Stony Brook forged ahead on the strong back of 6-foot-8, 255-pound junior Jameel Warney, and the Seawolves clinched a statement victory over their archrivals by playing tougher on the glass down the stretch.
The Seawolves avenged an earlier loss at home to the University at Albany and ended the Great Danes’ 13-game winning streak with a 59-56 win Tuesday night before a crowd of 3,886 at SEFCU Arena.
Ray Sanders missed a three-pointer from the near corner with 18 seconds left, and after Carson Puriefoy made both ends of a one-and-one with 11.9 seconds remaining, the Great Danes still had a chance to tie the game, but Evan Singletary’s three-point attempt with one second left also missed.
Warney scored 20 points, including eight in a 12-4 run late in the game, and he added 11 rebounds and five blocked shots to pace the 9-4, 18-10 Seawolves. Although UAlbany grabbed 13 offensive rebounds in the first half, Stony Brook made some adjustments and allowed only three more offensive boards in the second half.
“We did a good job on the boards in the second half,” said Stony Brook head coach Steve Pikiell. “Warney is really good. He’s the best passing big guy I’ve been around, and he’s become a terrific IQ guy. He’s a matchup problem.”
He certainly was, equally on the defensive end as on the offensive end. He intimidated many Great Danes into not finishing their shots when they were in close. Roland Nyama added four blocked shots for the Seawolves for a team total of nine.
“Stony Brook did a good job in the second half. They pounded us on the offensive glass, and we turned it over too much,” said UAlbany head coach Will Brown. “They manhandled us on the glass in the second half.”
UAlbany led by as many as 11 (29-18) in the first half, as the Great Danes made five three-pointers and dominated on the glass.
But Stony Brook closed with a strong run sparked by eight points from Scott King off the bench, and the Seawolves trailed by just a basket, 31-29, at halftime.
After Warney took control late in the second half, Stony Brook owned a 57-52 cushion with 2:44 to go, but the Great Danes weren’t done yet.
Singetary nailed a pull-up jumper and then tacked on two free throws to slice the Danes’ deficit to 57-56 with 1:22 left.
It appeared the Danes still had that winning magic, especially after Puriefoy missed a three-pointer with 44 seconds to go and Mike Rowley grabbed the rebound.
But the Danes couldn’t take advantage of some open looks at the end.
“The first time we played them, we took a team mentality against Warney,” said Sam Rowley. “He’s a tough task to guard. We let him get some confidence tonight.”
Sanders said both his shot from the corner and Singletary’s shot from the top of the key were good ones that had a chance to go in.
“We got good looks on both of them,” he said.
Brown was not happy with the way his team played down the stretch.
“I’m not upset we lost. I’m upset how we lost,” he said. “We beat ourselves in the second half. They out-toughed us. We got out-toughed on the glass.”
Obviously, the Great Danes were disappointed that their winning streak is over.
“We’re not relaxing because the streak is over,” said Rowley. “We’ll take what good things we can from the streak, but we’re competitive, and we’re disappointed that it’s over. We want to win every game.”
“Winning streaks are made to be broken,” added Brown. “We were looking at it as 13 one-game winning streaks. We need to move forward.”
Rowley led the 12-1, 18-8 Great Danes with 12 points and 11 rebounds. Sanders finished with 12 points, and Dallas Ennema scored 11. Mike Rowley contributed eight rebounds.
Puriefoy scored 15 points, and King finished with 12 for Stony Brook.
STONY BROOK (59)
Warney 9-18 2-2 20, McGrew 3-8 0-0 6, Nyama 1-6 0-0 2, Thrower 1-4 0-0 2, Puriefoy 5-14 5-5 15, Mitchell 1-2 0-0 2, Sturdivant 0-2 0-0 0, Sekunda 0-1 0-0 0, King 5-6 0-0 12. Totals: 25-61 7-7 59.
S. Rowley 6-16 0-0 12, Ennema 3-9 3-4 11, Peters 2-4 0-0 4, Singletary 2-9 3-4 8, Sanders 4-12 1-3 12, M. Rowley 2-4 2-2 6, Hooley 1-4 0-0 3, Stire 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 20-58 9-13 56.
Halftime: UAlbany, 31-29. Three-point goals: Stony Brook 2-15 (Nyama 0-4, Thrower 0-1, Puriefoy 0-5, Mitchell 0-1, Sekunda 0-1, King 2-3); UAlbany 7-22 (Ennema 2-6, Singletary 1-6, Sanders 3-6, Hooley 1-4). Rebounds: Stony Brook 37 (McGrew 14, Warney 11), UAlbany 39 (S. Rowley 11). Assists: Stony Brook 8 (Puriefoy 4) UAlany 11 (Singletary 5). Total fouls: Stony Brook 14, UAlbany 11. Officials: Paul Faia, Earl Walton, Ron Turburski. Attendance: 3,886.
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