BU storms back to capture America East crown
Boston, MA (Sports Network) - John Holland hit a pair of free throws with 2.4 seconds left to give Boston University its first lead of the game, as the Terriers rallied for a 56-54 victory over Stony Brook in the America East championship game.
Holland finished with 27 points and 11 rebounds for the Terriers (21-13), who came back from a 15-point second-half deficit to earn their sixth AEC crown and first trip to the NCAA Tournament since 2002.
Leonard Hayes scored 14 points for Stony Brook (15-17), which had surprised top-seeded Vermont in last Sunday's semifinals and was trying for its first conference title.
Stony Brook carried a 30-23 lead to the break and Bryan Dougher buried a three-pointer to start the second half for the Seawolves. Chris Martin's jumper just over three minutes into the period gave Stony Brook a 41-26 advantage, but Holland followed with the next 14 points. His three-point play with 10 1/2 minutes remaining pulled the Terriers within 41-40.
It remained tight from there, although Stony Brook opened a 54-48 edge on two free throws by Martin with 3 1/2 minutes to play. The Terriers failed to score from there and Holland hit a pair from the line with 1:03 left to tie the contest.
Holland then managed to tie up Dougher with 31 seconds remaining and the possession arrow gave BU the ball. Holland tried to work his way to the hoop along the baseline and was fouled by Dallis Joyner, setting up the go-ahead free throws.
The Seawolves had one last chance, but Dougher's heave from half-court hit the rim and bounced harmlessly away.
Holland scored 23 points in the second half...Darryl Partin scored 12 for the Terriers...BU made just 2-of-19 three-point tries and shot just 31.3 percent overall...Martin and Dougher each finished with 12 points for Stony Brook, which shot just 31.5 percent overall...BU's last NCAA Tournament appearance resulted in a 90-52 loss to top-seeded Cincinnati in 2002.
03/12 15:20:51 ET