Stony Brook’s win streak extended to four straight after defeating No. 14 Villanova (3-2, 0-2) in a thrilling 29-27 comeback victory at home Saturday.

With 58 seconds remaining in the game, Stony Brook’s EJ Fineran swatted away a two-point conversion passing attempt to improve No. 17 Stony Brook to 4-1 overall and 2-0 in conference play.

“I followed their tight end when he released and I just happened to make a play,” said the 6-foot-4 defensive back on the game-winning play.

Many of the 7,720 in attendance at Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium probably weren’t expecting a win after the Seawolves fell to a 21-0 deficit in the first half.

During those first 30 minutes, Villanova and its No. 1 scoring offense moved the ball well, gaining 320 yards versus SBU’s 166. The Wildcats were recording one big play after the next, including a long trick play during which wide receiver Adeyemi DaSilva hit fellow wideout Changa Hodge for a 56-yard touchdown.

To get back in the game, the Seawolves had to rely on the arm of senior quarterback Joe Carbone, who completed 20 of 35 passes for 270 yards and three touchdowns on the night.

For the first time in four games, Stony Brook running backs Donald Liotine and Jordan Gowins were both limited to under 100 yards each.

“We all agreed as a team that no one was ever going to break us,” said Carbone, Stony Brook’s captain. “We didn’t break and we regrouped and went out there and kept playing.”

Carbone got things rolling in the right direction when he orchestrated a 10-play, 75-yard scoring drive with 1:51 left in the first half.

On a play-action play, Carbone rolled to the right and found senior Julius Wingate in the back corner of the endzone for a 15-yard touchdown reception.

The Seawolves defense responded with a quick stop and the team went to the locker room with their heads held high, even though they were down 21-6.

“When I walked into the locker room at halftime you would have thought we were winning 21-0,” said Stony Brook’s head coach, Chuck Priore.

That momentum was immediately felt in the second half, when Stony Brook defensive back Elijah Duff recovered a fumble on the opening kickoff on Villanova’s 30-yard-line.

On a long third down attempt, junior wide receiver Andrew Trent kept that drive alive with a 24-yard catch along the sideline.

Liotine finished off the drive with a 3-yard rushing touchdown to cut the lead to 21-13.

At 7:06 in the third quarter, Stony Brook got the game tying-touchdown when Carbone hit Wingate for his second touchdown of the game with a 26-yard passing score. Wide receiver Donavin Washington then caught the 2-point conversion.

Stony Brook’s defense limited Villanova’s offense the entire second half, holding the team to 79 yards.

Defensive linemen John Haggart kept the pressure on the Wildcats, recording two sacks and forcing a safety after Wildcat quarterback Zach Bednarcyzk had an intentional grounding call in his own end zone.

“We knew that we could run with (Villanova) and we knew we had to change our energy,” said Haggart, who had eight tackles. “That is what we did and everyone was rallying and making plays.”

Up 23-21, the Seawolves looked to put the finishing touches on Villanova when Cal Daniels caught a 5-yard touchdown with 4:13 remaining in the game. Stony Brook then missed the extra point attempt, making it 29-21.

After pulling their starting quarterback in favor for sophomore Jack Schetelich, Nova drove down the field and scored to set up the eventual failed two-point attempt.

“I’m really proud of this team,” said Priore.  “This group has won quite a few games the last few years and it is contagious now.”

up next

Stony Brook’s next game is against CAA opponent Towson (3-1, 1-0) away on Saturday, Oct. 6 at 4 p.m. The game will be broadcasted on LI News Radio, 103.9 FM and CBS Sports Digital’s College Sports Live.

Top: Senior Julius Wingate scoring his first of two touchdowns of the game against Villanova. (Credit: Jim Harrison/ Stony Brook Athletics.)