Like every other missed offensive shot for the Stony Brook Seawolves, sophomore Jameel Warney went up to fight for the offensive board; only this time, he fell to the ground, grimacing in pain and holding his left knee. The crowd of 1266 went silent as Zach Stahl tied up the game for Northeastern, 38-38.
“You hate to see anyone get hurt, but we play a lot of guys so you just got to send the next guy in,” Stony Brook head coach Steve Pikiell said.
Shortly after the ensuing time out, Warney ran back out from the locker to the scorer’s table and was thrown back in. With 13:50 left in the second half, Warney took over the game for the Seawolves. In the three offensive possessions following Warney’s return, he converted two field goals and an offensive board.
“No matter how badly my knee hurt I couldn’t sit out for the rest of the game. I had too much adrenaline running to let the pain bother me,” Warney said.
Wednesday night, Stony Brook (3-0) beat the Northeastern Huskies (0-2) 73-66. Stony Brook had four men in double figures for points and outshot the Huskies 45 percent to 41.7 percent.
Despite Warney’s gritty double-double, the best big man on the court for the first 30 minutes of the game was Northeastern’s junior forward Scott Eatherton, who had a game-high 20 points and 13 rebounds. He also was able to force Stony Brook forwards Eric McAlister and Anthony Mayo into foul trouble early.
“I was in awe of Eatherton. I wasn’t prepared for how good he would be. He’ll definitely be one of the best players in their conference [CAA],” Warney said.
Senior guard Anthony Jackson led Stony Brook scorers with 17. Fellow guards Dave Coley and Carson Puriefoy had 12 and 11, respectively. The Seawolves spent much of the second half with the three guards on the court simultaneously. This allowed Jackson to play off the ball more as Puriefoy acted as the primary ball handler on several possessions.
“You’ll be seeing a lot of those three [Puriefoy, Jackson and Coley] on the court at the same time. Puriefoy really speeds up the tempo when he has the ball and Jackson’s a great shooter so I like to see them on the floor together. In a perfect world they’d get 25-28 minutes each,” Pikiell said.
Although Northeastern kept it close, Stony Brook led for the final 37 minutes of the game. On Sunday, the Seawolves will encounter their biggest test of the season as they travel to Indiana to play the 2-0 Hoosiers, ranked 23rd in the latest USA Today College Basketball rankings.