By Jason Mazza and Joe Galotti
Point #1: Perimeter prowess will be key for Stony Brook men’s basketball.
On Saturday, the Stony Brook men’s basketball team defeated Maine in dominant fashion thanks in large part to its 11 three-point field goals.
Six of the 11 three-pointers were made by freshmen small forward Roland Nyama. He made six of his eight tries from deep and shot 9-12 overall.
Nyama’s shooting has played a large role in the Seawolves success during conference play.
In the four Seawolves conference losses, Nyama has missed all nine of his three-point attempts.
In the eight conference victories, Nyama has made 16 of 24 three point attempts (66 percent).
So far, coach Steve Pikiell has started four different players at the shooting guard position but has never wavered from his confidence in starting Nyama at small forward.
If the Seawolves want a chance at making a run deep into the America East playoffs, they will need consistent shooting from the perimeter.
More specifically, they will need Nyama to continue his hot streak of shooting into March.
Point #2: Stony Brook women’s basketball taking care of business against weaker opponents.
The Stony Brook women’s basketball team has yet to come away with a real statement win in conference play this season.
The Seawolves are 1-5 in games against America East opponents, with conference records over the .500 mark.
Despite not being able to beat some of the conference’s top teams, SBU still finds themselves in third place in the America East conference.
The reason for this is that Stony Brook has peformed extremely well against some of the conference’s weaker foes.
The Seawolves have beaten UMBC (4-8 conference record) and Vermont (2-11) twice this season, and also came away victorious in their matchups against UMass-Lowell (5-8) and Binghamton (2-11).
Beating up on weaker teams will likely allow Stony Brook to enter the America East championship with a higher seed, but once the tournament begins, there will be no getting around beating the conference’s top teams.
Point #3: Strong effort on the offensive glass continues to be crucial for SBU men’s team.
In typical Stony Brook fashion, the Seawolves out-rebounded their two opponents this week by large margins (41-20, 52-28).
Most impressively, in both contests, the Seawolves were able to rebound over 40 percent of opportunities on the offensive glass.
In Saturday’s contest against Maine, power forwards Rayshaun McGrew and Tyrell Sturdivant combined for 22 rebounds with 13 of them coming on offense.
With an offense that has struggled to shoot the ball on a consistent basis, it will be key for the Seawolves to create additional opportunities on offense.
Unfortunately for the Seawolves, their next opponent, Albany, has allowed opponents to rebound only 25.5 percent of opportunities on the offensive side, which is 13th best in the nation.
If the Seawolves want to have a chance this Tuesday, look for McGrew to have a big game, as he was able to grab six offensive rebounds in Stony Brook’s last meeting against the Great Danes.
Point #4: Scognamiglio’s offense providing major boost for Seawolves.
Coming into this season Head Coach Caroline McCombs knew she had three players in Sabre Proctor, Brittany Snow and Kori Bayne-Walker that could be counted on to carry the scoring load for the Seawolves night in and night out.
But this season, Scognamiglio has also emerged as an offensive threat for Stony Brook. Scognamiglio is averaging 7.7 points per game this season, and has a team-high 34 percent field goal percentage from three-point range. Her 1.6 three point field goals made per game is the sixth highest total in the America East conference this season.
Since conference play began on Jan. 3, her numbers have been even more impressive. She is averaging 11.5 points per game in the team’s 11 matchups against America East opponents this season.
Scognamiglio has shot 46 percent in conference games, which is tied for the eight best percentage in the America East this season. She has also shot 39 percent from behind the arc in conference play, which is the fourth best percentage in the America East this season.
Scognamiglio’s development as an offensive force for the Seawolves is not only important for the team’s chances this year, but for the program’s success moving forward. With seniors Proctor and Jessica Ogunnorin moving on after this season, Scognamiglio will be needed to help replace their weakened offense next winter.