Stony Brook (23-10) at Siena (15-17)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Tuesday, March 18th, 7 p.m. (et).
FACTS & STATS: Site: Times Union Center (7,079) -- Albany, New York. Television: None. CBI Record: Stony Brook 0-0, Siena 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: The seventh annual College Basketball Invitational gets off the ground tonight, as the Seawolves of Stony Brook challenge the Siena Saints in the first round of the event at the Times Union Center.
While the Seawolves are taking part in the CBI for the first time, this is still the fourth postseason appearance in the last five campaigns for the program. During the regular season, Stony Brook finished second in the American East Conference standings with a record of 13-3, trailing only Vermont. The squad defeated both Maine (80-54) and Hartford (69-64) during the conference tournament, before falling to Albany in the title game on Saturday, 69-60.
As for the Saints, they are into the postseason for the first since 2010 when they were included in the NCAA Tournament for the third consecutive year. Like Stony Brook, this is the first-ever appearance in the CBI for a Siena squad that closed the regular season on a four-game win streak before bowing to Canisius (71-65) during the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Tournament.
Despite being separated by less than 200 miles, this is the first-ever meeting between these two New York-based schools in men's basketball.
The winner of this meeting heads to the quarterfinals on Monday where it will take on the survivor of the Hampton/Penn State contest.
In this particular tournament, the two teams remaining compete in a best-of- three series to decide the champion. Last year, Santa Clara took the title, thanks to an 80-77 victory in the third meeting against George Mason.
Just a sophomore, Jameel Warney is the top performer for the Seawolves in more ways that one as he was named the America East Conference Player of the Year. Warney paces the program in scoring with 14.5 ppg and is also tops on the glass with 8.0 rpg, while also checking in with an exacting 62.3 percent shooting from the floor. Warney, who leads the program in blocked shots with 37, does have a hitch in his game and it takes place at the free-throw line where he is only 60.7 percent accurate,
Carson Puriefoy (13.0 ppg) has made good on 42.5 percent of his tries behind the 3-point line and is also tops with 85 assists and 44 steals, followed by Anthony Jackson and Dave Coley with 12.4 ppg and 10.6 ppg, respectively, as the team generates 71.8 ppg.
Siena, which is 10-4 at home this season, 3-1 versus non-conference opponents at the Times Union Center, is putting up a decent 69.6 ppg over the course of 32 contests, but at the same time giving up 71.6 ppg. Handling a good portion of the scoring is Rob Poole who used his 59 3-pointers to come up with 14.7 ppg. Poole shoots only 41.5 percent from the field, but has made up for it with 77.2 percent accuracy at the free-throw line where he has made more shots than anyone else on the unit. Brett Bisping is responsible for another 10.7 ppg and also accounts for a team-best 6.3 rpg, although his physical style has gotten him into plenty of foul trouble.
Don't let the sub-.500 record fool you, the Saints are more than qualified to take part in the postseason and host a game. The close proximity of the two schools should draw a decent crowd, but no matter how many fans come to support the visitors, Siena still holds the edge.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Siena 72, Stony Brook 66
03/18 10:42:14 ET