The road to an America East Men’s Basketball Championship will go through Island Federal Credit Union Arena, as Stony Brook clinched the conference’s top seed and home-court advantage throughout the playoffs on Sunday, beating Maine, 75-56.
Three Stony Brook players scored in double-figures, with senior forward Jameel Warney leading the way with 20 points and nine rebounds. The victory improved the Seawolves’ conference record to 14-1, meaning they can not be caught in the America East standings. The win ensured that a hypothetical championship game rematch with rival Albany will be hosted by Stony Brook.
Warney moved into the rarefied air of the all-time America East elite late in the game when he took a pass from redshirt sophomore guard Roland Nyama and buried a layup. The basket made Warney the first Stony Brook player to ever score 2,000 career points.
The Seawolves’ star player became the third player in conference history to top 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds, joining Malik Rose and Tunji Awojobi, who played for Drexel and Boston University, respectively, in the mid-1990s.
The contest with Maine — a team that had beaten Albany at home earlier in the season — was never in much doubt. Stony Brook never trailed in the game and used a pair of 8-0 runs in the first half to extend its lead to a comfortable margin. The Seawolves had a 43-34 advantage at halftime against the outmatched Black Bears and were able to pull away in the second half.
Much of the Stony Brook dominance came underneath the basket, where the Seawolves led 36-20 in points in the paint. The duo of Warney and senior forward Rayshaun McGrew — who had 14 points and eight rebounds — was too much for the Black Bears too handle.
On the perimeter, senior guard Carson Puriefoy added 14 points, including a pair of 3-pointers.
It was a strong performance for Stony Brook on the defensive end of the floor, as Maine shot just 33.9 percent from the field. Sophomore guard Aaron Calixte and senior forward Till Gloger each scored 11 points to lead the Black Bears.
Stony Brook ends its regular season this Saturday in a home game against Vermont. The Seawolves defeated the Catamounts, 72-61, in the teams’ first meeting this season.