Second-year Stony Brook head coach Caroline McCombs is a Hall-of-Famer with Youngstown State and helped lead the team to the 1998 NCAA Tournament, making Wednesday’s journey to Ohio bittersweet.
As the Stony Brook Women’s Basketball team attempted to keep its season going, Youngstown State had other ideas, ending the Seawolves’ campaign and McCombs’ visit to her alma mater with a 67-60 Penguins victory in the first round of the Women’s Basketball Invitational.
After junior guard Kori Bayne-Walker tied the game less than 10 seconds after halftime with a jump shot, the Seawolves had multiple chances to take advantage of the Penguins’ 16 fouls and eight turnovers.
However, as the Seawolves took the lead with 5:22 left in the game with a 3-pointer from redshirt sophomore forward Elizabeth Manner, they began to lose momentum.
Led by two late steals from sophomore guard Nikki Arbanas, Youngstown State extended its lead to nine points with just over two minutes remaining in the game. Stony Brook attempted a comeback, decreasing the deficit to as low as six points, but it was not enough. The Seawolves missed five shots in the game’s final 3:38.
Sophomore forward Sarah Cash had 17 points for Youngstown State on Wednesday evening, along with seven rebounds. She led the team in scoring throughout the season, posting an average of 14.6 points per game.
In her final game with the Seawolves, senior forward Brittany Snow collected a double-double with 10 points and 13 rebounds, tying a career-high in rebounds for the third time this season. After a quiet first half, she made some noise in the latter stages of the game, scoring six of her points and grabbing seven rebounds in the second half.
Coming off back-to-back double-doubles, freshman forward Ogechi Anyagaligbo led the Seawolves at halftime with seven points. But come the second half, the Penguins stopped her as she made just one more shot.
Senior guard Janae Jackson led the Penguins on defense with nine rebounds and three steals. Additionally, she tallied up 16 points en route to the team’s victory to move onto the second round of the WBI.
The Seawolves made 14 percent fewer shots from the field and the Penguins made six 3-pointers, doubling the visiting squad’s total.
While Stony Brook out-rebounded Youngstown State with 38 boards to 28, the Ohio-based team had 17 assists compared to nine for Stony Brook.
Bayne-Walker led the Seawolves with 14 points, but she had a team-high five turnovers on the night. Two of her turnovers came as the team attempted to make a comeback with under four minutes remaining in the game.
The Seawolves’ season finished at 17-15 compared to last year’s record of 17-13. Last season, Stony Brook lost to Siena in the first round of the WBI.