Tuesday, January 6, 2009

UMaine (5-9,0-1) at Stony Brook (8-6, 1-1)

The Black Bears and Seawolves enter this Thursday night America East tilt fresh off losses to Binghamton. Stony Brook traveled upstate and absorbed a 67-60 loss Monday in Vestal. The Bearcats had polished off the Black Bears in Orono Saturday.

The game is a matchup of teams picked eighth (UMaine) and ninth (Stony Brook) in a pre-season poll of AE coaches. It's also a rematch of last year's play-in game at the conference tournament, won by Stony Brook in overtime.

Thus far, the Seawolves appear intent on proving the coaches wrong, having posted a school-best mark of 7-5 in non-conference games and then opening league play with a stunning win at defending champion Maryland-Baltimore County.

Playing a huge role in Stony's solid start are three freshmen and a junior college transfer:

Guard, Bryan Dougher, 6-1 freshman, 12.4 points per game;
Forward, Dallis Joyner, 6-7 freshman, 6.8 points, 3.1 rebounds;
Guard/Forward, Tommy Brenton, 6-5 freshman, 7.4 points, 7.9 rebounds (pictured);
Guard, Muhammed El-Amin, 6-5 junior, 13.1 points, 2.8 rebounds;

El-Amin arrived on Long Island via Lansing Community College in Lansing, Mich. Also getting significant minutes are guards Marques Cox (6-1 senior) and Chris Martin (6-1 sophomore).
The Black Bears are looking to get back in the winning column. UMaine has dropped five straight since its win over Colgate on Dec. 8.
Last year, Stony Brook defeated UMaine in three meetings: 75-59 in New York, 56-51 in Orono and 73-65 in OT at the AE tournament.

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