SBU News
SBU News > Athletics > Seawolves Fall to Illinois After a Tough Fight

Seawolves Fall to Illinois After a Tough Fight

Bballnit 1

BballNITPlaying its first postseason game in the program’s Division I history, the No. 8 Stony Brook men’s basketball team gave No. 1 Illinois all it could handle before ultimately falling, 76-66, in a first-round NIT game on March 17 at a sold-out Stony Brook Arena. Sophomore Bryan Dougher scored a game-high 21 points for the Seawolves, while senior Muhammad El-Amin chipped in with 16. Stony Brook finishes its record-breaking season, 22-10. The crowd of 4,423 was the largest in program history.

“First, I want to thank all the people that came out tonight and made this a great environment,” said Stony Brook head coach Steve Pikiell. “I’m really proud of my team and the way we battled tonight and all season. We had a terrific year and I think our future is bright.”

After trailing by just two at halftime, the Seawolves saw the Fightin Illini go on a 17-7 run to start the second half to take a 55-43 lead. But SB clawed back, cutting the lead to five on a three-point play from sophomore Chris Martin with seven minutes to play.

Stony Brook still trailed by just six with 3:39 to go following a driving lay-up from El-Amin. Neither team scored over the next two minutes before Mike Tisdale drilled a three with the shot clock winding down to give Illinois a 68-59 advantage with just less than a minute and a half remaining.

Dougher then missed a three on the other end and Tisdale then hit two free throws with 59 seconds left to put the game away. Mike Davis led four Illinois players in double-figures with 17 points while Demetri McCamey added 16 points and 11 assists.

Feeding off the energy of the crowd, Stony Brook surged to an early 7-0 lead behind a three from El-Amin and lay-ups from Dougher and Martin. Illinois answered with eight straight points of its own but El-Amin answered with a jumper and Dougher followed with a steal and a lay-up to give SB an 11-8 lead.

Illinois rallied to take a 25-20 advantage with seven minutes to go but the Seawolves scored nine of the next 11 points to take a two-point lead. The lead then exchanged hands four times over the next four minutes before a Martin lay-up tied the game at 36 with 30 seconds left. McCamey hit a long jumper as time expired to send the Illini into the break with a 38-36 lead.

Stony Brook out-scored Illinois 24-10 in the paint and scored 22 points of 17 Illinois turnovers. The Illini won the battle of the boards, 38-25, and shot 52.9 percent for the game.

El-Amin finished his two-year Stony Brook career just 29 points short of 1,000 and set the Seawolves Division I program record for points in a season this year with 517. Dougher went 5-for-10 from three-point range and finished the season with a school record 95 threes.

Box Score

Post Game Press Conference

Related Posts

Add comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Archives

SBU on Instagram