Stony Brook Men’s Basketball competed in the 2K Sports Classic this weekend at its sub-regional location in Detroit, Mich. The weekend played host to four Division I teams all with postseason aspirations. The Classic was hosted by perennial Horizon League power Detroit Titans (3-4). Other participants included Toledo (6-0), Florida Atlantic (1-5) and Stony Brook (5-2).
This weekend was the basketball team’s first action since the release of Stony Brook University Athletic Director Jim Fiore who was instrumental in the development of the basketball program, and most importantly, the new contract that head coach Steve Pikiell was given that extended his tenure at Stony Brook through the 2017-2018 season.
Stony Brook finished the tournament 2-1 with wins over Detroit in 3OT and Florida Atlantic. Jameel Warney was named the tournament MVP and Anthony Jackson also received all tournament honors.
Three games in as many days started with a Friday afternoon matchup with the Toledo Rockets. The Rockets entered Friday’s game undefeated scoring 92 PPG, which was good for top ten in the nation in scoring. Junior guard Julius Brown, who is averaging 16.5 PPG and 7.7 APG, leads Toledo.
Phenomenal shooting and careless fouling highlighted the game. Stony Brook shot for a scolding 59 percent from the field, making 11-17 (65 percent) from behind the arc. Not to be outdone, Toledo shot 53 percent from the field and 54 percent from behind the arc. The key difference in the game came at the foul line. Thanks to 29 Stony Brook fouls, Toledo took 42 foul shots and converted on 81 percent of them. Toledo fouled only 19 times resulting in 25 trips for the Seawolves.
Leading all scorers was Stony Brook senior point guard Anthony Jackson, with 36 points (tied for a Division I Stony Brook record with D.J. Munir). Jackson shot 12-16 from the field and 7-10 from three-point range despite a last second half court miss. Jackson buried four out five threes down the stretch to give the Seawolves hope late in the game.
Despite the Seawolves’ offensive explosion, Toledo took game one, 103-99. Toledo went on to sweep the tournament with wins over Detroit and Florida Atlantic. The Rockets look like they will be a favorite for the automatic bid in the MAC.
On Saturday, the Seawolves played Florida Atlantic University (FAU) who came into the game 1-4. The Owls’ record is a result of a difficult schedule with games against Duke, Boston College, St Francis and the 2K Sports Classic; yielding them zero Division I wins. Their strength, however, is their rebounding. Their 38.7 RPG is good for 116th in the nation.
As well as the Seawolves shot from the field against Toledo, the shot equally as poor against FAU. Shooting only 22-56 (39 percent) and 1-5 from behind the arc, Stony Brook turned to its defense. The Owl’s were held to 30 percent shooting but managed to hang in the game with 10 3’s.
Stony Brook was led by sophomore forward Jameel Warney who has career highs in points and rebounds with 23 and 19 respectively. Senior forward Eric McAlister had 12 points and seven rebounds and continues to show flashes of excellence when he can avoid foul trouble.
The Seawolves managed to stifle the Owls’ comeback efforts to hang and win 67-61. Florida Atlantic finished the tournament 0-3 and moving to 1-6 on the year.
The third and final game Stony Brook played was an affair of mild proportions as the Seawolves faced off with the tournaments’ host Detroit Titans. The Titans entered Sunday’s game with a win over FAU and an 80-78 loss to Toledo. Guard Juwan Howard Jr. leads Detroit with 18.7 PPG.
Detroit led by as much as 10 in the second half but a 20-0 run by the Seawolves gave Stony Brook a 54-44 lead with 10 minutes remaining. The Titans went on a 15-4 run themselves in the next four minutes and 34 seconds to regain the lead.
With five seconds left in regulation, the Titans led 75-72, and Carson received the inbound in pressure, then dribbled and found Jackson in the corner who hit a three to tie the score with .7 seconds remaining sending the game into its first overtime.
Early in the first overtime, Stony Brook jumped out to a four-point lead, which would be relinquished, on a series of fouls that allowed the Titans to tie up the score 81-81 on two free throws by Evan Bruinsma.
The second overtime brought a lot more offense. With 42 seconds left to play, Puriefoy drove through the lane and was able to dish to Warney who finished at the rim to tie the game at 94, sending it to the third overtime. Puriefoy had 32 minutes of the bench with 16 points, three rebounds and three assists.
The Seawolves began the third overtime without two starters, McAlister and senior Dave Coley, who fouled out. With eight seconds left and the scored tied 102-102, Anthony Jackson pulled up from behind the three-point line and missed, however, Warney was there for the offensive board and layup in traffic to give Stony Brook the 104-102 lead and the victory.
Jameel Warney was named not only tournament MVP, but also America East Player of the Week. He finished with 32 points on 13-14 shooting (93 percent) and 21 rebounds (both career highs) as well as only two personal fouls.
Anthony Jackson finished with 24 points, seven rebounds and six assists. He’s now averaging 19.7 PPG, which is leading the team.
Stony Brook will host St. Francis (NY) Dec. 1 in Pritchard Gymnasium at 2 p.m. St. Francis (3-3) shocked the country when they beat the Miami Hurricanes to open the season.