The Stony Brook men’s basketball team fell to LIU Brooklyn 75-71 at the Steinberg Wellness Center on Monday night. This loss comes after winning two straight games at home, including an 18-point comeback against Saint Francis.
Junior guard Jaron Cornish led the team in scoring with 15 points, senior forward Junior Saintel added in 13 points and senior forward Bryan Sekunda dropped in 12 points on four three-pointers. However, like several losses this season, the team was unable to hold a lead in the final minutes of play.
“I thought tonight we played hard, but missed too many layups and free throws,” head coach Jeff Boals said in a press release. “We got the ball where we wanted to offensively, but weren’t able to capitalize. Our zone was effective in the second half and we cut it to one with a chance to tie at the end, and unfortunately missed it. We need to learn from this game and get ready for Thursday.”
Sekunda hit a three-pointer with 3:01 remaining in regulation to give the Seawolves a 68-67 lead. But, a 8-3 run by the Blackbirds over the final three minutes of play sealed the victory for them. Stony Brook had a chance to tie the game when senior forward Tyrell Sturdivant was fouled on a shot attempt, but he missed the second free-throw with 45 seconds left that would have tied the game at 70.
A three-pointer on the other end from LIU Brooklyn’s sophomore guard Jashaun Agosto gave his team a four-point cushion with 15 seconds left in the game. Cornish made a layup to cut the lead to two, but that was the closest Stony Brook would get in the final moments of the game.
The Seawolves took an early 14-5 lead, and it seemed that the momentum from Saturday night’s come-from-behind win against Saint Francis was carrying over. The team was moving the ball well and finding open teammates, resulting in open shots. Four of the team’s first six shots came off of assists.
An 11-2 run allowed by LIU Brooklyn to tie the game at 16 midway into the first half. Neither team held more than a five point lead in the game until late in the second half when LIU Brooklyn took a seven point lead over Stony Brook.
The Seawolves tried to make the comeback, but ended up falling just short due to missed free throws, a common trend for them this season. The team is shooting 63 percent from the free-throw line compared to their opponents, who have shot 77 percent from the charity stripe. Stony Brook shot 72 percent from the line last season.
Three Blackbirds scored above 15 points. Redshirt senior guard Joel Hernandez poured in a game-high 23 points, 15 of which came in the second half. Junior guard Raiquan Clark added in 20 points and redshirt sophomore forward Julius van Sauers scored 16 points and grabbed seven rebounds, five of which were on the offensive glass.
Stony Brook’s overall record falls to 3-6. The team has a few days off before it take on Columbia on the road on Thursday, Dec. 7 at 7 p.m.