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Stony Brook to visit Siena in first round of College Basketball Invitational

Stony Brook head coach Steve Pikiell directs his

Stony Brook head coach Steve Pikiell directs his team during a timeout against Albany in the second half of the America East Tournament championship game in Stony Brook on Saturday, March 15, 2014. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Stony Brook's players don't have to turn in their uniforms yet.

The Seawolves were dealt a blow when they lost to visiting Albany in the America East Tournament championship game Saturday, but their season still is not over.

Stony Brook (23-10) will play Siena (15-17) at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Albany in the first round of the College Basketball Invitational, with the winner facing Penn State or Hampton in the quarterfinal round next Monday.

"We are happy to be selected for a postseason bid for the third consecutive season,'' coach Steve Pikiell said in a news release. "It's a great reward for winning the second-most games in our program's Division I history. We look forward to competing against Siena and hope to continue our successful season.''

It is the fourth national postseason bid for Stony Brook, which reached the 20-victory mark for the fourth time in the last five years.

Stony Brook is 1-3 all-time in national postseason games. The Seawolves lost to Illinois in the first round of the NIT in 2010 and lost to Seton Hall in the first round of the NIT in 2012. They defeated Massachusetts in the first round of the NIT in 2013 before falling to Iowa in the second round.

Siena lost to Canisius, 71-65, in the MAAC quarterfinals on March 8 in Springfield, Mass. Brett Bisping, a 6-8 sophomore, scored a career-high 21 points for the Saints.

Junior Rob Poole leads Siena in scoring at 14.7 points per game and Bisping is second at 10.7. Freshman Lavon Long (9.6), junior Evan Hymes (9.4) and freshman Marquis Wright (8.8) round out a balanced attack. Walk-on Steven Cruz is the only senior on Siena's roster.

The Saints lost to America East teams Albany and Vermont and beat Colonial Athletic Association member Hofstra earlier this season.

Stony Brook is led in scoring by a pair of sophomores, America East player of the year Jameel Warney (14.5) and point guard Carson Puriefoy (13.0). The 6-8 Warney is averaging 8.0 rebounds per game.

Senior guards Anthony Jackson (12.4) and Dave Coley (10.6) are a pair of 1,000-point scorers. Senior Eric McAlister (7.7) and redshirt freshman Ahmad Walker (7.1) round out the top six scorers. Sophomore Rayshaun McGrew offers depth up front and came off the bench to shoot 4-for-5 and score 10 points against Albany in the conference championship game.

In the six-year history of the CBI, 18 teams that have participated in the tournament have gone on to qualify for the NCAA Tournament the following season. Previous America East teams to have qualified for the CBI are Vermont (2013, 2009) and Boston University (2010).

New York Sports