By Jordan Gibbons
The Seawolves lost an exciting game against the Manhattan Jaspers in an ESPN BracketBuster game Saturday afternoon in Pritchard Gymnasium, 64-63. The Jaspers shot 9-of-15 from the three-point line and overcame an 11-point deficit in the second half.
Marcus Rouse gave Stony Brook 15 points (5-of-9) off the bench to lead the team in scoring, but also committed two costly turnovers in overtime. In the end, Stony Brook’s effort wasn’t enough to contain Manhattan’s three-point shooting. Kidani Brutus scored 25 points (9-of-11) and was 7-of-9 from three-point land, including the game winner with a minute left in overtime.
Stony Brook took command of the game late in the first half after freshman Anthony Jackson (1-of-3) drained a three-pointer from the top of the key to give them a 24-21 lead. The Seawolves ended the half in style when Al Rapier drove into the lane and dished a no-look pass to Anthony Mayo who slammed it down at the buzzer, bringing the crowd to their feet and giving Stony Brook a 31-25 lead.
Manhattan sophomore George Beamon was a difficult matchup for the Seawolves– scoring 23 points (7-of-14) and recording 3 steals. Without their lock-down defender, Dave Coley, Stony Brook had no answer for the two Jasper shooters.
Head coach Steve Pikiell knew the Jaspers were looking for Beamon and Brutus, but could not put an end to the shooting barrage.
“Down the stretch we knew the ball was going to two guys,” said Pikiell. “We weren’t able to stop those two guys, but we had our opportunities on offense.”
Stony Brook freshman Dave Coley could not dress for the game due to a knee injury. His absence, among several other injuries, forced Pikiell to constantly rotate defenders on Beamon.
“Honestly, I’m down to nine guys, so I don’t have choices anymore,” said Pikiell. “Dave Coley would’ve been in at the end of the game, he would’ve guarded Beamon. I know that.”
The Seawolves dominated under the boards, recording 43 rebounds, including 18 on the offensive side. Dallis Joyner pulled down 8 rebounds and scored 7 points (2-of-6), but faltered at the foul line in the second half, going 2-of-7.
Stony Brook took their largest lead of the game after Preye Preboye found Mayo slashing to the basket on an in-bound pass for a lay-up and a foul. Mayo completed the three-point play to put the Seawolves up 45-34.
The Jaspers slowly climbed back into the game after Brutus drained one of his seven three-pointers from the top of the key. Beamon tied the game 57-57 with a leaner along the baseline with 31 seconds left in regulation.
Stony Brook had a chance to win the game with two seconds left when Hayes lofted an in-bound pass to Preboye, who jumped up and attempted a lay-up, which rolled in and out to push the game to overtime.
Brutus came through in a big way for Manhattan in overtime, hitting two three-pointers, including the game winner off a screen breaking a 61-61 tie.
“When I went off the screen I saw the other player play back, so when I saw that I said I gotta shoot this one,” said Brutus. “I felt good today.”
Rouse was able to draw a foul in the act of shooting a three-pointer, but could only hit two of three shots leaving Stony Brook down by one.
Stony Brook had one more opportunity to win, down 64-63 with five seconds left. Bryan Dougher, who had a tough day, (11 points on 4-of-9 shooting) came up short driving to the hoop for a lay-up that bounced around and out as the clock hit zero.
Pikiell was frustrated with the loss, but was able to put the end result in perspective.
“We still had chances to win the game. You gotta make free throws and you gotta make a couple lay-ups, in order to do that,” said Pikiell. “If you don’t, you don’t deserve to win.”
Stony Brook fell to 6-9 on the season, and plays their next game away against conference opponent Hartford (5-8) this Wednesday at 7p.m.