Tommy Brenton and Bryan Dougher agree: Dallis Joyner doesn't always get the credit he deserves, but the two veteran Stony Brook players called him a leader.
"Dallis, he's our leader off the court," Brenton said. "...He kind of brings us together and makes us calm down at practice and play harder."
Dougher added: "I think he gets overlooked by a lot of people in the league. He comes in every day, does what he has to do, and he's our anchor."
The game on Sunday ended as Joyner tipped in a shot as time expired and gave top-seeded Stony Brook a 57-55 win over No. 4 Albany in the America East conference semifinals on Sunday.
Officials reviewed the play, which began on a long missed jumper by Stony Brook's Dave Coley as the shot clock expired. But there was still about one second remaining on the clock – in which time Joyner had plenty of time to make that second-chance play.
Joyner, a 6-7 senior forward from Norfolk, Va., who made the All Conference team for the first time this year, finished the game with 14 points and 8 rebounds. Coley, who finished the game with 12 points and 7 rebounds, had built some momentum – enough that coach Steve Pikiell was confident to put the last shot in his hands.
"I just wanted to make sure we got the ball up in time to get a second shot at it," Pikiell said. "We were giving the ball to Dave. He's our most creative player. He wanted it, too, which I loved."
Brenton found Joyner under the net for a layup that put Stony Brook up 55-52 with 50 seconds left, but Albany tied the game at 55 on a three-pointer by Jacob Iati – his only bucket in the game – with 37 seconds left.
Brenton, the conference's Defensive Player of the Year, sat out most of the first half after picking up two fouls in the first five minutes. But he steadied himself in the second half, picking up five offensive rebounds in the second half. Brenton finished with 8 points, 9 rebounds and 4 assists.
"I had a lot of energy because I didn't play the first half," Brenton said. "I guess it was my time. I love my team. I made stupid errors in the first half... They picked me up."
Albany coach Will Brown called Brenton the "undersized guy that rips your heart out," and called Joyner's tip "a very smart play at that time."
Gerardo Suero, who led the conference in scoring during the regular season averaging 21.7 points per game, finished with a game-high 17 points for Albany (19-14). Stony Brook out-rebounded Albany 46-26, including a 22-6 edge in offensive rebounds that led to 20 second-chance points for Stony Brook.
Brown admitted he didn't even see it: he reported seing Coley's shot, knowing it wouldn't go in, and then looking to his team thinking the outcome would be overtime.
"We thought we were going to win the game for sure," Brown said. "You let Stony Brook out-rebound you like that, you get beat. ... We lost to the best team in the league."
Top-seeded Stony Brook will play the winner of the semifinal between No. 2 Vermont and No. 6 Hartford in a home game at the Stony Brook Arena.
Notes & Quotes: The game was tied six times and the lead changed nine times during the game... Albany shot 55 percent from the three-point range... Bryan Dougher scored a team-best 15 points for Stony Brook and remains just two points away from tying Stony Brook's all-time Division I career scoring record.