Stony Brook Women’s Basketball trailed through all four quarters of Saturday afternoon’s matchup against conference rival Albany at the State Employees Federal Credit Union Arena, but a late-game run nearly managed to flip the script.
After trading blows in the opening moments of the fourth quarter, a three-point shot from junior guard Shania Johnson kickstarted a 10-2 offensive run. Junior forward Cheyenne Clark notched a layup and a pair of free throws, and Johnson added another layup to help cut Stony Brook’s deficit to 54-50 with less than three minutes remaining.
Unfortunately for the Seawolves, Great Danes junior forward Chyanna Canada responded with a layup and a free throw to widen the lead. Another pair of free throws from Albany junior forward Heather Forster gave her team a seven-point advantage with one minute on the clock.
Stony Brook failed to mount a last-second comeback, and lost 64-58 by the final buzzer.
After the game, head coach Caroline McCombs gave Albany credit for taking advantage of Stony Brook’s missteps.
“I thought Albany really outplayed us in the first and third quarters today,” McCombs said in a press release. “We did a good job fighting back both times, but it’s tough to have those lapses and come out on top. Albany is a good team, and capitalized on our mistakes.”
Johnson’s career-high 29 points helped keep Stony Brook in the game despite a poor team offensive effort. Her 39 percent shooting from the field led all Seawolves players who made more than four shot attempts. Johnson tacked on five assists, but also registered 10 of her team’s 23 turnovers.
Albany capitalized on nearly every Stony Brook mistake, earning crucial points in the process. The Great Danes managed to go 20 for 29 from the free throw line, and pilfered 19 points off turnovers.
Saturday’s game was a tale of two different Stony Brook offenses. The Seawolves outscored the Great Danes 41-26 in the second and fourth quarters combined, but only managed 17 total points between the first and third quarters.
Albany capitalized on Stony Brook’s dismal three-for-15 first quarter shooting performance to outscore its rivals 16-4 through the first 10 minutes, which gave the team an edge it held throughout the matchup. The Great Danes also held a shooting edge in the second half, hitting 46 percent of their shots, while the Seawolves shot just under 28 percent.
Stony Brook’s presence on the backboards also helped the team secure a much-needed advantage on the offensive glass. The Seawolves converted 22 offensive rebounds into 16 second-chance points, which helped make up for their 34-26 deficit in the paint.
Saturday’s loss, Stony Brook’s second straight, drops the team’s record to 3-5 in the conference and 11-10 overall. Albany advances to 8-1 in the conference and 19-3 overall with the win.
The Seawolves will look to get back on track in the America East when they travel to UMBC on Wednesday, Jan. 31. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Retriever Activities Center.