STONY BROOK, N.Y. - Freshman guard Daniel Dion (Cedar Park, Texas) hit the game-winning 3-pointer with 15 seconds remaining as the University of New Hampshire men's basketball team took a 73-69 victory over Stony Brook on Saturday afternoon at Pritchard Gymnasium.
Senior forward Chris Pelcher (Albany, N.Y.) posted his sixth double-double (15 points, 11 boards) of the season and the eighth of his career to lead four Wildcats in double-figures. Jordon Bronner (Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.) scored a team-high 16 points, freshman Jaleen Smith (Freeport, Texas) tied a career-high with 15, and Dion chipped in with 13, including 10 in the second half for UNH, which moves to 6-17 overall and 4-6 in the America East.
Carson Puriefoy scored a game-high 18 points to pace the Seawolves. Anthony Jackson added 12 points, while Jameel Warney contributed a double-double (11 points, 10 boards) for Stony Brook, which falls to 17-8 overall and 9-2 in America East Conference play.
UNH used 43.6% (24 of 55) shooting from the floor and 46.7% (14-for-30) from downtown to earn the win. Stony Brook also shot an impressive clip from the field, hitting on 46.3% of its field goals (25 of 54), but was hampered by just 55.0% (11-20) free-throw shooting.
The Seawolves opened the scoring with a jumper by Anthony Jackson, but UNH responded with seven straight points to take a 7-2 advantage. Jacoby Armstrong (Sachse, Texas) scored the first five for the Wildcats, nailing a jumper in traffic before draining a 3-pointer from the left shoulder. Pelcher capped the run for UNH with a layup off a feed from Armstrong.
Stony Brook responded with a 10-5 run to knot the score at 12-12 with 12:36 left in the first. After a Dion 3-pointer, the Seawolves launched an 11-0 run to take a 23-15 advantage with 9:19 remaining in the half.
Still trailing by eight, with 2:56 left in the first, UNH used a 13-6 run to close out the half and cut Stony Brook's lead to one. Pelcher got it started for the Wildcats when he got a feed in the low post from Scott Morris (Walkersville, Md.) and converted a contested layup. Smith then scored a layup and a free throw before Pelcher slammed home a dunk to make it a one-point game.
Puriefoy extended the lead back to four for SBU when he drained a 3-ball from the top of the key, but UNH answered again with a pair of 3's from Morris and Smith to go ahead by two with 40 seconds left. Puriefoy took back the lead for Stony Brook right before the half with his third three of the game, giving SBU a 39-38 halftime advantage.
Puriefoy led all scorers with 13 first-half points. Jackson chipped in with nine points in the frame for the Seawolves, who shot 57.7% (15 of 26) in the first half. Pelcher led the way for the Wildcats in the opening frame, scoring 10 points on 4-for-6 shooting. Armstrong added seven points in the first for UNH, which shot 53.8% (14 of 26) in the half.
Stony Brook jumped out of the second half gate on an 8-4 run to take a 47-42 lead. UNH fought back with a 6-1 run over the next four minutes to knot the score at 48-48. Dion got it started by making 1 of 2 free throws to bring UNH within four. After a Warney free throw, Bronner drained a straightaway 3 and a layup to tie the game at 48-48.
UNH took its first lead of the second half three minutes later. Following three points from Stony Brook's Eric McAlister, Morris nailed his second 3-ball of the game to tie the score at 51-51. Pelcher gave UNH a 52-51 lead the next time up when he converted 1 of 2 free throws.
The Seawolves responded with a 5-0 run to regain a four-point advantage with eight minutes left.
With Stony Brook leading 60-57 and 4:57 left, Dion scored six straight points to give UNH a 63-60 lead. The freshman guard buried a pair of 3's on consecutive possessions to give UNH its largest lead of the half.
Stony Brook kept fighting, using a 4-0 run to take back the lead, 64-63. Smith answered for UNH, hitting his third trey of the game to put the Wildcats up 66-64.
After Stony Brook guard Dave Coley hit a three to put SBU up 67-66, Pelcher scored a running hook in the paint for the Wildcats, giving them a 68-67 advantage with 44 seconds remaining.
Puriefoy responded for Stony Brook, using a pick at the top of the key to free himself for an open layup, putting the Seawolves back up 69-68.
But UNH would not be denied, as Dion buried the game-winning 3-pointer from the left shoulder with 15 seconds left to put the Wildcats ahead for good. After Smith earned a steal on SBU's next possession, Bronner iced the game with two free throws.
With the victory the Wildcats snap its seven-game losing streak to Stony Brook. The win also ends the Seawolves' 23-game conference home winning streak.
The Wildcats return to Lundholm Gymnasium, hosting the Binghamton University Bearcats on Wednesday, Feb. 12 (7 p.m.). For tickets, visit UNHWildcats.com or call (603) 862-4000.