Saturday, March 3, 2012

Top-seeded Seawolves hold off Bearcats, 78-69

By Shep Hayes/DFP Staff

WEST HARTFORD, Conn. – The top-ranked Stony Brook University Seawolves survived a scare from the No. 9 Binghamton University Bearcats Saturday in the first quarterfinal match-up of the 2012 America East men’s basketball tournament.

Stony Brook was up 34-28 at the end of the first half, shooting 11-of-28 from the field. SBU senior forward Dallis Joyner led all scorers in the first with 11 points, five of which came at the free-throw line. Freshman center Ben Dickinson had nine points for Binghamton in the first, followed by junior guard Jimmy Gray with eight.

Though the Bearcats were down by six, they shot 42.1 percent from the field in the opening frame, on 8-for-19 shooting. Stony Brook shot only 39.3 percent from the field and 22.2 percent beyond the 3-point arc.

The Bearcats were able to trim the Seawolves' lead in the beginning of the second half, and were up by four with 12:17 remaining in the game. But Stony Brook would not let the two-win team finish, and the Seawolves regained the lead over the final ten minutes of the half to emerge with the victory.

SBU improved to shoot 62.5 percent in the second half, and finished the game with five scorers in double digits. The Seawolves shot just 64.7 percent from the free throw line in the game, with sophomore guard Dave Cooley missing six of his 12 shots from the charity stripe. Stony Brook was able to limit Binghamton to a mere four offensive rebounds, nabbing 22 defensive boards.

Binghamton was led overall by Dickinson, who ended the game with 20 points. Gray shot 6-for-15 overall for the Bearcats, but went 4-for-10 from beyond the arc. Freshman forward Omar Richards led BU in both overall rebounds and defensive rebounds with his five boards off the Stony Brook glass.

Stony Brook will advance to face the winner of the second quarterfinal of the day, between the No. 4 University at Albany Great Danes and the No. 5 University of New Hampshire Wildcats.

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