2014 America East Championship Game Recap: Albany Outruns Stony Brook for Title

Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

Stony Brook and Albany played a game of runs that ultimately went to the underdog Great Danes. The America East title has once again eluded the Seawolves.

If the America East final could be condensed into a 30-second period, you wouldn't be looking on the floor. Instead you would turn your attention to the stands and watch the mascots.

In the first half, Stony Brook's Wolfie and Albany's Damien had a little skirmish on the sideline: a little pushing, a little shoving, and a lot of barking. This mirrored the action on the floor, a back and forth game that saw neither team get the advantage in a choppy game of fouls and missed shots.

The fouls looked ready to doom the Great Danes, who were looking to grab the upset for the second year in a row and score another unlikely trip to the NCAA Tournament. With seven minutes remaining, Sam Rowley picked up his fifth foul.

Gone was Albany's best and most effective scorer on the day. Gone was the hope of containing America East Player of the Year Jameel Warney inside. After all, John Puk also had four fouls and was basically rendered useless on defense because of it.

And yet, this didn't stop Albany. Instead, it may have encouraged them.

Peter Hooley, who had trouble finding his shot all game long, and ended just 4-for-15 from the floor hit two of the biggest shots in the final moments, as Stony Brook was unable to score.

The end result was a 69-60 win for the Great Danes and another trip to the NCAA Tournament, likely beginning in Dayton given their 18-14 record overall.

It was Hooley who drove the lane with two minutes left. It was Hooley who hit the big 3-pointer with a minute remaining to push the lead to five points. The Seawolves looked useless on the floor, taking bad shots, and just forgetting about Albany's leading scorer this season.

And when it came time to foul, Albany was perfect down the stretch as they fired directly into the faces of the screaming Stony Brook fans, looking for their first trip to the NCAA Tournament.

Instead it will be Albany for the fourth time in its short Division 1 history, who against the odds, playing with a short bench, and having had to face the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds in the conference tournament, that are dancing.

Along the way, they held Stony Brook, who was forced to compete at the quicker pace of Albany, to under 40 percent shooting on the floor, and stopped Warney from causing too much damage. The senior had just 12 points, making just three shots on the floor, to go with his nine boards.

Carson Puriefoy couldn't make the offense go either, taking until the second half to hit his first shot, a 3-pointer from the corner.

And so the wait continues for Stony Brook, despite winning the league three of the last five seasons, and finishing second this year.

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