Stony Brook was 1.8 seconds away from making history. But Peter Hooley had other plans.
The University of Albany guard drilled a deep 3-pointer with seconds to spare in the America East finals Saturday to lift the Great Danes to a 51-50 win at SEFCU Arena in Albany.
It was elation for UAlbany, which will head to the NCAA tournament yet again after capturing its third consecutive America East title. Yet it was heartbreak for the Seawolves, who led for the entire second half before Hooley’s dagger and never have earned a trip to the Big Dance.
Stony Brook appeared on its way to changing that when Carson Puriefoy hit a 3-point shot to put his team up by seven with 2:55 to go. The Great Danes hung around, however, and trailed by just two points after Puriefoy missed the second of two free throws with 17 seconds left.
That opened the door for Hooley, an Australia native who lost his mother to cancer in January, to hit UAlbany’s first 3-pointer of the game and give his team the dramatic victory. Hooley was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player for the second consecutive year.
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The Great Danes (24-8) will learn their first-round opponent when the tournament’s bracket is revealed Sunday.
Thumbnail photo via Tim Roske/Associated Press