March 9, 2014
Albany, N.Y. - The Stony Brook men's basketball team enjoys Pritchard Gymnasium so much, the #Seawolves wanted to play there one more time.
They will get their wish as sophomore Carson Puriefoy (Wenonah, N.J.) scored 21 points, none bigger than a layup in the final seconds that iced Stony Brook's 69-64 win over Hartford in the America East Championship semifinals Sunday at SEFCU Arena.
The win secures the No. 2 seed #Seawolves a spot in the tournament final, and they will host No. 4 seed Albany Saturday at Pritchard Gymnasium at 11:30 a.m., in a nationally broadcast ESPN2 game.
Stony Brook has now won 15 of its last 18 games and improves to 23-9 on the season. Hartford falls to 17-16.
Head Coach Steve Pikiell's Reaction
"I'd first like to thank the University at Albany; they do a great job hosting, first class. All the people we've met in the conference, I want to thank them. Secondly, Hartford has a very good basketball team, well coached. Those guys do a really good job; we knew it would be a war tonight and it was. So, I am just happy we came out on the topside of the score. It was a very hard fought game and I tip my hat to Hartford. They are a tough team to play, they space you out. I am really pleased, and really pleased that we have another chance to play in Pritchard."
The two teams engaged in a slugfest with each team going on big runs. The #Seawolves took a 33-31 lead into halftime after redshirt freshman Kameron Mitchell (Jacksonville, Fla.) drained a three-pointer in the waning seconds.
Stony Brook stormed out to a 15-2 run in the second half as redshirt freshman Ahmad Walker (Port Washington, N.Y.) had six points during the run, including a monster alley oop slam off a pass from Puriefoy. Senior Eric McAlister (Hightstown, N.J.) cleaned up a Puriefoy miss with a put-back at 14:15, and the #Seawolves held a 48-33 advantage.
Stony Brook had another 15-point lead with 7:31 remaining after senior Anthony Jackson (Columbus, Ohio) jammed home a three-pointer from the corner to make it 64-49.
But Hartford fought back late with a 12-0 run, hitting two three-pointers, one by Yolanzo Moore and the other by Corban Wroe. The #Seawolves lead was down to four, 65-61, with 3:16 to play, but the Stony Brook defense stepped up, getting four consecutive stops, including a big play by sophomore Jameel Warney (Plainfield, N.J.), who blocked Hartford's Mark Nwakamma with 1:34 remaining.
Hartford got it to one possession on another Wroe three-pointer, his seventh of the game, with 44 seconds left. The Hawks elected to not foul, and Puriefoy made them pay by driving to the basket and hitting a runner to make it a five-point game with only 10 seconds left, effectively ending the game.
Inside the Numbers
News & Notes
- Stony Brook shot 56.3% from the field and 58.3% (7-for-12) from three-point range. The #Seawolves shot 64% (16-for-25) in the second half.
- Hartford shot 40% overall and 35.7% (10-for-28) from three-point range.
- The #Seawolves out-rebounded Hartford 33-26.
- The #Seawolves had the advantage in the paint, outscoring the Hawks 34-22.
- Puriefoy scored 21 points, his fourth 20-point effort of the season and third in the last five games.
- Jackson scored 14 points, making four three-pointers.
- Warney finished with 10 points and nine rebounds.
- Wroe led Hartford with 21 points.
- Stony Brook advances to the America East Championship final for the third time in program history (2011, 2012). This will be the second time that the team will host the game (2012) and first time at Pritchard Gymnasium.
- The #Seawolves are now 12-12 all-time in America East Championship games, 3-2 in the semifinals.
- Stony Brook's 23rd win of the season ties the 1990-91 team for fifth-most in program history. It's also the second most in the program's Div. I history.
- The #Seawolves have now beaten Hartford in 12 of the last 13 matchups and they lead the all-time series 16-14. The two teams have met four times in the tournament, and the series is now even at 2-2.
- Stony Brook is the 12th No. 2 seed in the last 14 years to advance to the championship game. The No. 2 seed has won the title seven times in that span.
Stony Brook will play for an NCAA Tournament bid Saturday when it hosts Albany at Pritchard Gymnasium at 11:30 a.m. The game will be broadcast on ESPN2 and Champions Radio 96.9/107.1 FM.