FAIRFIELD -- Steve Pikiell had a clear message for his Stony Brook squad prior to the rematch with Sacred Heart -- rebound the basketball.

In their first meeting this season, Sacred Heart won the board battle on the way to victory. This time, the boards belonged to the Seawolves, who pulled away late in a close game with a pair of baskets from freshman Jameel Warney to win 64-59 in front of 319 fans Tuesday night at the Pitt Center.

"We don't get outrebounded -- we are a good rebounding team," said Pikiell, who was college teammates with Scott Burrell at UConn. "Last time we got outrebounded and we made a huge emphasis this week and we were plus 16.

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Game glance PLAYER OF THE GAME: Stony Brook freshman Jameel Warney scored 17 points, including a dunk with 2:16 left to give the Seawolves the lead for good, and added eight rebounds with three blocks. WHAT DIDN'T WORKED: In the first meeting, SHU won the rebound battle (41-33) and the game. This time, Stony Brook took both with a 48-32 rebound edge, including 16-10 on the offensive end. UP NEXT: Saturday at LaSalle, 2 p.m. -- WILLIAM S. PAXTON

"That's a real good sign for us."

The Seawolves (8-2) finished with a 48-32 advantage on the glass. But in addition to hitting the board, they also made some timely plays to snap a five-game losing skid at the Pitt Center.

Warney's dunk with 2:16 left gave Stony Brook a 57-56 lead and started a 7-0 run SHU couldn't answer. Warney added a layup on the next possession and Dave Coley made a 3-pointer to make it 62-56 with 30 seconds left.

Over that same stretch, Phil Gaetano missed a layup for SHU and Shane Gibson's turnover led to Coley's basket, paving the way for the Pioneers' fifth straight loss.

"I had a costly turnover that messed us up and they got two easy baskets," said Gibson, who finished with a game-high 22 points.

"We had a chance, but you have to capitalize on chances," SHU coach Dave Bike said.

In addition to 17 points from Warney, Anthony Jackson had 10 for Stony Brook and Tommy Brenton chipped in with 11 rebounds. Nobody besides Gibson reached double figures in scoring for SHU, but Louis Montes finished with nine points with 11 boards.

After yielding 49 first-half points to Lehigh and 46 to Holy Cross in its previous two home games, the Pioneers trailed just 31-24 at the break against the Seawolves despite shooting 30.3 percent.

A 14-6 start to the second half allowed SHU to take a 38-37 lead with 15:04 left, but the Pioneers never led by more than two points from there.

"They are a good team and they just didn't let us pull away," Gibson said. "They are a good team and they will probably win their league (America East)."

Right now the Pioneers would just settle for a win with road trips to LaSalle (Saturday) and George Washington (Dec. 30) on the schedule before opening Northeast Conference play.

"What a coincidence. The first game we outrebound them by eight and win," Bike said. "You have to have some numbers in your favor (to win)."

wpaxton@ctpost.com; http://twitter.com/wspaxton; http://blog.ctnews.com/paxton/




Jackson 3-10 2-2 10, Coley 2-5 1-2 6, Warney 8-9 1-4 17, McAlister 2-6 0-0 4, Brenton 3-7 2-2 8, Bracey 3-10 0-1 8, Puriefoy 0-0 1-2 1, Rouse 1-5 2-3 4, Hayes 1-1 0-0 3, Mayo 0-1 0-0 0, King 1-3 0-0 3. Totals 24-57 9-16 64.


Gaetano 4-10 0-0 9, Swidowski 3-8 0-0 7, Montes 3-12 3-6 9, Akinpetide 0-1 0-0 0, Gibson 8-17 3-3 22, Abdel Latif 1-3 0-0 2, Greenbacker 2-3 0-1 5, Glowiak 2-8 0-0 5, Tate 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 23-63 6-10 59.

Halftime--Stony Brook 31-24. 3-Point Goals--Stony Brook 7-19 (Bracey 2-4, Jackson 2-4, Hayes 1-1, King 1-2, Coley 1-3, Brenton 0-1, Rouse 0-2, McAlister 0-2), Sacred Heart 7-23 (Gibson 3-8, Greenbacker 1-2, Swidowski 1-2, Gaetano 1-3, Glowiak 1-6, Montes 0-2). Fouled Out--None. Rebounds--Stony Brook 48 (Brenton 11), Sacred Heart 32 (Montes 11). Assists--Stony Brook 11 (Jackson 6), Sacred Heart 10 (Gaetano 5). Total Fouls--Stony Brook 14, Sacred Heart 14. A--319.