third time, including 2004 and 2010.
"It was a great game by both teams today, and we're happy to come out with a victory against a tough Albany team that has some great players," head coach Steve Pikiell said. "Our guys played hard, shot the ball well and we did a good job defending their guys. Ambrose had a good game for them, but I thought we stopped their other big threats and that was the difference."
Both teams came out firing three-pointers in the first half. Dougher was the main culprit, sinking four treys before the first media timeout. Hayes got into the act with a triple of his own at 12:53 that gave the Seawolves a 17-11 lead.
Albany fought back with a 12-1 run and then took a 27-20 lead with 7:14 left in the first after Ambrose connected on a layup. Ultimately, the two teams deadlocked at 34-34 going into halftime.
Martin then took over the second half with his aggressiveness in driving to the lane. He made three of four free throws early that ultimately put the Seawolves on top for good. Later in the half, it was 47-46 Stony Brook after a Luke Devlin layup when Dallis Joyner (Norfolk, Va.) slammed home his second dunk of the afternoon off a pass from Martin to spark a 9-2 run. Joyner had a free throw at 6:14 that put the Seawolves up 56-48.
Albany got within two points again after a layup from Logan Aronhalt made it 56-54, but Martin stepped up and made big play after big play. He split a pair of defenders at the top of the key and then weaved around the arm of Albany's John Puk for a layup. Ambrose answered with a layup of his own, and then Marin took a pass from Joyner down the baseline, drove towards the hoop and made another layup and the foul. He completed the three-point play with a free throw and the Seawolves led 61-56 with 2:28 remaining.
Albany fought back to make it 63-61, and then Joyner came up with a big play. Martin missed a layup that was blocked by Puk, but Joyner came down with the offensive rebound and then kicked it out to Hayes, who was fouled. Hayes made both free throws with 16.3 seconds left to make it a four-point game and ice the victory. Joyner, who leads America East in offensive rebounds, had a team-high 10 rebounds on the day, six on the offensive glass.
Martin, who had missed 13 games this season due to knee injuries, was 8-for-9 from the line and had just one turnover in 23 minutes. Over his last three games, he has averaged five assists.
Stony Brook's semifinal game will emanate from Chase Arena at 5 p.m. Sunday, live on WUSB Radio 90.1 FM and on America East TV streaming. For more information, visit America East Championship Central.