Freshman forward Akwasi Yeboah (No. 15, above) shoots a three-point shot against Northeastern on Dec. 3. He ERIC SCHMID/THE STATESMAN
Freshman forward Akwasi Yeboah (No. 15) shoots a three-point shot against Northeastern on Dec. 3. He finished with 14 points and 7 rebounds against Binghamton on Jan. 22. ERIC SCHMID/THE STATESMAN

It was just what the Stony Brook men’s basketball team hoped for as Binghamton’s junior forward Bobby Ahearn began his free throw shooting motion: the shot was off target, bouncing off the front rim.  Up 67-66 with just 24 seconds left, the Seawolves were poised to grab the defensive rebound that commonly follows a missed attempt at the line. Surely they would be fouled immediately, an advantageous scenario for Stony Brook.

However, uncommonly, the ball landed right back into Ahearn’s hands.

After a series of passes, sophomore guard Timmy Rose netted a wide open three-point shot with 14 seconds left in the contest, a nail in Stony Brook’s coffin. On the final possession, the Seawolves attempted another late game comeback, but a corner three-point attempt from senior guard Lucas Woodhouse was blocked by Bearcats junior forward Willie Rodriguez. Binghamton went on to defeat Stony Brook, 71-67, at Binghamton University Events Center.

Rose was not too involved in the offense throughout the game, but he was clutch when his team needed him most. The sophomore had already connected on a pivotal three-point shot to regain the lead with 2:05 remaining in the second half. Despite finishing with eight points, he was Binghamton’s catalyst in fending off a Stony Brook team that stormed back from being down 11 points earlier in the half.

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The Seawolves were on an 11-2 run with 12:23 remaining in the second half when freshman forward Akwasi Yeboah hit a mid-range jumper, the first of his seven points during that span. Yeboah finished the game with 14 points and seven rebounds off the bench, allowing his team to compete until the end of the game.

Woodhouse was also a big part of the comeback attempt. Reminiscent of recent games against Brown and Albany, Woodhouse was aggressive from three-point range and hit back-to-back threes in the final three minutes of the game to briefly give his team the lead.

Woodhouse was a 4-5 from beyond the arc, finishing with 15 points and six assists in the game. He has now hit 24 of his last 35 three-point attempts, a 68 percent shooting percentage. Entering the game, Binghamton’s junior guard Yosef Yacob’s 58 percent shooting percentage led all of NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball. Through his last seven games, he is shooting at a 10 percent higher clip than the highest three-point percentage shooter in the nation.

But it was junior guard Bryan Sekunda’s clutch three-point made with 0:49 seconds remaining in the game that gave the Seawolves their final lead. Sekunda got hot and hit all three of his three-point shots in the second half, finishing the game with nine points.

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Stony Brook found itself down two points at the break. The Seawolves turned the ball over two more times than the Bearcats and shot five percent lower from the field. Stony Brook’s defense helped keep them in the game early on, holding Binghamton to just 28 first half points. But credit can not be taken away from the offensive hustle displayed by the Bearcats.

While Rose was the hero of the night, Ahearn led all scorers with 21 points, going three for three from downtown. Rodriguez finished with 15 points and Yacob, the sharpshooter, finished with 14.

Stony Brook’s conference record falls to 5-1, while the win was Binghamton’s first conference win of the season (1-5). Despite the loss, the Seawolves remain in second place in the America East Conference standings.

The team will head back to Stony Brook tonight to prepare for the start of classes and the upcoming game against the University of Maryland-Baltimore County who sits tied for third in the conference standings. The game will tip off on Wednesday at 7 p.m. at Island Federal Credit Union Arena.

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