Tag:Stony Brook
Posted on: January 30, 2012 1:34 pm
Edited on: January 30, 2012 2:34 pm

Stony Brook finally rids itself of BU demon

Stony Brook snapped a five-game losing streak to BU and became the America East favorite. (US Presswire)

By Jeff Borzello

STONY BROOK, N.Y. – Boston University has been Stony Brook’s kryptonite the past three seasons, beating the Seawolves five consecutive times. The Terriers knocked Stony Brook out of the last two America East tournaments, including the title game a season ago.

The Seawolves finally broke through against BU on Friday night, with a 66-57 victory. Stony Brook is now 8-1 in the league – one game ahead of BU and Vermont.

Taking sole possession of first place in the conference by beating a team that had their number for the past few seasons wasn’t lost on the Seawolves.

“We needed this win bad,” junior Tommy Brenton said. “Coach has been reminding us about that streak. We knew we had to play harder, play more defense, play better offense.”

On paper, Stony Brook has been the best team in the America East for much of the season. With the BU cloud hanging over its head, though, it was tough to name the Seawolves the favorite going forward.

That’s no longer a problem.

“It’s still halfway through,” Brenton said. “We’ll take it game-by-game, not relax and slip-up.”

“We’re confident,” head coach Steve Pikiell added. “Too confident. We’re always on them. They’re veterans.”

The road to an America East automatic bid now goes through Stony Brook, and the Seawolves have the pieces to make life difficult for any future opponent. It starts with their defense. They’re now 11-0 when holding teams to fewer than 60 points, and they lead the conference in rebound margin (also rank No. 12 in the country in offensive rebounding percentage). They force turnovers, they don’t foul and they defend the perimeter very well.

They’re also physical and utilize gang rebounding and help defense.

“To prepare for them, you have to get your team to get ready to go,” Boston University head coach Joe Jones said. “It’s more about them collectively than about one guy.”

Against BU, Stony Brook had to constantly bounce back. The Terriers hit 5-for-5 from 3-point range in the opening minutes, getting out to an early lead. In the second half, they went on 17-0 run midway through the period to take a four-point lead heading down the stretch. Stony Brook responded with a 19-6 run to end the game.

The past couple of years, would the Seawolves have had the strength to respond after a huge run?

“We get a little déjà vu when that happens,” said leading scorer Bryan Douger. “We were able to pull out of it. It shows a lot of character about our guys.”

The entire night showed how far the Stony Brook program has come in the last few years under Pikiell. There was not a single general-admission ticket sold for the game, as students and season-ticket holders packed the arena to capacity. The two student sections were nearly filled 45 minutes before the game to “Red-Out” BU.

If the Seawolves do reach the conference tournament title game again – and need to host it – they will have to play at a different on-campus arena. The current one holds just 1600; America East rules stipulate that title hosts need to have a capacity of 3000. Stony Brook’s bigger arena is currently under renovation, but it would be the site of the championship.

“It was a championship-caliber game,” Brenton said. “I’m sure we’ll see them soon.”

Only this time, Stony Brook will have already rid itself of the BU demon.

Posted on: September 12, 2011 10:22 am
Edited on: September 12, 2011 10:54 am

Trippin': Healthy Stony Brook goes to Europe

In our Trippin’ series, we’re talking to teams as they return from preseason trips to foreign locales. Click
here for all Trippin’ related stories.

By Jeff Borzello

It was the last day of Stony Brook’s three-city Europe trip, and the team was standing outside the Louvre in Paris.

Looking to get one last memory overseas, the Seawolves saw a ride that essentially shot you into the air until you were almost out of sight to the people on the ground. At first, everyone on the team wanted to do it.

Sophomores Dave Coley and Anthony Mayo were the first to go (video below).

“The guys wanted to show how tough they were,” head coach Steve Pikiell said. “So two guys step up first, they get sprung up in the air. This thing bounces you a million feet in the air, players were going, ‘Oh my God.’ None of our players wanted to get on the ride after that.”

Overall, the trip to Dublin, London and Paris was a success, both on and off the court.

“It was as good a trip as you can have,” Pikiell said.

