STONY BROOK, N.Y. – Senior Tyrone Conley (Burlington, Vt.) and freshman DeAndray Buckley (Romulus, Mich.) scored 14 and 13 points, respectively, but the University of New Hampshire men's basketball team dropped a 64-60 decision to Stony Brook University in double overtime at Pritchard Gymnasium on Saturday afternoon.
The Wildcats fall to 7-10 on the season and 1-4 in America East play, while the Seawolves improve to 7-9 overall and 2-2 in the conference. It was the first double overtime game for UNH since a 78-75 loss at Maine on Jan. 19, 2009.
Conley, who extended his double-digit scoring streak to 11 games, added three rebounds, two steals and a block in a career-high 48 minutes, while Buckley was 4-for-9 from the floor and tallied eight boards, three assists and a steal in a career-best 35 minutes, en route to earning America East Player of the Game honors for UNH.
Sophomores Chandler Rhoads (Berryville, Va.) and Chris Matagrano (Sayreville, N.J) each chipped in with 11 points. Rhoads added four rebounds and three assists in a career-high 45 minutes, while Matagrano reached his career high in points on 5 of 10 shooting, including a perfect 1 of 1 from behind the arc. He also recorded seven rebounds, two steals and an assist in a career-high 41 minutes.
Junior Brian Benson (Rochester, N.Y.) added six points and tore down a career-high 22 rebounds in a career-most 42 minutes. The 22 boards are an America East season high, as well as the fifth most rebounds ever in an America East conference game. They are also five shy of UNH's single-game record and the second most rebounds ever for a Wildcat, matching Dave Pemberton, who also reeled in 22 against Boston University on Jan. 3, 1972. It is the first 20-rebound game for a 'Cat since Chris Brown recorded 20 boards at Boston University on Feb. 10, 2002.
Marcus Rouse and Anthony Jackson led Stony Brook with 13 and 12 points, respectively, while Bryan Dougher and Dave Coley each added 11.
Leading 19-14 at the break, the Wildcats went on an 11-0 run after Dougher opened the half with a jumper at 19:34. After a Rhoads free throw, Matagrano knocked down a jumper before a pair of Conley baskets pushed the lead to 10. A Benson tip-in off a missed 3 and a Buckley basket in the paint closed the stretch with UNH on top 30-16 and holding its largest lead of the game with 11:18 to play.
Jackson stopped the run with a 3, before Matagrano came back with one of his own – the first of his career – from the top of the key. A layup from Anthony Mayo, followed by Dougher's only trey of the game, sliced the Stony Brook deficit to nine at 33-24 with 7:40 to go. After a pair of Buckley free throws, Rouse drilled a 3-pointer to cut it to eight. The gap was still eight at 41-33 with 2:31 remaining when a Jackson jumper brought the Seawolves to within six.
Dougher knocked down a pair at the line 22 seconds later, and then with 1:21 to go, Coley canned a 3 that made it 42-40. Two Rhoads free throws pushed the UNH lead back to four with 45 seconds left, but Dallis Joyner sank both of his chances at the line with 33 seconds to play and cut it back to two. Dougher knocked down two more at the line to knot the game at 44 with 14 seconds left and Buckley's 3-pointer from the left wing was no good as time expired and forced UNH's first overtime game of the season.
A pair of Coley free throws 1:05 into the extra session gave Stony Brook its first lead since the 12:46 mark of the opening half, but Buckley tied the game at 46 with a basket inside with 2:15 to go. After Conley made 1 of 2 at the line, a Joyner bucket put SBU up 48-47 with 1:32 left.
Conley answered with a huge 3 from the left wing to put UNH back on top 50-48 with 1:09 remaining. Rhoads made 1 of 2 at the line with 40 seconds to go to push the lead to three, but Rouse was then fouled while shooting a 3-pointer and converted all three shots at the stripe to tie the game at 51 with 28 seconds on the clock. Conley missed a shot with defenders draped all over him with time running down, and then missed a 3 as time expired after Dougher traveled with 1.6 seconds left.
A pair of Mayo baskets and a Rouse jumper gave Stony Brook a 57-51 lead with 3:49 left in the second overtime. After a Benson free throw, Coley sank a jumper to push it to seven, but Benson then followed with a three-point play to make it 59-55 with just under three minutes to go. SBU pushed it back to seven after making 3 of 4 at the line, but a Rhoads jumper sliced it to five, 62-57, with 29 seconds remaining. After Stony Brook made 1 of 2 at the stripe, Buckley knocked down a 3 from the left elbow to cut it to 63-60 with seven seconds remaining, but Coley made 1 of 2 at the line to seal it.
The first minutes of the opening half went back and forth before Stony Brook grabbed a 9-5 lead at the 14:22 mark. An 8-0 run, with a James Valladares (Kaufman, Texas) tip-in and a Rhoads layup sandwiching a pair of Matagrano jumpers, put the Wildcats up 13-9 with 6:14 to play. A Jackson 3-pointer cut it to one, but a Valladares 3 from the left wing made it 16-12 with 3:54 to go. Jackson followed with a basket in the paint, but Conley answered with one of his three treys to send the Wildcats into the locker room with a five-point lead. After starting the season 5-1 when leading at the half, the 'Cats have dropped three straight when ahead going into the locker room.
Valladares finished with five points on 2 of 2 shooting to go along with three boards and a block in 17 minutes.
Stony Brook outshot UNH, 32 percent (20-62) to 30 percent (21-70), including 42 percent (14-33) to 31 percent (13-42) after halftime. The Seawolves shot 68 percent (19-28) from the line, including 71 percent (10-14) in the two overtime periods, while the Wildcats were 50 percent (12-24) from the stripe, including 4 of 8 in the overtime sessions. UNH won the battle on the glass, 54-50, and turned it over just 13 times, while forcing 15 Stony Brook turnovers.
The Wildcats return to action Thursday, Jan. 20 (7 p.m.), against the University of Vermont at Lundholm Gymnasium. For tickets, visit www.UNHWildcats.com or call (603) 862-4000 x5.