Stony Brook Men’s Basketball senior forward Jameel Warney has racked up plenty of accolades of late including setting the career record for America East Player of the Week awards and being named a finalist for the Karl Malone Award, which recognizes the top power forward in the nation. Yet, he still found a way to make more noise on Monday night.
The two-time America East Player of the Year shot 16-for-18 from the field, tying a team-record with 36 points, as Stony Brook extended its nation-leading winning streak to 16 with a 85-72 victory over Hartford.
“It was one of those days where everything was going in for me, even my free throws,” Warney, who made all four of his free throws, said. “From the opening tip, I felt good and I was looking to be aggressive getting looks with my hook shot.”
When Warney made the final shot of his memorable night — a high-flying, alley-oop dunk off of a pass from junior guard Ahmad Walker — he solidified his place in the Stony Brook record books, joining D.J. Munir in 2001 and Anthony Jackson in 2013 as the only Seawolves to score 36 points in the team’s Division-I history.
“I was there for the 36 points from [Jackson] my sophomore year,” Warney recalled, proceeding to tease his former teammate. “He made a lot of 3-pointers. I did it without shooting a lot of threes, so I think mine was a better way of scoring.”
Warney was not alone in his scoring production, as his classmate and usual sidekick, senior guard Carson Puriefoy added 22 points, including 15 in the second half.
When Hartford went on a 6-0 run early in the second half to cut the Stony Brook lead to nine points, Puriefoy answered by making a 3-pointer. Junior guard Lucas Woodhouse added one of his own on the next possession, as the Seawolves ran away to extend their perfect America East record to 11-0 with the victory.
Hartford redshirt sophomore guard Pancake Thomas had 23 points to lead the Hawks, who slipped to 2-8 in conference play with the loss. Stopping Thomas, who entered having scored 37 points in the team’s previous game against UMBC, was an important part of the game plan for Stony Brook head coach Steve Pikiell.
“He’s built like a two or a three but he plays the four for them, it makes him a hard matchup,” Pikiell said. “He’s a good free-throw shooter, he shoots threes, he passes the ball. He can be real tough to guard… That’s why [sophomore forward] Roland Nyama played a role tonight. We needed another perimeter guy with some size to guard Pancake [Thomas].”
While Warney led the team with 13 rebounds to pick up his 17th double-double of the season, Walker had 12 points and 10 rebounds for his own double-double. Walker, referred to as “the Swiss army knife” by Pikiell, did a little bit of everything in the game, including a chase-down blocked shot early in the second half when Hartford had a seemingly wide open layup in transition.
The win for Stony Brook was the 20th of its season, the team’s fifth consecutive 20-win season.
“Coach Calhoun [former UConn coach] said to me, the first time we won 20 games, ‘Well, you’re happy, your team won twenty games’,” Pikiell recalled. “I said, ‘Well yeah, I mean, we used to lose 20,’ and then he said, ‘Do it again five more times and then call me.’”
Stony Brook will head to Baltimore for a road game against UMBC on Thursday at 7 p.m. The Retrievers are led by Jairus Lyles, who is averaging a conference-best 24.8 points per game this season in conference play.