Friday, February 10, 2012
Wolfie Celebrates His Birthday With a Win (Recap of UMBC vs. Stony Brook)
The night started with Matthew and I barely getting to the game on time due to having to drop off my younger son at my in-laws, since my wife was coming back from a work meeting in New Jersey. But before we could get into Pritchard Gymnasium, Matthew had to have his pregame ritual; a pretzel and a bottle of water.
In their first matchup of the season, the Seawolves traveled down to Maryland and drubbed the Retrievers by forty points, 89-49. So you would think that Matthew and I would see a similar result last night. Well, that's why they play the game.
In the first half, UMBC shot the lights out, hitting on fifty nine percent of their shots (sixteen of twenty seven). However the Retrievers only led by one at the half, because the Seawolves had six three pointers in the first twenty minutes to keep the game close. Considering UMBC came into the game with a record of 3-20, I kept saying to Matthew, this might be the best the Retrievers have shot from the field in a half for the entire season.
The start of the second half saw Stony Brook briefly take the lead on a layup by Bryan Dougher. But Ryan Cook and Chase Plummer responded with two three pointers to put UMBC back up by five, 41-36. Seawolves' coach Steve Pikiell immediately called up timeout. The fans near me couldn't believe how well the Retrievers were shooting on the night.
But Stony Brook would respond with a run and it was due in large part to their heart and soul; junior forward Tommy Brenton. Brenton sat out most of the first half with two fouls and if you have seen enough Seawolves' games this season like I have, you know that he gives his team so much energy.
During a media timeout, they had a Price is Right game with several Stony Brook students. The question was "Tommy Brenton has the all time Stony Brook record for rebounds in a game. How many rebounds did he have?" The answer was seventeen. It was very appropriate that the question was based on Brenton.
Much to their credit, UMBC refused to quit. They kept the game within single digits and after a Brian Neller three pointer, the Retrievers were only down four, 64-60 with just less than three minutes left. UMBC certainly did not look like a 3-20 team last night.
For UMBC, Plummer led all scorers with eighteen points. Neller had eleven points and Ryan Cook added ten points. The Retrievers played hard all night and they seemed a lot better than a 3-20 team. They were certainly better than four teams that I had personally seen this season, two of whom UMBC beat; Binghamton and Towson (the other two teams are FDU and Colgate). If they keep playing like this, I could see the Retrievers surprising some team in the America East tournament if that team isn't ready for them.
As for Wolfie, he got lots of presents and adulation from his fans and his fellow mascot friends. And of course, Wolfie led the way during the "Cotton Eye Joe" kids' dance. Happy Birthday, Wolfie!
Hopefully Wolfie enjoyed the birthday present from his Seawolves; their eighth straight win overall and their thirteenth straight home win. Stony Brook is now 17-7 overall and 12-1 in the America East. Too bad ESPN doesn't know how good the Seawolves are, since they were shunned from a televised BracketBuster game.
Hopefully soon enough, everyone will know how good the Seawolves really are.