A crowd of Seawolf faithful packed Pritchard Gym on Saturday afternoon in anticipation of the Stony Brook women’s basketball team halting their loosing streak at home, however the University of New Hampshire Wildcats had other plans and were able to ride a 10 point answered run to open the second half and defeat the Seawolves, 63-46.
Junior Sam Landers led Stony Brook as the only double digit scorer for the Seawolves with 10 points on 2-8 shooting and a perfect 6-6 from the free throw line.
Junior Jessica Previlon chipped in with four points and six rebounds off the bench while freshman Natalie Myers and junior Dani Klupenger each had three pointers for the Seawolves who lost their 13th straight game after a three game win streak.
“We tried to push the pace, but turnovers really hurt us badly and the difference maker was us not getting the best of our opportunities,” said head coach Beth O’Boyle.
The UNH Wildcats were led by center Morgan Frame who had a game high 18 points and six rebounds and Cari Reed who was able to knock down four three pointers on her way to 12 points and five rebounds.
Bridgette McKnight proved to be the difference maker for the Wildcats as she energized her team, providing them with 10 points and seven rebounds off the bench by terrorizing the Seawolves in the paint.
Senior Whitney Davis had her streak of double digit scoring games snapped as she struggled to find a rhythm and consistently was pestered by Wildcat defenders. She finished the game with just four points on 2-9 shooting in one of her poorest performances of the season.
The Seawolves opened the game ice cold by missing their first five shots from the field before pressure was able to force a turnover and a Davis jumper finally got Stony Brook on the board.
Stony Brook’s inability to settle for good shot opportunities, combined with the Wildcat’s smothering defense, contributed to the early UNH lead.
After digging themselves into an early hole to start the game, the Seawolves were able to pull it together and rally behind a three pointer from Klupenger to cut the Wildcat lead to just three. It took just one more possession, an isolation lay-up in the paint from junior Taylor Burner to bring the game to within just two points. Going into halftime, the Seawolves were able to hold the dangerous Wildcat shooters to just 36 percent from the field for the first half and trailed by just six points.
Looking to ride some momentum into the second half, the Seawolves were immediately outworked by the Wildcats as they opened the second half with an unanswered 10 point run. Junior Gerda Gatling eventually was able to stop the bleeding for Stony Brook with a baseline jump shot after the Seawolves went nearly six minutes without a bucket.
Junior Amanda Corona’s driving lay-up with just under ten minutes in the second half marked a 9-4 Stony Brook run in which the Seawolves were able to cut the deficit to single digits at 43-34.
The Wildcats then proceeded to shut down the Seawolf offense en route to a 12-5 run of their own to push the lead back to double digits.
This proved to be too much for Stony Brook to handle down the stretch as the Wildcats were able to comfortably cruise the rest of the way to a 17 point victory.
“They (UNH) have a good post game and we tried to double their paint players as part of our game plan, but they were just able to find the open looks and knock down shots which proved to be the difference,” said O’Boyle.
With just two more chances to stop its loosing streak, Stony Brook will take on Hartford at home on Wednesday and then travel to Maine on Saturday to close out the season.
“Wednesday is our senior game so we hope to send our seniors out on a great note with a win. If we can play with more defensive intensity and better execute our game-plan, anything is possible,” she said.
The Seawolves will return to action to face the Hartford Hawks in their final home game of the season before they head to the conference tournament. The game will take place at 7 p.m in Pritchard Gym and it will also be Senior Night where the team’s four seniors will be honored beforehand.