Not many were optimistic for head coach Beth O’Boyle’s squad this year.
Having finished the previous year with a 16-game losing streak and a 4-26 overall record, the team was voted last out of nine teams in the America East coaches’ poll in October. Six of the 13 players were new to the squad and untested in Division-I basketball.
This season, thanks to the emergence of several new players, the Seawolves took a big step forward and returned to being competitive, finishing this year with an overall record of 14-16.
From the start of the season in the team’s out-of-conference portion of the schedule, it was immediately apparent that the team had improved.
Only eight games into the season, Stony Brook had already exceeded last year’s win total with a 58-46 win at Fordham. They entered America East play with an 8-5 record.
While the team slowed down in conference play, the team still managed to secure the fourth seed of the tournament with a 6-10 record in the America East.
“Our motto all year has been one game at a time,” O’Boyle said after the loss to New Hampshire. “We’re building a championship program at Stony Brook, and this year we took a big step.”
Several of O’Boyle’s recruits emerged as key players for the Seawolves this season.
Sabre Proctor, a sophomore forward who sat out last season due to transfer rules, led the team in scoring with 10.9 points per game, giving Stony Brook an inside-outside threat. She finished the season as a third-team all-conference selection.
Brittany Snow, a freshman forward from New Jersey, showed promise this season, averaging 6.5 points per game and 3.6 rebounds per game and earning a spot in the conference’s all-rookie team. She led the Seawolves with 15 points in the loss to New Hampshire.
Also emerging were a pair of junior college transfers, guards Chikilra Goodman and Teasha Harris. Goodman emerged as the team’s starting point guard, and finished third on the team in scoring with 8.9 points per game. Harris came off the bench to provide 5.5 points per game.
Despite the emergence of several new players, Stony Brook will need to replace some talent for next year, including forward Jessica Previlon, who finished second on the team in scoring with 9.4 points per game led the team with eight rebounds per game.
The team will also graduate Dani Klupenger, the team’s best three-point shooter, Gerda Gatling, one of the team’s best defenders as well as Sam Landers, the captain of this year’s squad.
“The entire journey has been amazing,” Klupenger said after Friday’s game, reflecting back on her career. “We were at the bottom, and we worked our way to the top.”
With the graduations of Previlon, Klupenger, Landers, Gatling, as well as Taylor Burner and Amanda Corona, next season will be the first year that the entire team will have been recruited by O’Boyle. She already has five high school players signed for next season to take the spots of the departing seniors.