Stony Brook Women’s Basketball started out cold in its non-conference home game against Division III opponent Farmingdale State on Wednesday afternoon. The Seawolves surrendered the opening bucket of the game to Rams senior forward Essence Casey and were unable to respond on offense.
Stony Brook went 0-9 from the floor in the first five minutes of the first quarter. But when the rest of the team went ice cold on offense, senior guard and team captain Aaliyah Worley took the reins herself.
Worley went on an offensive tear, scoring seven points in just 59 seconds off a pair of layups and a three-pointer. She tallied a season-high 13 points in the game, and her early offensive explosion galvanized the entire team. The Seawolves closed out the quarter on a 16-2 run, and went on to defeat the Rams 76-25.
For sophomore guard Giolibeth Perez, who ran the point during Worley’s run, her job was simple: get the ball to her captain while she was still hot.
“We made some adjustments when we needed to,” Perez said. “My job is to organize the team and try to get the ball to the person that is hot on the court. Aaliyah at that moment was the person that was hot, so I was just attacking and trying to find her.”
While the team’s leading scorer, junior guard Shania Johnson, was held to five points in 16 minutes of play, the rest of the team managed to shoulder the offensive burden. Three Seawolves players finished with double-digit scoring totals, while junior forward Cheyenne Clark and junior guard Jerell Matthews each finished with eight points.
After the win, head coach Caroline McCombs applauded how well the Seawolves operated as a unit.
“It was a great team win before the Thanksgiving holiday,” McCombs said in a press release. “We had a lot of players contribute which was great to see. I was proud of our effort on both ends of the floor.”
Perez’s team-high six dimes set the tone for the team’s ball movement. The Seawolves finished with a season-high 20 assists, using their passing game to generate space and solid scoring opportunities. Stony Brook shot 46 percent from the floor against Farmingdale State, and nearly 54 percent after the team’s 0-9 run to start the game.
The Seawolves once again capitalized on their aggressive play in transition, scoring 29 points off 24 Rams turnovers and scoring 16 off the fastbreak. The team also dominated on the backboard, out-rebounding Farmingdale State 50-32.
A 25-point third quarter put the game to rest for good, allowing Stony Brook to give valuable game-time experience to some of its bench players. Freshman guard Jonae Cox took advantage of the opportunity to score a team-high 14 points, including four three-pointers, in just 17 minutes of action. While none of the starting five played a minute in the fourth quarter, the bench went wild every time Cox sank a bucket from deep.
“As a team, we have a lot of chemistry, we support each other,” Perez said. “When our players that come off the bench start making shots, that makes us very happy. We have a lot of trust in them.”
The win over Farmingdale State gave McCombs her 50th victory as a head coach at Stony Brook. Now in her fourth season, McCombs has led Stony Brook to its first ever 4-0 start since before the program moved to Division I in the 1998-99 season.
Stony Brook will look to extend their season-opening run at home against Wagner on Sunday, November 26. Tipoff against the Seahawks is scheduled for 4 p.m. at Island Federal Credit Union Arena.