When Muhammad El-Amin found Bryan Dougher in the right corner with the score tied and the clock ticking down toward a minute remaining, Dougher had a decision to make.
He entered yesterday's game having averaged 18.8 points in his previous nine games and having hit 38 of his past 59 three-point attempts - but that was then and this was now. As he caught El-Amin's pass, he was 0-for-9 from the field, with two free throws to show for a frustrating afternoon.
No problem. When you're a shooter, you keep shooting. And Dougher drilled a three-pointer with 1:08 remaining to give the Seawolves the lead for good in a 67-61 victory over Albany at Pritchard Gymnasium.
"Bryan was in a good position to shoot, and when he is in that position, he's as good as we have,'' coach Steve Pikiell said. "Bryan is the type of guy who's always working on his shot, and we always have confidence in him to make clutch baskets.''
After Dougher's only field goal of the day made it 61-58, Dallis Joyner stole an errant pass at midcourt and took it the rest of the way for a two-handed dunk that gave the Seawolves a five-point lead with 49 seconds left. Mike Black's three-pointer brought Albany within two with 19.9 seconds to play, but Dougher hit four straight free throws in the final 17.6 seconds to clinch it.
Stony Brook (14-7, 6-2 America East) got a tremendous lift from freshman Marcus Rouse, who came off the bench to score a career-high 17 points. He shot 8-for-10 from the field, all on jumpers, after hitting his first six attempts. He entered the game averaging 3.6 points per game.
Albany (6-16, 1-6) went ahead 52-47, but back-to-back three-pointers by Tommy Brenton and Rouse in a 27-second span capped a 9-0 run that gave Stony Brook a 56-52 lead with 3:40 to play. "We win when Tommy shoots the ball,'' Pikiell said.
Albany's Tim Ambrose (14 points) sank a three-pointer and a jumper and Black (15 points, five assists) hit the first of two free throws with 2:10 left to make it 58-58, the game's 13th tie. But he missed the second.
Brenton had 14 points and eight rebounds, shooting 5-for-5 from the field, and Joyner added 10 points and 10 rebounds. "We outrebounded the top rebounding team in the conference [38-30],'' Pikiell said.
Dougher and El-Amin, who had been averaging 30 points per game between them, finished with nine points each, shooting a combined 5-for-23 from the field.
-- Greg Gutes
SBU women lose. Kirsten Jeter had 15 points (7-for-9 shooting), eight rebounds and four steals in the Stony Brook women's basketball team's 67-45 loss to host Vermont. SBU is 5-14, 3-4 America East. Courtnay Pilypaitis' 21 points led Vermont (16-4, 6-1).