Stony Brook entered Saturday night’s rivalry matchup at Albany with a chip on its shoulder, determined to prove that the team’s first win over the Great Danes this season — a historic 20 point fourth quarter comeback, the largest in school history — was not a fluke.
With a dominant second half performance, Lucas Woodhouse and the Seawolves did just that. Stony Brook cruised to a 72-65 victory, completing a season sweep of its upstate foes for the first time since the 2012-13 season.
After trailing by one point at halftime, Stony Brook went on a 9-2 run to take a 38-32 lead with 16:58 to play in the contest. From then onward, the Seawolves did not trail the Great Danes.
Stony Brook solidified its second-place position in the America East standings, with an 8-2 conference record, while Albany fell to fifth with a 5-5 mark.
Woodhouse scored 23 points, his fourth consecutive game with at least 20, to lead all scorers. He also recorded five rebounds and three assists in the game. The senior guard made back-to-back three-point shots with 8:17 and 7:21 remaining in the second half to give the Seawolves a 13-point lead, their largest of the night.
Albany responded with a 7-0 run to cut the lead to six, but was unable to ever cut the lead to within one possession of Stony Brook. The Seawolves combined to shoot 10-for-12 from the free-throw line over the game’s final five minutes to close out the victory.
Stony Brook contained Albany sophomore guard David Nichols, who entered the game as the No. 2 scorer in America East play, averaging 19.4 points per game. Guarded primarily by Woodhouse, Nichols shot just 4-for-16 from the field for 10 points, his lowest scoring total since he scored eight points against SMU on Dec. 10. The guard fouled out of the game with 3:32 left to play.
Junior guard Roland Nyama scored in a number of ways — a fast-break slam dunk, a catch-and-shoot three-pointer, a contested layup — totaling 14 points in the game.
Nyama also had a pair of blocked shots, including one on an Albany transition try, in which he leaped at full speed and smothered the ball into the backboard with his hand to deny the Great Danes opportunity.
Albany junior forward Greig Stire was a thorn in the Seawolves’ side for much of the game, scoring 15 points, eight of which followed his four offensive rebounds. But like Nichols, Stire also struggled with fouls, as the referees disqualified him late in the game.
In the America East standings, Stony Brook trails Vermont, who is 10-0 in conference play, by two games. The Seawolves sit one game ahead of the 7-3 UMBC Retrievers, whom Stony Brook defeated in a Jan. 25 matchup. If the Seawolves maintain the No. 2 seed in the America East standings, they would be guaranteed home-court advantage for the first two rounds of the conference tournament.
Stony Brook will play a home game on Monday against UMass Lowell. The Seawolves beat the River Hawks 86-75 on Jan. 16.