What Pikiell learned: “You learn about your newcomers. We have two newcomers, and one, Ron Bracey, led us in scoring and was second in rebounds. You learn how your players improve from one year to the next. It got Tommy Brenton back into playing real games because he hadn’t played one in a year. I think that was a real positive for us. There was some things we needed to work on, but now we’re ahead of the game a bit.”

What impressed him: Depth – “Our depth. We have a lot of guys, and I always look at it as a pro. Our guys are going to fight for minutes, and I think that’s a positive. In the past, we had about seven guys. Our guys know they have to work. I played everyone, and it was still hard to get minutes.”

What concerned him: Health – “My biggest concern is injuries. Chris Martin was one of my best guards, and he missed 19 games last year. Tommy Brenton was my best player; he missed the entire season. Marcus Rouse, missed seven games with a knee injury. Dave Coley missed six games. Coming off that trip, I’m very concerned about injuries.”

- Pikiell said he is leaning on seniors Dallas Joyner and Bryan Dougher as leaders for the upcoming season. “You see who’s leading your team when you go into a museum or something,” he said. “We had pretty good leadership, and that’s something I didn’t talk about before the trip.”

- While Ron Bracey led the newcomers, 6-foot-9 freshman forward Scott King was no slouch. “He can really shoot the ball,” Pikiell said.

- Brenton, who missed all of last season with a knee injury, was back to his old self after shaking off the rust. He led the team in rebounding, steals, assists, field-goal percentage and also took the most charges. “He does a lot of things for us,” Pikiell said. “He’s very valuable to us.”

- In the five games over there – in which Stony Brook went 4-1 – the Seawolves had five different leading scorers. Marcus Rouse went 10-for-10 one game and scored 21 points; Lenny Hayes, Bracey and Dougher also paced the Seawolves in scoring for a game. On the defensive side, Pikiell highlighted Dave Coley as one a player who stood out.

- Senior forwards Danny Carter and Dallas Joyner look ready to take a step forward this season. Joyner was an effective scorer, while Carter shot 56 percent from 3-point range.

CBSSports.com’s list of teams taking preseason trips

Photo: Stony Brook Athletics

Posted on: March 12, 2011 10:38 am
Edited on: March 12, 2011 10:39 am

Looking at the America East's ultimate game

It's Seawolves vs. Terriers in Boston Saturday afternoon at noon for the chance to dance.

The America East final presents a situation some don't like. Opponents of conference tournaments cold used Saturday's championship game in Boston as an example: an under-.500 team will be playing for a bid. Stony Brook is 15-16, but the fifth-seeded Seawolves got past No. 1 Vermont get to the championship game.

For some, that's enough to earn the right for a chance to play. Others lament the quick second season that gives mediocre teams these opportunities. If it won, Stony Brook would most definitely be a 16 seed playing in Dayton Tuesday or Wednesday night. Coach Steve Pikiell's team upset No. 4 Albany, 67-61, before knocking off UVM, 69-47, last Sunday.

That 22-point margin certainly had to make Boston University pause. The two-seeded Terriers can't claim a beatdown in the style of the Seavwolves'. They defeated New Hampshire, 69-60, in the quarters, then got by Albany, 55-49 last Sunday.

It's safe to assume the pressure is with the No.2 seed, and just appearing in the title game clearly isn't going to be enough for BU. At the start of the year the team was picked as the best in the conference.

If the Terriers want to terrorize their way to a bid, John Holland's going to have to lead his team once again. Boston's best player hasn't cracked 20 points in the America East tournament so far; that could change Saturday. Stony Brook is the second-worst team in the nation (yes, the nation) at shooting two-point shots. And overall, it's a miserable offensive group.

That's why Vermont's loss could be considered one of the most staggering transgressions of the past week and a half in college basketball. The reason this game's not a gimme is because BU isn't a great shooting team.

What to watch: Stony Brook's bench. Chris Martin and Leonard Hayes, two guys who don't gobble up a lot of possessions or having terrific offensive ratings, led the 'Wolves in scoring in the first two games. Stony Brook's starters aren't the most intimidating group. Talk about a bizarre team.

Absolutely there are real unknowns heading in, as Stony Brook seeks its first NCAA tournament appearance, while BU hasn't been in the Big Bracket in nine years.

Posted by Matt Norlander

Photo: AP

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