Tommy Brenton’s no-look pass to Jameel Warney was the number two play on Sports Center’s Top 10.
(Amherst, MA) – It will be a long time before the pain of falling short of the NCAA Tournament fully goes away for Stony Brook (if ever). But Wednesday night went a long way towards softening the sting of heartbreak and restoring the shine to a historic season for the Seawolves.
Playing on the road against second-seed UMass in the opening round of the NIT Tournament, the Seawolves thoroughly out-hustled and out-played the Minutement to pull off a resounding 71-58 win.
“It was a great win for us,” Stony Brook coach Steve Pikeill said. “I’m real proud. This is a good basketball team.”
“We got beat by a team that was better than us this evening,” said UMass head coach Derek Kellogg.
Stony Brook guards Anthony Jackson and Dave Coley scored 20 points a piece to pace the Seawolves and lead all scorers, shooting a combined 16-of-25 from the floor. Sensational freshman center Jameel Warney added 16 points on 8-of-15 shooting – among them several rim-rattling dunks – and two blocks.
Playing in what could have been the final game of his career, senior point-forward Tommy Brenton added seven assists, six rebounds, six points and four steals, but his impact was far larger than his raw production. The player responsible for changing the trajectory of Stony Brook basketball did what he has always done in his career: Brenton threw jaw-dropping passes and elbows, took charges, mixed-it-up in the scrum, aggravated and instigated against the bigger Minutement and was the engine that powered the Seawolves to the win.
“I like hitting people and I like being hit. Physicality is part of my game,” said Brenton in perhaps the understatement of the century.
Stony Brook got back to their program staples: Dominating the low-blocks and defending every inch of the hardwood. The Seawolves shot 51.8 percent from the floor (29-of-56) and 41.7 percent from behind the arc while suffocating the Minutement into just 36.7 (22-of-60) and 23.1 percent (6-of-26), respectively.
Stony Brook forced 19 UMass turnovers, turning them into 23 points (compared to UMass’ 10 points off turnovers). The Seawolves also dictated the pace of the game, while flat-out playing harder than the Minutemen.
“They executed their game plan very well,” said Kellogg. “They seemed more energized and quicker to the ball. I was a little disappointed that we didn’t have a little more scrap and toughness and fight.” (more…)