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Pandolfi’s Legendary Night Lifts Bears over Port Jeff

January 29, 2011

Last night was a perfect one for Tim Pandolfi.  He scored his 1,000th career point, one of his career-high 38, in an unexpected rout over rival Port Jeff; however, one of the most memorable nights of his incredible career was almost derailed when he awoke earlier in the day with flu-like symptoms.  At lunchtime he was slumped over on a bench in Johnston Hall lobby, a vastly different picture than the exuberant smile he had by the game’s end.  It was fitting that on the night he became the 6th member of the 1,000 point club in Stony Brook’s 89 year history, he had a performance reminiscent of Michael Jordan’s flu game in the 1997 NBA Finals in which His Airness scored, you guessed it, 38 points.

1st Quarter

The Bears began the game favorably as Richie Armand grabbed a steal and turned it into a 2-0 lead.  However, the Royals would score the next 8 points to take control with 5:12 left in the 1st quarter.  Coach Mike Hickey called a timeout to settle down his players, a seemingly simple decision that had a big impact on the game.  As the Port Jeff bench players converged on their starters in celebration, one of the Royals’ better players, Greg Nielsen, rolled his ankle, an injury that would hamper him the rest of the game.  A second turning point in the game came soon after.  Port Jeff had an 11-4 edge when Pandolfi drove to the hoop, scored a difficult basket and drew the foul, leaving him one point shy of his milestone.  The entire gym stood in anticipation as he stepped up to the line with 999 career points, then he entered the pantheon of Stony Brook basketball greats by sinking the free throw.  His teammates swarmed him, his mother joined him on the floor and the crowd chanted, “TIM PAN-DOL-FI!”  Coach Mike Hickey explained the significance of the moment to the crowd, that Pandolfi was joining Drake Womack ’72, Dave Wilson ’78, Jonas Fischer ’94, Matt Mattimore ’95 and Steve Harney ’04 as the only players to have scored 1,000 career points in a Stony Brook uniform.  As the hoopla subsided, an important game had to be revisited between 2 teams tied for 2nd place in League VIII.  | 10-13

2nd Quarter

Armand began the quarter with his second steal and score to cut the deficit to 1, then, after a Port Jeff free throw Spencer Cannon tied the game at 14 with a layup.  Armand followed with a 3-pointer from the corner to give the Brook their 1st lead since 2-0, but the Royals responded with a trifecta of their own to knot it.  An important spurt followed as Pandolfi and Cannon each scored to give the blue and white a lead they would not relinquish though the game would stay tight.  As the Bears closed the 2nd frame Pandolfi caught fire, netting 10 of his team’s last 11 points as they took a 4 point edge into the break, giving him 18 in the first 16 minutes. | 32-28

3rd Quarter

The 10 minute intermission did nothing to cool off Pandolfi’s hot hand as he scored a fast break layup, drilled a 3 and hit a pair of free throws, giving him 17 of the Bears’ last 18 points to help the lead blossom to 39-30.  A slight run by the Royals left them down just 3, but a big 3-pointer by Farqu Taylor stemmed the tide. | 42-39

4th Quarter

The contest had been tightly contested and neither team had held a double-digit lead, which is what made Stony Brook’s 4th quarter so delightfully surprising.  Coach Hickey put the press on to begin the pivotal frame and the Royals had no answer for it.  A nip-and-tuck affair turned into a rout in the blink of an eye as the Bears rattled off 17 unanswered points to begin the quarter as part of a 25-2 run that ran Port Jeff off the floor.  Armand began the quarter with a beautiful baseline drive and basket and Kai Strachan scored 4 straight points, courtesy of the press, to give the Brook a 48-39 advantage.  The 6 point spurt prompted a timeout by the Royals coach, but their misery was far from over.  The crowd roared louder and louder in disbelief as steal followed steal and great play followed great play in a nail-biter-turned-laugher.  The final dagger came with the boys up 52-39 when Pandolfi connected on a deep 3-pointer in front of the student section to signal that the thrashing was officially on.  The full court pressure prevented the visitors from finding any type of offensive rhythm and they did not register a score until 4:33 remained in the period, one of only 2 baskets they would muster over the 8 minutes.  As the final seconds ticked away the student cheered, “WHOSE HOUSE?  OUR HOUSE!,” an assertion the dour Port Jeff delegation could not rebut as they found themselves outscored 4-29 in the final quarter.  | 71-43

Senior Tim Pandolfi scored a career-high 38 points and reached 1,000 career points on his fifth point of the game, a free throw with 3:10 left in the first quarter.  Pandolfi also had seven steals to lead Stony Brook (6-1) in League VIII.  Richard Armand added 11 points and eight steals, and Farqu Taylor had three points and 10 rebounds.

~ Newsday

Impressions

In a game that pitted two 1-loss teams against each other this was a fantastic win for the Bears.  Pandolfi was his unstoppable self, toying with his defenders and handling the ball as though it were attached to his hand.  What was equally exciting was how the entire cast performed in big situations.  Armand played his finest game in a Bears uniform, scoring huge buckets, directing the offense and wreaking havoc on defense.  Forrest Hull started his 1st game on the varsity and played some huge minutes early, drawing a number of fouls with his deceptive pump fakes.  Taylor was tenacious on the boards and equally effective matching up on Port Jeff’s better scorers.  Do not let the fact that Marco Masakayan did not score lead you to believe he did not have an impact on the game.  His 4 1st half steals set the tone early and his confidence with ball handling and penetrating helped the offense find its flow.  The Bears will make their longest trek of the year come Tuesday as they journey to Shelter Island @ 6:15pm.

The fourth quarter opened up with the Bears up 42-39, and the Bears played a flat out abusive final 8 minutes.  Nearly every Royal pass in bounds was met by two defenders, knocked away and brought home for the Bears.  The Bears put up 11 unanswered points in the first 3 minutes, and ended up with a 29-4 run, ending the game at 71-43.

~ The Port Jefferson Patch

Notes

The win was the 230th of coach Mike Hickey’s career as he evened his record against the Royals to 7-7.  It was also his 1st win over Port Jeff since 2004, the last time they were our league opponent… Tim Pandolfi is currently 1st on Long Island in scoring with 27.7 points per game… Pandolfi’s 38 points also helped him surpass Drake Womack (1,025 points) and Dave Wilson (1,025 points) on the all-time scoring list… Check out a write-up of the game in The Port Jefferson Patch… Also check out the write-up in the The Three Village Patch… The junior varsity also defeated Port Jeff 41-27 and are currently tied for 1st in the league.

Box Score

  • Pandolfi | 38 points/2 3-pointers
  • Armand | 11 points/1 3-pointer/8 steals
  • Strachan | 10 points
  • Jerome Washington | 6 points
  • Taylor | 3 points/1 3-pointer/10 rebounds
  • Cannon | 4 points
  • Forrest Hull | 1 point

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