The signs were evident. Sabre Proctor had just corralled a hard pass down low with one hand, proceeded to spin around a defender and put up a layup to extend the Stony Brook women’s basketball team’s early lead. The play, which only lasted a few seconds, seemed to resonate throughout the night as the Seawolves dominated every aspect of the game beating the UMBC Retrievers 74-41.
“Thought it was a great team win. We had a lot of different players contribute in a balanced scoring attack. I thought we played well offensively and defensively tonight,” Head Coach Caroline McCombs said.
The Seawolves now own their first three-game winning streak this season and wins in five of their last six games. The team has started to come together recently and it could not be at a better time.
With March only a few weeks away, it is a good sign to see them hit their stride with playoffs nearing closer and closer. The starting lineup, which consisted of Proctor, Christa Scognamiglio, Brittany Snow, Jessica Ogunnorin and Kori Bayne-Walker, has improved to a perfect 3-0 when starting the game on the court together.
Scognamiglio has enjoyed her increase in playing time and feels the team has a makeup that is tough to stop.
“We have really good and different types of components that work well together. We’re really good at sharing the ball and finding the open player making it hard to guard all five of us,” Scognamiglio said.
The difficulty in defending against this Seawolves team was on display Wednesday. As Proctor received double and triple teams down low, she was able to pass it out to a teammate for an open look.
Even when she was not down low, Proctor showed versatility by hitting some outside shots, going 3-3 behind the arc.
There was not much to dislike in the first half of Wednesday’s game.
Stony Brook controlled the pace of the half, out-scoring UMBC 42-20 shooting 56.5 percent from the field. Needing only a few minutes to settle in, the Seawolves quickly built a lead thanks to Scognamiglio and Proctor.
Fulfilling her role as the usual point scorer, Proctor battled the double teams tallying 13 points in the half with 17 points on the night.
Proctor also had 11 rebounds earning her fifth double-double this year. A surprising player performance on Wednesday night was Scognamiglio, who continues to put on a show from behind the arc.
Hitting three three-pointers in the first half helped her match Proctor’s first-half total of 13 points.
She also was doing enough good things on the court tonight to compile a game high +34 plus-minus.
“Our team has been doing a really good job of sharing the ball and my team is finding me in the corner and open spots and I’m knocking down my shots,” Scognamiglio said.
With the lead and all the momentum, Stony Brook looked to keep playing the way they did in the first half. The Seawolves had the privilege to tap into some of the depth their team possesses in the second half, having Kristie Costantino lead at point guard for most of the second 20 minutes.
The Seawolves continued to score, putting up 32 points in the second half securing the win and improving to 7-4 in America East play. On Sunday, the Seawolves hit the road to take on Maine.
Despite a strong effort against one of the America East’s best teams, Stony Brook dropped the game 57-49, halting the Seawolves’ win streak at three games.
An exciting and fast paced first half was countered by a second half that was riddled with fouls and slow play.
Stony Brook kept the game within two scores until the final minutes, when the team was forced to play the foul game to try and even the score.
Accurate free-throw shooting by Maine helped maintain their distance and go on to win the game.
Throughout the afternoon, Stony Brook took advantage of Black Bear miscues and carelessness with the ball. The Seawolves capitalized on those turnovers whereas the Black Bears failed to do so, giving Stony Brook an 18-4 lead on points off Maine turnovers.
The advantage off turnovers was not enough against the best defense in the conference, though.
Consistent scoring and encouraging possessions are needed to overcome a team like Maine and on Sunday, it was not there for the Seawolves.
Proctor, Stony Brook’s top scorer, felt the defensive strength of Maine as she was held to just three points, an uncommon sight for the Stony Brook faithful.
With Proctor unable to find her shot Sunday afternoon, it was necessary for her teammates to step up if they wanted a chance at winning.
Scognamiglio, Bayne-Walker and Snow all did their best to fill in for the offense Proctor typically brings.
Scognamiglio followed up on her impressive performance from a few days ago by scoring a team-high 14 points and hitting four threes.
Trailing Scognamiglio in scoring was Bayne-Walker, who put an offensive twist on her play, dropping a total of 12 points.
Bayne-Walker also had a game-high five assists and got to the foul line five times, hitting four of her free-throws. Maine was powered by guard Sigi Koizar and forward Liz Wood.
Koizar put up a game-high 21 points with five rebounds and hit nine free-throws on 10 attempts.
Wood scored a double-double recording 17 points and 10 rebounds all of which were defensive rebounds.
Stony Brook will come right home, as the Seawolves will play UMass-Lowell on Wednesday, Feb. 18 at 7 p.m.
This will be the second meeting of the season between the two teams, the first ending with a Stony Brook victory, 64-60.
The Seawolves will hope to keep a hold of third place in the conference with a win Wednesday, as they are tied with the Hartford Hawks, each with 7-5 records.