I picked up my older son Matthew from baseball camp, then dropped off my younger son Jonathan with my in-laws. Then it was off to Stony Brook for our first game. We got there about a half hour before game time. In the confusion of putting my tickets away, I left my wallet on the counter top of the concessions area. Thankfully, the person running the concessions gave it to a security guard. When I realized I had forgot my wallet, the concessions person pointed me to the security guard who gave me my wallet. Can't thank both of them enough. Crisis averted.
Feeding off the emotion of Senior Day and the energy of the crowd, the Seawolves came out strong from the start. After Maine's Gerald McLemore's three pointer cut Stony Brook's lead to 5-4, the Seawolves scored the next ten points. Dougher scored eight of those points, including two three pointers. Stony Brook was up 15-4 with not even four and a half minutes gone by in the game.
But Stony Brook then suddenly went cold from the field, going two of eleven the rest of half. The Seawolves also committed six turnovers over the last seven minutes of the half. This allowed Maine to go on a 13-4 run to end the half and cut the lead to six, 30-24.
The Black Bears picked up right where they left off at the end of the first half. After he was fouled shooting a three point play, Maine's McLemore hit all three of his foul shots to cut the lead to one, 36-35. The Black Bears had now outscored the Seawolves 24-10 over two halves.
Maine was still within one 40-39 with a little over nine minutes remaining. Then Stony Brook finally started inching away. Dallas Joyner and Al Rapier combined on a 6-0 mini run and the Seawolves went back up by seven, 46-39 with eight and a half minutes left.
Normally a seven point advantage with that much time remaining isn't that much of a cushion. But when you play defense like Stony Brook does, a seven point deficit seems like a fourteen point deficit. Thus, try as they did, Maine could not get any closer than three points the rest of the way. In fact, Maine only shot thirty percent in the second half. It didn't help the Black Bears any that the Seawolves were eleven of fifteen from the line in the second half.
As the team celebrated by their bench hoisting the America East Regular Season Championship trophy, Coach Pikiell.took a microphone and walked to center court. He first thanked the band, then the cheerleaders, then the Stony Brook community for all their support. Pikiell then talked about Stony Brook setting a team record with a 14-2 conference record. Finally, Pikiell spoke about how great and how classy his seniors were as a whole. I had never seen a coach do that after a game and it was truly a classy gesture by Pikiell.
There's no place I'd rather be on March 10 at 11:00 AM than Stony Brook, New York. Make it happen, Seawolves.