Friday, December 18, 2015

Stony Brook Seawolves 86 at American Eagles 68 (NCAA Basketball) - December 17, 2015

The first stop on my Washimorelphia trip was American University, home of the Eagles who naturally play in the Patriot League. No points for guessing that their colours are red, white, and blue.

I was staying just over a mile away, so I walked to the campus, which is in the northwest quadrant of the city, right across from the temporary headquarters of the Department of Homeland Security and a couple of blocks away from the Embassy of Japan. The entrance to campus is off Massachusetts Avenue and clearly marked.

From here, Bender Arena is straight ahead, part of a large complex of facilities and a parking garage. The box office is just inside the doors shown below, with end zone tickets going for $11, while sideline seats are $20.50. The disparity in price is surprising for such a small arena, but they do have ushers checking tickets, so the usual sit where you want advice doesn't apply here. They also ask if you want to sit on the home or visitor side, so if you are supporting the visitors (as I was), you will be at the far end of the court.

As this is Washington, politics must be represented, and there are sculptures of a donkey (below) and elephant in the lobby.

Before entering the arena proper, have a look at the Hall of Fame, whose most recognizable name is probably Kermit Washington.

Inside the arena is a list of those players who have reached 1,000 points along with career leaders in several statistical categories.

The Patriot League banners are on display here, Army and Navy both play in this conference as well. There is a single concession stand here but I did not partake as there was a PotBelly along the way.

The court is set up on top of the gym floor, with the end zone seats a bit far away. The shot below is taken from the visitor seats, and you can see there is quite a lot of space between the first row and the court. The media sits at that table to the right too, so a low down seat is not advisable here.

Note that the end zone seats are bleacher style, while the sidelines have chair backs. Still not worth an extra $9.50 though.

In fact, I stood for the second half, as there is a railing at the top of the seating bowl that you can lean on. This is the best place to watch the game and with the pace of college basketball improving (they removed one timeout per team this season), you won't be standing that long. As you can see, there were few fans here as finals are over and most students have gone home for the holidays. Attendance was announced at 368, and half of those seemed to be Stony Brook fans.

And they were in for a treat. The Seawolves played very well right from the start, sinking a number of threes early on. Just after the midway point of the half, Roland Nyama drained the team's fourth trey to make the score 23-17. Interestingly, the rest of the half saw the same score as Stony Brook took a 46-34 lead into the break.

Whatever adjustments the Eagles made at halftime were fruitless, as Stony Brook went on a rampage early in the second period. A 15-6 run led American to call timeout, but that was useless as Stony Brook followed with a 13-5 spurt that essentially ended things at 74-45.

The last 12 minutes saw the Seawolves take the  foot off the gas and American got back within 18. The star was Jameel Warney who finished with 22 points on 10/12 shooting (that's him at the line above) a couple of steals and two blocks. There were a number of NBA scouts at the game so who knows, maybe you'll be hearing a lot more about him next year.

The palindromic final score.

Next Up

I just watched the Capitals comeback to defeat the Lightning 5-3 (no need for a post, but it was one of the best games I have seen in a long time). This weekend is doubleheader time. Saturday starts right back at the Verizon Center as Georgetown hosts UNC Asheville, and then the nightcap is in Baltimore as Maryland takes on Princeton. On Sunday it will be my first NFL doubleheader with games in Baltimore and Philadelphia. Check back for recaps next week.



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