There are a lot of hard-luck stories littering Stony Brook's roster thanks to a season-long battle with injuries. But the Seawolves finally found the silver lining as Chris Martin bounced back from his latest knee injury to stage his own personal Senior Day in a 67-61 win over Albany in the first round of the America East tournament Saturday in Hartford.
Stony Brook's only senior wasn't ready to see his career end just yet, especially since he missed 13 earlier games with various knee injuries. Martin scored a team-high 18 points and added six rebounds and five assists to put the Seawolves (14-16) in the conference semifinals Sunday against the winner of a game between top-seeded Vermont and Binghamton. Bryan Dougher added 12 points, leonard Hayes scored 11, and Dallis Joyner had nine along with 10 rebounds.
Tim Ambrose led the Great Danes (16-16), who were seeded fourth and swept the regular-season series over SBU, with 24 points. But Stony Brook recorded its third straight win by shooting 47.8 percent, including 52.6 percent from three-point range 910 of 19).
Stony Brook trailed by seven points in the first half before drawing even at 34 by halftime. Two Martin foul shots gave the Seawolves a 37-36 with 18:22 left to play, and even though the lead never was more than eight points, SBU never lost it the rest of the way.
With 46 seconds remaining, Ambrose made two foul shots to pull Albany within two at 63-61. Martin then missed a layup, but Joyner got the offensive rebound, and the Danes had to foul Hayes, who made both for a 65-61 lead at the 16-second mark. After Ambrose missed a layup, Martin put the game out of reach with two more foul shots with seven seconds showing.
"We're happy to come out with a victory against a tough Albany team that has some great players," coach Steve Pikiell said. "Our guys played hard, shot the ball well and we did a good job defending their guys. Ambrose had a good game for them, but I thought we stopped their other big threats, and that was the difference."