The Stony Brook men’s basketball team defeated New Hampshire, 63-56, on Wednesday night to improve to 10-14 overall and 5-7 in the America East Conference. The Seawolves tied a season high with 11 three-pointers and shot 41.5 percent from the field for the game, including 45.8 percent from behind the arc.

This win moves Stony Brook into fifth place in the league, and a half-game behind Albany for fourth place. New Hampshire falls to 11-14 overall and 5-8 in the conference after the loss.

“I’m really proud of our effort tonight,” Seawolves  head coach Steve Pikiell said. “We played hard, made shots and defended well. It’s a big win for us against a quality opponent.”

Bryan Dougher (Scotch Plains, N.J.), scored a team-high 16 points and hit some big free throws down the stretch. He was also named Stony Brook’s America East Player of the Game.  Leonard Hayes (Voorhees, N.J.) added 11 points in the Stony Brook victory.

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Stony Brook shot 51.2 percent in the fitrst-half and made 14 of its 27 shots, for its second-highest first-half percentage of the season. The Seawolves jumped out to an early 15-9 lead, thanks in large part to three-pointers from Dougher, Hayes, and Marcus Rouse (Upper Marlboro, Md.)

After New Hampshire closed the gap to three at 19-16 on Brian Benson’s bucket, the Seawolves closed the half on a 16-7 run, which included a pair of dagger baskets from Anthony Jackson(Columbus, Ohio). Jackson hit a long two-pointer and then answered Tyrone Conley’s three-pointer with one of his own to make it 32-23 in favor of Stony Brook. Danny Carter then connected on a three-pointer in the corner to send the Seawolves into the locker room with a 35-23 lead.

Stony Brook started the second half slow, missing eight of its first 10 shots and allowed the Wildcats to climb back into the game. Conley sank a three-pointer at 10:42 to get New Hampshire within seven, 42-35.

But the Seawolves answered with three consecutive triples as Dougher hit a three off an in-bound pass from Hayes, Jackson followed with a three of his own, and then Dave Coley(Brooklyn, N.Y.) added a three after a Conley turnover, to put Stony Brook on top by 16, 51-35.

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New Hampshire responded with a 10-0 run of its own and got within six, 51-45, with 6:09 to play, but Dougher hit another huge three at 5:15 to stop the Wildcats momentum. He then also had a pair of free throws at 4:10 to give the Seawolves a 56-45 advantage.

The Wildcats got within five later on in the game, but Hayes and Dougher made free throws at the end to seal the victory.

Stony Brook outrebounded UNH 37-31, committed only six turnovers, and got to the free throw line 16 times, four more than the Wildcats. New Hampshire shot 39.6 percent for the game and was only 7-for-25 from three-point range. Conley led the team with 17 points, and Chandler Rhoads added 14.

The Seawolves head home and will prepare for their biggest game of the season as they host Maine Saturday on a nationally televised ESPNU broadcast at Stony Brook Arena commencing at 11 a.m. The game is part of Seawolves Winterfest 2011, with the women also playing Maine at 2 p.m.

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