A third quarter comeback nearly gave Columbia its fifth straight win to start the season. However, the Stony Brook Women’s Basketball team prevailed, earning the 79-71 victory at Francis S. Levien Gymnasium on Monday.
Led by reigning the America East Rookie of the Week in freshman forward Ogechi Anyagaligbo, the Seawolves overcame a late charge by the Lions, who outscored Stony Brook by five points in the third quarter. Anyagaligbo earned her first career double-double, scoring 11 points and grabbing 11 rebounds in the victory.
In a game that saw Stony Brook lead by nine points at halftime, junior forward Devon Roeper took matters into her own hands. Playing a career-high 25 minutes, the Lion set a career-high in points with 23, shooting 10-for-16 from the field and keeping her team within striking range.
Though the Seawolves were in control for the majority of the game, they shot 39.3 percent from the field, which is worse than their 41.3 percent average entering Monday evening’s game. But with six steals, including three from senior guard Kim Hanlon, the Seawolves managed to keep their noses in front.
The Lions tied the Seawolves twice in the fourth quarter, looking to continue their win streak. But led by junior guard Kori Bayne-Walker, who had a team-high 21 points, Stony Brook held the home team to seven points in the final four minutes, earning its third victory of the season.
With four players scoring over 10 points, the Seawolves took advantage of the Lions’ mistakes. The local rival had 14 turnovers compared to Stony Brook’s seven. The victory marks the first time this year that the Seawolves have scored over 75 points in a game, but Stony Brook also allowed a season-high 71 points for its opponent.
Coming off of two big wins, including a 34-point win against Saint Peter’s and the victory earlier in the week against Columbia, Stony Brook looked to continue its success.
Standing in the team’s way, however, was a stern test in a squad that made the 2015 Women’s National Invitational Tournament’s third round. Ole Miss showed how it did so, beating Stony Brook 72-57 in Island Federal Credit Union Arena on Friday afternoon.
Sophomore guard Shandricka Sessom led the way for the Rebels, scoring 16 points on 7-for-16 shooting, including a big 3-pointer with 5:07 left in the game that sealed the deal. Sophomore guard A’Queen Hayes put up her second career double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds for Ole Miss.
Once again distinguishing herself in the loss was Snow, who impressively led all scorers for the game with 20 points while also grabbing eight rebounds.
“I thought we won the second half,” Seawolves head coach Caroline McCombs said. “We started doing a better job at playing our game in the second half.”
The Seawolves outscored the Rebels in the second half, 32-31. But along with doing so, they also gave themselves a chance to win the game, as the team trimmed Ole Miss’ lead down to eight points several times throughout the second half. However, the Rebels were too strong offensively to allow the Seawolves to close the gap.
Snow and the offense came out of the halftime break hot. The senior only had eight points as the third quarter began, but scored nine points and grabbed three offensive boards for Stony Brook in the period.
“We wanted to get the ball in the post,” McCombs said on an adjustment Stony Brook made. “We saw how they [Ole Miss] were defending us in the post and we saw how we could take advantage of it, so we got the ball in the post and made shots.”
Bayne-Walker helped cut the lead in the third quarter with nine points through three periods.
But it was a case of too little, too late, as a slow start was the issue for Stony Brook. Ole Miss got out to an early 18-4 lead with 4:53 left in the first period. Five Seawolves turnovers resulted in nine points for the Rebels.
These troubles continued throughout the rest of the game, as Stony Brook accumulated a total of 31 turnovers resulting in 27 points for the Rebels while also allowing 23 offensive rebounds.
“We need to execute better,” McCombs said ahead of playing St. Bonaventure on Tuesday night at 7 p.m.. “We could have won this game if we had less turnovers and made our free throws. If we do those things, it will give this team a better chance to win each night.”