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Stony Brook Sneaks Past Binghamton

Stony Brook and Binghamton showed that you can't take anything for granted during conference play.

Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

The Seawolves came into this game with the best record in the America East, 16-7 (8-1). Along with that Stony Brook's offense is arguably the best in the conference. Their defense isn't far behind, ranking third among America East teams in adjusted efficiency, per Ken Pomeroy.

Binghamton, while on the upswing under second year head coach Tommy Dempsey, is about as far from Stony Brook's level as a team can get. Dead last in the conference with a 4-18 (1-8) record. The Bearcats' record is thanks in large part to their offense. Not just is it the worst in the America East, but one of the very worst in the country. Can't leave out the defense, tasked with stopping Stony Brook's strong offense, which is pretty bad as well.

Conference leader with a strong offense vs. conference cellar with awful offense... blowout, right?

The key word in that question is "conference."

True fact: Binghamton led for nearly 26 minutes of the game.

Eric McAllister gave the Seawolves a 2-0 lead just over a minute into the game. They would keep that lead for two minutes, until Binghamton's first field goal, an Alex Ogundadegbe two point jumper, made it 3-2 in favor of the home team.

The Seawolves' offense couldn't get anything going for the rest of the half. Really, neither could the Bearcats. A completely disjointed half that saw seven more fouls than field goals, certainly didn't help.

Stony Brook played good defense, holding Binghamton to just 30% from the field. The Bearcats could get absolutely nothing going on the interior, a trend that lasted the full 40 minutes. Often, Stony Brook would force the Bearcats to run offense for over 30 seconds. Unfortunately for the Seawolves, the Bearcats were at home and their shot-clock-buzzer-beaters were falling.

About the only real problem the Bearcats encountered in that half came at the 2:29 mark, when an angry Tommy Dempsey was assessed a technical foul for yelling at the refs. As a result, the Seawolves cut the Bearcats' seven point lead down to four.

Jordan Reed finished one point shy of a first half double-double with nine points and 11 rebounds. He would finish with 23 points and 15 rebounds in 39 minutes of play.

Early in the second, Stony Brook ran out on a 7-0 run to pull within a point, 27-28. Dave Coley went to the line with 13:17 remaining. He hit both free throws to give the Seawolves their first lead since the 16:41 mark of the first half.

Both teams were more aggressive on offense in the second half. As a result, there was a lot more scoring and a lot of offensive fouls.

That style of play favors the Seawolves. I said, a few paragraphs back, that Stony Brook was forcing the Bearcats into long offensive possessions. That is only partially true, as the Bearcats aren't the fastest team to begin with. In the second half, with the momentum shifting to the visitors, Binghamton was completely thrown out of their game.

The Bearcats, thanks to the play of Jordan Reed and the existence of the free throw line (even though they missed 13 of 35 free throws), managed to hang around. They just didn't have enough at the end. Stony Brook's offense scored five points in the final minute, compared to Binghamton's two. Those two? A Jordan Reed dunk with three seconds left, well after the game had been iced.

Stony Brook remains tied atop the conference standings with fellow 9-1 Vermont. Binghamton, stuck at the bottom.