A step-back three-pointer. Two free throws. Five points in one minute. Several stops on the inbounds pass.
That was the production of senior guard Kori Bayne-Walker in the final minute of play as she led the Seawolves to win their first game of the season against the Columbia Lions 55-53 last Tuesday night at the Island Federal Credit Union Arena.
Bayne-Walker scored 15 points and dished out five assists. But her most important points of the night came in the final moments of the game.
“They set a screen and they went under and I had a lot of space to the shoot the shot,” Bayne-Walker said about her three-pointer. “The next play, we ran the same play but they fouled me. So then we ran it again and they anticipated me to go out so I was able to go to the basket and get the foul.”
It was not only Bayne-Walker who shined in those final moments. Senior guard Christa Scognamiglio secured the rebound with 24 seconds remaining after her teammate tied the game with her three-pointer. Junior guard Lauren Williams inbounded the ball to Bayne-Walker that led to her free throws.
Going into the fourth quarter media time-out with 3:19 left in the game, Columbia had 53 points for the game. They would not score for the rest of the game.
“Columbia is a really good team,” head coach Caroline McCombs said. “They play terrific ball games. So for us to overcome them, they’ve been a terrific road team this year. They have two really good players and they all play well together. So I’m thankful we were able to wrap it up those last three and a half minutes.”
Stony Brook locked down on defense after that timeout. Following two missed free throws from redshirt junior Elizabeth Manner, Scognamiglio and Manner kept the ball alive for two extra possessions by clearing two consecutive offensive rebounds.
On defense, the team rebounded and pressure the Lions to force shots, which they missed. After both teams could not find the basket for about two minutes, Bayne-Walker stepped up closed out the game.
Offensively, both teams started the game hot, shooting a combined eight-for-14 in the first five minutes of play. After trading baskets throughout the first and second quarters and the lead flip-flopping between both teams, the Seawolves head into the locker room ahead 30-26. Just before the first half ended, Williams made a layup and freshman guard Giolibeth Perez hit a three-pointer at the halftime buzzer.
In four games, Bayne-Walker is shooting 56 percent from the field, 55 percent from three and 71 percent from the free throw line. She has her hot start to offseason workouts.
“Our coaches have been talking about driving, getting to the line and three point shots,” Bayne-Walker said. “[Junior guard] Aaliyah [Worley], Christa, and [sophomore guard] Davion [Wingate] are really good three point shooters, so I worked on my shot with them as well.”
The Stony Brook women’s basketball team made history on Nov. 18, as the team hosted No. 14 ranked Syracuse in the Island Federal Credit Union Arena. Despite holding Syracuse to only six three-pointers, Stony Brook was doomed by 34 turnovers and ultimately fell 78-60.
Senior guard Brittney Sykes lead the way for the Orange, putting up 19 points on 8-for-13 shooting, while adding seven rebounds. Freshman guard Gabby Cooper poured in 16 points to go with eight assists and four steals for the Orange.
“I liked how hard we played when we got down,” McCombs said. “We really fought back back. It’s not that easy to come back when facing that big of a deficit.”
The deficit the team faced was only seven points at one point in the second half, after trailing by as many as 15 in the first half, when junior guard Williams hit an open corner three to start the third quarter.
Syracuse called a timeout immediately following the three pointer and responded with a 9-0 run. From that point on, Stony Brook never go as close as 14 points from the lead.
In the opening minutes of the first quarter, the Seawolves went into a timeout down 15-2. The team was able to rally back throughout the first quarter and the second quarter as well, with the Seawolves outscoring the Orange 28-25 following the first quarter timeout.
At one point, Stony Brook was only down 24-19 with 7:04 remaining in the second quarter. However, any time the Seawolves would get close, Syracuse would string several possessions together with baskets to push the lead farther away from Stony Brook, as they went on a 10-0 run to go up 34-19 before Stony Brook scored again.
Sophomore guard Davion Wingate lead Stony Brook in scoring, going for 16 points while making all of her free throws, going eight-for-eight from the line. Senior guard Kori Bayne-Walker made a career high three three-pointers to go along with 15 points.
The Seawolves held the Orange to only shoot six-for-23 from three point land during the game. Coach McCombs was very proud of her team for the way they continued to fight back, and also at their defensive play in holding the Orange to six three-pointers.
“That was in the game plan,” McCombs said. “Not allowing them to get those threes off and contesting them. You want to be able to challenge your team, have a game plan and execute that, and we did those things.”
Syracuse was dominant from start to finish. Syracuse lead the way for the entirety of the match and never surrendered a lead below five points. The turnovers were a huge plague for Stony Brook, as they turned the ball over 34 times, Syracuse was able to get 36 points off of those turnovers.
Syracuse was actually the highest ranked opponent Stony Brook women’s basketball has ever played at home in the history of the team.