This Sunday night, the Stony Brook Seawolves basketball team faced their toughest test of the year, facing No. 23 Indiana at the Hoosiers’ home. Indiana is one of the most storied college programs in history, with over a century of basketball played at the college. They were a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament last year, lead by two players, Victor Oladipo and Cody Zeller, who went in the top four of the NBA draft. They returned this year with NCAA Sixth Man of the Year Will Sheehey and top 10 recruit Noah Vonleh. Needless to say, this would be a tough match for the Seawolves.
In the first half, Stony Brook had to adjust to the tough, physical play of the Hoosiers. The team got into foul trouble quickly, putting Indiana in the bonus before the 10 minute mark and ending up with 18 fouls before the half. Every starter had at least two fouls, spurred on by the Hoosiers’ toughness, new NCAA foul rules, and Vonleh, the freshman extraordinaire who got to the line 12 times in the half. The Seawolves’ defense seemed to be employing the turnstile strategy, allowing the Hoosiers to shoot a ridiculous 60 percent. The Seawolves hung on, however, through the half, lead by free throw conversion, forcing turnovers, and strong bench play. The bench was lead by Carson Puriefoy, who dropped 15 points in the first half on 60 percent shooting. The Seawolves were outplayed, but they were right in the game at the end of one half, down 41-35.
However, in the second half, Indiana took their lead and just kept building on it, never letting up. The team’s defense was dominated in the paint, and they kept sending the Hoosiers to the line. Indiana ended the day with 50 percent shooting, which will always make winning difficult. The Hoosiers dominated offensively, outscoring them 49-39. The Seawolves could never really come close to threatening the Hoosiers. They were out-rebounded 46-31, and out blocked 9-1. The Hoosiers’ domination was lead by Vonleh, the 6 foot-10-inch freshman, and the No. 7 ranked recruit in the 2013 class. He killed the Seawolves down low, putting up 18 points and 15 rebounds, getting to the line 14 times. He was joined by sophomore guard Yogi Ferrell, who dropped 24 points on the Seawolves.
On the bright side of the Seawolves’ performance was the breakout game from Carson Puriefoy, who exploded for 22 points off of the bench. With two assists and four steals as well, he single-handedly kept the Seawolves in the game at time. He was joined with Jameel Warney, who put up 19 points, but was three rebounds short of his fourth consecutive double double. However, the performance of the Seawolves guards fell short. Anthony Jackson, who had been the team’s dominant scorer for the first three games, shot four for 14 for only nine points and no assists. Meanwhile, Dave Coley had an absolutely brutal offensive game in the middle of his slow start to the season, bricking all eight shots he took. It was this inefficient shooting combined with the porous defense that left the Seawolves in an inescapable hole.
The Seawolves will continue their road trip by heading to Detroit this Friday to play Toledo, the first of three games back to back.