Senior forward Jameel Warney’s double-double helped boost Stony Brook over Loyola Maryland in Baltimore at Reitz Arena, 76-63, on Tuesday night.
By the 3:39 mark of the first half, the Seawolves were up 38-22. However, Greyhounds senior guard Tyler Hubbard chipped in six points to lead Loyola Maryland in a 8-0 run that put them within eight of the Seawolves. Stony Brook answered back with a layup from senior forward Rayshaun McGrew and a pair of free throws from junior guard Ahmad Walker.
The scare was a rare sight for the Seawolves, as they dominated early on. Warney led a 20-10 run and had nine points within the first 10 minutes of the contest. Sophomore guard Bryan Sekunda was on fire in the first half, going 3-for-5 from 3-point range.
Loyola Maryland, try as it might, just could not come back. The Seawolves seemingly always had an answer for whatever the Greyhounds threw at them.
Whenever the Greyhounds tried to get the Seawolves to push the ball to the outside on offense, either Sekunda or Walker was there for the 3-pointer.
Defensively, Warney led the way for the Seawolves, with two blocks and a steal in the first half. Loyola Maryland could not handle Stony Brook’s quick defense and turned the ball over 11 times.
Once Loyola Maryland switched to a 3-2 zone defense in the second half, Stony Brook began to struggle. Turnovers were a major problem, as the Greyhounds easily got into the passing lanes and pressured the ball handler. But Stony Brook still found a way to overcome it.
Senior guard Carson Puriefoy expertly looked for the cracks in the 3-2 zone and managed to drain a 3-pointer over the top of it.
The zone defense kept Warney quiet for most of the second half. Most is the key word, as the senior came alive, tipping in a missed layup from sophomore forward Tyrell Sturdivant. Twenty-five seconds later, Warney had another tip-in, this time off of a Puriefoy layup attempt.
Warney scored his third consecutive basket with a layup coming off of a media timeout. The Seawolves were up 16, but Stony Brook slipped into a shooting slump.
For two minutes, the Seawolves went 0-for-4 from the field. But Sekunda came back to life with a 3-point shot after missing two attempts in the slump. It was smooth sailing from then on for the Seawolves, as five of their last nine points came from the free throw line.
Sekunda and Warney led the team with 18 points apiece. Warney also led the way in rebounds with 13 for the game. Walker also had a great all-around game, with 12 points, eight assists and seven boards.
A 3-pointer to start Saturday’s game from Sekunda was effortlessly rebounded and laid up by Warney. The next play down the court ended in an emphatic dunk off an offensive rebound from the Seawolves’ star big man. From then on, it was clear that containing the two-time defending America East Player of the Year and the rest of the Seawolves offense, particularly in the paint, would be a troublesome task for Division III’s Farmingdale State Rams.
The first two field goals by Warney to start regulation sent the Stony Brook crowd into a frenzy and set the mood for the remainder of the game.
Stony Brook defeated Farmingdale State 91-42 at Island Federal Credit Union Arena led by Warney’s 16 points and 10 rebounds, collecting his tenth consecutive double-double in just 18 minutes of play.
The Seawolves began the game on a 34-4 run in hopes of putting the game away early.
“We took a way different approach than last season,” Warney said of his team’s maturity. “We had two or three games last season against Division III schools that were relatively close.”
In the team’s lower-division games last season against Division II St. Thomas Aquinas and the Division III United States Merchant Marine Academy, the Seawolves won by 21 and 35 points, respectively. Stony Brook beat USMMA by 71 in its season-opener and took this game by 49 over Farmingdale State.
The Seawolves launched freely from outside the arc, as the team shot a season high 39 attempts from deep, connecting on just 28 percent of those shots. The team’s previous season-high was 29 attempts against USMMA.
“We never want to shoot that many threes,” head coach Steve Pikiell said. “Every time we do it’s a touch Jameel [Warney] doesn’t get.”
Sturdivant had a career high 14 rebounds while junior forward Walker filled the stat sheet with 11 points, nine rebounds and a team high five assists.
Junior guard Lucas Woodhouse missed Saturday’s game with an unspecified knee injury. It was the second of the last three games that he missed.