March 15, 2014
Stony Brook, N.Y. - In an emotional, well-fought battle between two SUNY rivals The Stony Brook men's basketball team held a six-point lead over Albany with just over seven minutes remaining in the game, but the Albany Great Danes rallied by ending the game on a 23-8 run to come away with a 69-60 victory over the #Seawolves to claim their second straight America East Championship title.
Albany's Peter Hooley was named the Most Outstanding Player of the tournament after averaging 23.7 points over three games, including a back-breaking three-pointer with 1:04 remaining in the game that effectively took Stony Brook out of contention. Joining Hooley on the All-Tournament team are Albany's DJ Evans and Sam Rowley and #Seawolves sophomores Carson Puriefoy (Wenonah, N.J.) and Jameel Warney (Plainfield, N.J.).
Albany (18-14) has now won four all-time championships, including each of the last two. Stony Brook (23-10) earns a third runner-up in the last four seasons.
Head Coach Steve Pikiell's Reaction
"Give all the credit to Albany, they are well coached and they executed down the stretch and made all the plays to win. We weren't able to make shots today, just had no rhythm. But I'm proud of my team. We won 23 games, two of our seniors are 1,000-point scorers and all four of our seniors are graduating. We've come a long way as a program, and we'll continue working to hard to compete for league titles."
The game was back and forth with each team having its share of runs. The #Seawolves had an 8-0 run mid-second half, led by Puriefoy's five points, to give themselves a 52-46 lead with 7:02 remaining. The bigger fortune was that Rowley fouled out at 7:02 having scored 18 of Albany's 46 points thus far.
But even without Rowley, Albany fought back with a 10-2 run as the #Seawolves offense went cold. Stony Brook missed 10 consecutive shots from the field from 7:17 until Puriefoy hit a jumper with 1:30 to play.
Puriefoy's bucket cut Albany's lead to two, 58-56, but on the ensuing possession, Hooley hit a dagger three-pointer to put the Great Danes up five with 1:04 on the clock. The #Seawolves missed three more three-pointers, and Albany made all of its free throws, going 16-for-16 in the second half, to ice the victory.
Inside the Numbers
News & Notes
- Stony Brook shot 39.3% from the field and only 28.1% (9-for-32) in the second half. The team was just 2-for-14 from three-point range.
- Albany shot 44.2% for the game, 45.5% (5-for-11) from three-point range and 94.7% from the free throw line (18-for-19).
- Stony Brook out-rebounded Albany 35-32.
- Puriefoy had 13 points to lead Stony Brook. Warney had 12, and sophomore Rayshaun McGrew (Chicago, Ill.) scored 10.
- Senior Dave Coley (Brooklyn, N.Y.) had nine points, eight rebounds and five assists.
- Rowley had 18 points to lead Albany.
- Stony Brook is now 0-3 all-time in the America East Championship final, falling to Boston University in 2011 and Vermont in 2012.
- This was the fifth consecutive season that Stony Brook and Albany have played each other in the tournament. Stony Brook won the first three, but the Great Danes have now beaten the #Seawolves in each of the last two tournaments and have gone on to claim the title each time.
- This was just the fourth Stony Brook loss in the last 41 games played at Pritchard Gymnasium. The #Seawolves finish with a record of 61-19 at Pritchard since moving back there at the start of the 2008-09 season. Stony Brook will play at Stony Brook Arena next season.
- This was the third consecutive season that the home team has lost the championship final. The home team is 25-6 all-time in America East championship games.
Stony Brook will await Sunday's selection shows to see if the team will earn a third-straight postseason bid.