Aaron Clarke #5 of Stony Brook celebrates after scoring against...

Aaron Clarke #5 of Stony Brook celebrates after scoring against Drexel in overtime on Sunday, March 10, 2024, in Washington, DC. Credit: Jess Rapfogel

As the ball nestled through the net, Aaron Clarke screamed.

With the score tied, the Stony Brook senior guard had driven the lane, put up a floater and gotten fouled by Lucas Monroe with 18 seconds left.

And in that moment, after almost 50 minutes of basketball, Clarke and the Seawolves knew they were on the way toward winning a fight and authoring a little bit of school history.

“It’s been everything,” Clarke said after seventh-seeded Stony Brook’s 91-88 double-overtime win over second-seeded Drexel in a Coastal Athletic Association Tournament quarterfinal game at the Entertainment and Sports Arena in Washington on Sunday night.

“[It’s] probably been the most fun year,” Clarke said.

And it’s going to continue. In what will be the most important matchup in the rivalry’s history, Stony Brook will face third-seeded Hofstra in Monday night’s second semifinal game, guaranteeing that one of the two Long Island schools will reach the championship game.

Clarke scored 27 points for the Seawolves (19-14), who are in only their second CAA season. Chris Maidoh scored a career-high 25, Keenan Fitzmorris added 16 off the bench and Tyler Stephenson-Moore had 12.

“We’ve got a belief that we’re good enough to beat everybody,” coach Geno Ford said. “They believe that we’re good enough to do it.”

Clarke converted the three-point play to give Stony Brook a 91-88 lead and Stephenson-Moore stole Justin Moore’s inbounds pass with six-tenths of a second left to end it.

Clarke gave Stony Brook its first lead since the first half with a jumper 1:23 into the second overtime. Stephenson-Moore stretched the lead to 84-80 with two free throws 22 seconds later.

Garfield Turner cut Stony Brook’s lead to 84-82 with two free throws, but the Seawolves regained their four-point advantage when Clarke made two free throws with 2:26 left.

Monroe’s two free throws and Yame Butler’s layup allowed Drexel to tie the score at 86. Stony Brook went ahead 88-86 on Maidoh’s foul-line jumper, but Monroe’s layup tied it with 38 seconds to go.

With the score tied at 71 at the start of overtime, Stony Brook’s plan was obvious: Get the ball to Maidoh. The forward scored six of the Seawolves’ first seven points in the first extra session. But he was matched by Turner, who scored six points with a dunk and four free throws.

Clarke forced the second overtime by knocking down a jumper with nine seconds left and nearly won the game at the buzzer with a three-quarters-court heave that bounced off the rim.

Drexel (20-12) ripped off a 12-2 run early in the second half to turn a three-point lead into a margin of 13. Luke House had five of his 28 points in the spurt.

Trailing by 12 with 7:32 left in their season, the Seawolves used a 15-4 run over 4:44 to cut the Dragons’ lead to 66-65.


FOR OUR BEST OFFER ONLY 25¢ for 5 months

Unlimited Digital Access.

cancel anytime.