In their first-ever Division I postseason appearance, the Stony Brook Seawolves aren't backing down an inch from Illinois of the Big Ten in their first-round NIT game tonight. SBU jumped out to an early 7-0 lead before the Fighting Illini asserted their height advantage on the boards and unveiled the shooting of 6-9 junior Mike Davis.
But after Demetri McCamey hit a three for Illinois' biggest lead at 25-20, Bryan Dougher led a rally with two straight threes for a 26-25 Stony Brook lead. That was the beginning of a stretch in which the lead changed hands six times before the end of the half. But after Stony Brook took a 34-30 lead on a layup by Muhammad El-Amin, two Davis jumpers tied it at 34.
After another exchange of baskets knotted the game at 36, McCamey calmly let the clock run down before rising to nail a 20-footjumper at the buzzer for a 38-36 Illinois halftime lead. Not bad for Stony Brook in its first big national test, but the Seawolves have to fight the tendency to stay on the outside and keep going to the basket to keep the Illini honest. And uh, if they have a way to stop Davis, they better use it.