(HEATHER KHALIFA / THE STATESMAN)
The Stony Brook men’s basketball team will take on the Columbia Lions on Friday, Nov. 14 at 7 p.m.. The women’s team will face the Saint Peter’s Peahens the following night at 7 p.m.. (HANAA’ TAMEEZ / THE STATESMAN)

In the much anticipated Stony Brook men’s basketball home opener, the Seawolves will take on the visiting Columbia Lions on Friday night at 7 p.m. at the Island Federal Credit Union Arena. 

The Seawolves were ranked number one in the America East Conference preseason poll for the first time, giving the team unprecedented expectations to succeed.

Stony Brook is led by juniors Jameel Warney and Carson Puriefoy, both of whom were named to the preseason All-America East team.

 Warney averaged 14.5 points and 8.0 rebounds per game last year en route to being named the America East Player of the Year and lead the Seawolves to a 23-11 record. 

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Younger players will also make key contributions for Stony Brook with the loss of four of the team’s top six scorers from last season.

 Sophomore Kameron Mitchell and freshman Deshaun Thrower are both expected to help in the backcourt, while redshirt freshman Roland Nyama and juniors Rayshaun McGrew and Scott King will be playing with Warney up front.

Columbia had its first 20-win season last season since the 1969-70 season, despite having no seniors that played significant minutes. The Lions finished tied for third in the Ivy League. 

However, the team is in a bit of turmoil at the beginning of this season after three players have chosen to depart the team, including Alex Rosenberg, the leading scorer for Columbia last season. 

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The Lions will be looking to junior guards Maodo Lo and Grant Mullins for much of their offense in Rosenberg’s absence. Lo and Mullins combined for 26.4 points per game last season. 

The two teams met last January in Columbia’s Levien Gymnasium. The Lions got the best of the Seawolves in that game, winning 68-63. Warney led Stony Brook with 20 points, while Lo had 29 points for Columbia, making seven three-pointers.

On Saturday night at 7 p.m., the women’s basketball team has its own season opener as the Saint Peter’s Peahens come to town. 

Stony Brook had a 24-9 record last season, while the visiting Peahens had a dismal 3-27 campaign in 2013-14.

The Seawolves return five of their top six scorers from last season, including senior Sabre Proctor. Proctor led the team in scoring with 14.4 points per game last season.

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Other key starters for the Seawolves are senior Jessica Ogunnorin and junior Brittany Snow, who combined for 18.8 points per game in offensive support.

The Peahens are led by Antonia Smith, a senior guard who scored 9.4 points per game for the Peahens last season.

Skyler Gilbert

Skyler is a junior journalism major and political science minor. He began writing for The Statesman in fall of 2014 and has since covered every Stony Brook sport, including men's basketball and women's lacrosse NCAA Tournament games in Des Moines and Boston, respectively. He hails from Ticonderoga, which is a real place, and hopes to someday achieve fame as a national sports reporter. He can tune a fife, but he can't tuna fish. His twitter is @SkylerJGilbert. Contact Skyler at: [email protected]

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