Top-seeded Charleston beats Stony Brook 82-79 in OT for back-to-back CAA Tournament championships

Tue, Mar 12, 2024
NCAAB News (AP)

Top-seeded Charleston beats Stony Brook 82-79 in OT for back-to-back CAA Tournament championships

WASHINGTON (AP) - Reyne Smith scored eight of his 23 points in overtime and finished with six 3-pointers, and top-seeded Charleston beat No. 7 seed Stony Brook 82-79 on Tuesday night to claim the Coastal Athletic Association Tournament and an NCAA bid for a second straight season.

Smith poked it away from Tyler Stephenson-Moore near the 3-point arc and sank a 3-pointer at the other end to extend Charleston's lead to 78-73 midway through overtime. But that was Charleston's final field goal of the game and Ante Brzovic only made one free throw in two trips to the line to keep Stony Brook in it.

After Aaron Clarke made a quick 3-pointer for Stony Brook with 3.9 seconds left, Smith sank 1 of 2 free throws for a three-point lead. Dean Noll grabbed the defensive rebound and launched a three-quarter-length shot that almost banked in at the buzzer.

Charleston (27-7) became the first team to win back-to-back CAA tournament championships since UNC Wilmington in 2016 and '17.

Ben Burnham added 14 points, Brzovic and Frankie Policelli had 12 each and Kobe Rodgers 10 for Charleston.

Stephenson-Moore, who scored 23 points in the semifinals, finished with 26 points and seven 3-pointers for Stony Brook (20-15). Clarke, Stony Brook's second-leading scorer at 14 points per game, did not score until the 5:14 mark of the second half and finished with 11.

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Charleston opened the second half on a 14-2 run, capped by a 3-pointer by CJ Fulton, for a 49-42 lead. The Cougars led 73-64 with 5:01 remaining in the second half but did not score again until overtime.

Stony Brook made five-straight shots to tie it at 73-all with 2:12 left in regulation on Clarke's layup. The Seawolves had two chances in the final 30 seconds, following an offensive rebound, but Clarke had it stolen by Smith and Charleston's shot at the buzzer didn't come close as time expired.

Stony Brook was appearing in its sixth conference tournament final at the Division I level, and its first since winning the America East Championship in 2016 behind 43 points from Jameel Warney.

The Seawolves were the first No. 7 seed to advance to the CAA tournament final since East Carolina in 1993.

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