To borrow the trademark phrase of NBC sportscaster Dan Patrick, Stony Brook's Muhammad El-Amin is "en fuego." After scoring 24 in a win over Maine and a career-high 31 in a victory over Binghamton last week, El-Amin lit it up for 26 points in the Seawolves' 86-72 triumph at University of Maryland-Baltimore County Tuesday night.
Stony Brook coach Steve Pikiell started Andrew Goba and Eddie Castellanos in place of Tommy Brenton and El-Amin, but the two regular starters played 33 and 34 minutes, respectively, indicating a minor disciplinary benching. After a relatively slow start in which they trailed by as much as six points in the first half, the Seawolves (19-7, 11-2 America East) came on strong with an 11-2 run to take a 38-34 halftime lead. El-Amin had six points in that stretch to go with five from Dallis Joyner.
In the second half, the Wolves pulled away steadily from UMBC (3-24, 2-12), which trailed by 68-47 with 7:37 left to play. Stony Brook never let the lead drop below 11 points the rest of the way.
El-Amin hit 10 of 17 shots from the field and had three steals, and Brenton had his typical all-around game with 10 points, 11 rebounds and three assists. Chris Martin added 17 points for SBU, and Bryan Dougher had 14, including 4-of-7 shooting from three-point range. Chris De La Rosa topped UMBC with 20 points, and Shawn Grant added 17.
Stony Brook strengthened its hold on first place in the America East Conference, a game ahead of second-place Vermont (10-3). The Seawolves' next game is Friday night at Albany (7-21, 2-11).