This Sunday afternoon, the Stony Brook Seawolves Men’s Basketball team hosted the St. Francis Brooklyn Terriers in a clash of two Long Island colleges. The Seawolves, 5-2 on the season, looked to extend their 13 game home winning streak. St. Francis threatened to be a formidable foe, with a 4-3 season including wins against last year’s ACC champion Miami Hurricanes.
The Seawolves ultimately fell 70-68 to St. Francis Brooklyn.
The first half was a closely fought battle, with neither team taking a commanding lead. The Seawolves got off to a quick start, taking a seven point lead early in the first half. The lead was quickly cut down to 19-18 by the middle of the first half, and the Terriers then took the lead until the end of the half. However, Stony Brook never let the lead get out of hand, as the Terriers went into the half with a 36-28 lead. The first half was marked by a lack of a dominant performance from any one Seawolf, with Anthony Jackson and Jameel Warney, who have combined for nearly 40 points a game for the Seawolves, combining for four points in the first half. Sophomore Rayshaun McGrew lead the team with eight points in the half. The Seawolves had some difficulty containing St. Francis’s top player forward Jalen Cannon, who went off with 13 points and five rebounds.
In the second half, the Seawolves got off to a quick start again, closing the gap and soon taking the lead again. They took the lead near the halfway point of the half, keeping the lead but never pulling away. The game was destined for a close finish. With 40 seconds left, Cannon drilled a clutch three pointer to give St. Francis a two-point lead. Stony Brook fired back with an Jackson floater to knot it up. With the shot clock off, St. Francis swung the ball to the right wing, where Sheldon Hagigal attempted a contested layup. The shot missed, but the Seawolves failed on the boards, as Wayne Martin tipped in the ball for the two-point lead. Coach Steve Pikiell called a timeout, having to draw up a play to get a shot off with less than two seconds on the clock. The Seawolves had to inbound from their own baseline. They passed the ball to Carson Puriefoy, who dribbled the ball to about halfcourt and threw up a prayer. The shot flew through the air, and the entire crowd stood up; they could see the shot was on target. The ball rattled off the back iron, then it hit the front iron and then the crowd gave a loud sigh as the shot fell out. The Terriers prevailed 70-68.
The best player on the court today was undoubtedly Cannon, who dominated the Seawolves for 23 points and eight rebounds. He scored at will, both inside and out, with nine points coming from behind the arc on perfect shooting. He was able to also force the Seawolves into foul trouble, with Warney only playing six minutes in the first half due to three fouls, and Eric Mcalister was in foul trouble the entire day with four total. The Seawolves offense definitely missed the two, especially Warney, who entered the game fourth in the nation in Player Efficiency Rating. Without him, Puriefoy carried the offensive load, dropping 17 points with four assists. Dave Coley also had a good game, with 12 points and five rebounds, with an efficient 4-for-7 shooting. McGrew had his best game of the season, with 12 points and three rebounds.
However, it was not offense that did the Seawolves in. They allowed the Terriers to shoot 50 percent from the field, a recipe for a defensive disappointment. They tied the rebounds 28-28, but they definitely missed Warney in that aspect, where he ranks 8th in the NCAA in the statistical category. They also lost the turnover battle, losing the ball 13 times, compared to the St. Francis 12.
“Tough game. A good basketball team, St. Francis. We watched them a lot on tape, they beat a tough Miami team in their home opener at their ring ceremony. They’re a good basketball team, we have to give them credit,” Pikiell said after the game.
The Seawolves fell to 5-3 on the year. They have two teams upcoming on the schedule, as they face Farleigh Dickinson in the Pritchard Gymnasium on Wednesday. They will then play in a slightly larger arena on Saturday, when they play La Salle in Madison Square Garden on Saturday.