Stony Brook led for much of the night, but an acrobatic layup by UMBC junior guard Taylor McCarley with 8.5 seconds remaining in regulation forced overtime, during which the visiting Retrievers prevailed against the Seawolves, 69-64, in Thursday night’s women’s basketball action at Island Federal Credit Union Arena.
Stony Brook head coach Caroline McCombs’ squad led by as many as 12 points in the third quarter, but UMBC did not go away, even as the home team made a school-record 12 3-pointers in the game. The Retrievers finished the third quarter on a 14-4 run, closing the gap to just a 41-40 deficit entering the final frame. The run was capped by a buzzer-beating 3-pointer from junior forward Pandora Wilson.
“We were up 12 points and we just allowed them to inch their way back in,” said McCombs, whose team dropped to 8-4 in America East play. “UMBC is a team that we’ve had a lot of good battles with. We just didn’t get the stops down the stretch when we needed to.”
It was the second overtime matchup of the season for the two teams, as Stony Brook defeated UMBC, 69-60, by making a 13-point comeback, eventually winning an extra-session game in Baltimore. This time, fate was reversed as Stony Brook lost, snapping its 8-game home winning streak.
The Retrievers’ used a zone defense throughout the game and the Seawolves responded by taking an inordinate number of 3-point attempts. Although Stony Brook shot a high percentage early in the game from beyond the arc, making 7-of-16 in the first half, it struggled late in the game. The team missed its final eight 3-pointers.
“I think it was some fools’ gold early on,” McCombs said of the team’s hot shooting in the first half. “It caught up to us later on… Shooting 36 3-pointers is never part of our game plan. Quite simply, half our shots can not be 3-pointers.”
Junior guard Christa Scognamiglio was the most accurate Seawolf from three, as she had a career-best five 3-point makes in a 16-point night. Senior forward Brittany Snow had her sixth double-double of the season, scoring 15 points and 13 rebounds.
UMBC was led down the stretch by McCarley, the team’s star point guard. After being held scoreless in the first half, she scored 20 points in the second half and overtime, adding seven rebounds and seven assists. Wilson, the Retrievers’ leading scorer this season, had 23 points in the contest, on 11-for-17 shooting from the field.
“[McCarley] made a three, she made some drives, she got to the free-throw line,” McCombs said. “She and Pandora Wilson are their two superstars, and then you add in [junior forward Amanda Hagaman], who had 14 points, and they were able to come back.”
Stony Brook faced adversity late in the game when the team’s leading rebounder and most efficient scorer, freshman forward Ogechi Anyagaligbo, earned her fifth foul with 1:33 left in the fourth quarter, getting disqualified for the remainder of the game. UMBC exploited her absence, as Stony Brook missed its first nine shots of the overtime session and lost the contest.
The Seawolves will return to action on Sunday afternoon, when they travel to the University of New Hampshire for a conference matchup against the Wildcats at 1 p.m..