Tommy Brenton may not be the big-name guy. But Sunday, the Stony Brook sophomore made the big-time play when it counted.
With New Hampshire having cut a 14-point deficit to two, the 6-5 Brenton went high to pull down the offensive rebound of Bryan Dougher's missed one-hander in the lane. Brenton found Chris Martin, whose two free throws with 15.3 seconds left helped the Seawolves earn a 69-63 America East Conference win at Pritchard Gymnasium.
"I knew this was a big rebound, so I just had to get up there and get it the best I could," said Brenton, who had 14 points, nine rebounds and three steals. "I just like to do the little things, actually. Like a facilitator, I guess, and do a little bit of everything."
After the free throws gave Stony Brook a 67-63 lead, Martin stole the ball on New Hampshire's next possession and raced the length of the court for a breakaway dunk with 2.8 seconds left to clinch it. It was Stony Brook's only field goal in the final 3:08.
"I read it and stole it and that was it," Martin, who also had 14 points and three steals, said with a smile. "It feels great, coming out there the last couple of seconds trying to make a big play, trying to get a 'W.' It's awesome. That's why you play the game."
Dougher entered the game having hit 21 of his past 27 three-point attempts and had averaged 23.0 points in the previous four games, but he was held to four points and 0-for-2 shooting from beyond the arc. But led by Muhammad El-Amin's 20 points, Stony Brook won its fourth straight and improved to 11-5 - its best start since 1990-91 - and 3-0 in the conference.
Stony Brook went ahead 57-43 on El-Amin's three-pointer with 9:26 remaining, but New Hampshire's shooting from behind the arc turned the game into a nail-biter.
The Wildcats (5-8, 0-2) - who began 9-for-12 from behind the arc and finished 14-for-25 - used a 20-8 run that started and ended with three-pointers to pull within 65-63 with 44.8 seconds left. But Brenton and Martin combined to keep the Seawolves ahead.
Stony Brook coach Steve Pikiell praised them for their leadership and decision-making.
"They're a good combination," he said. "I always have them on the floor at the end of games. It doesn't matter who starts, it's who finishes, and these two are always on the floor . . . It's a comforting feeling."
Tyrone Conley had 15 points, Alvin Abreu 13 and James Valladares 11, all in the second half, for the Wildcats, who won nine of their previous 10 matchups with Stony Brook.