Junior forward Junior Saintel (No. 11, above) drives to the basket against Lehigh on Nov. 30. Saintel earned a double-double against Hartford propelling Stony Brook to a 80-64 win Jan. 19. EVAN YUSON/THE STATESMAN
Junior forward Junior Saintel (No. 11) drives to the basket against Lehigh on Nov. 30. Saintel earned a double-double against Hartford propelling, Stony Brook to an 80-64 win on Jan. 19. EVAN YUSON/THE STATESMAN

The Stony Brook men’s basketball team entered Thursday night’s game against Hartford on a hot streak, coming off of five consecutive wins. Senior guard Lucas Woodhouse led the Seawolves with four three-point shots en route to an 80-64 win over the Hawks. He has now hit 20 of his last 30 shot attempts from beyond the three-point arc.

Woodhouse also helped get his teammates involved, tallying six assists. His team-high 18 points made him one of four Seawolves to score in double figures in the win over the Hawks, the team’s sixth consecutive victory. Stony Brook improves its conference record to 5-0, second only to Vermont, who leads the conference, 6-0.

“I’ve been getting up extra reps after practice. I think that’s been helping a lot,” Woodhouse said. “I’m locked and focused when I’m out there, shooting good open shots and they’ve been going in.”

The Seawolves had 25 second chance points compared to the eight second chance points the Hawks converted. Stony Brook was dominant on the offensive boards, pulling down 17 of the rebounds to help set up second chances. Stony Brook collected a season-high 46 rebounds while Hartford pulled down just 28.

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“Offensive rebounding is just about effort,” Sturdivant said. “We have to set the tone from the beginning.”

However, Sturdivant shined brightest in the paint where he had 14 points on 5/7 shooting, including 10 second half points that helped close the door on Hartford.

While Sturdivant typically leads his team in rebounding, it was junior forward Junior Saintel and freshman forward Akwasi Yeboah who stepped up to grab 10 and eight rebounds respectively, both of which were season-highs.

Saintel’s 13 points and 10 rebounds accounted for his first double-double with the Seawolves. He also showed off his alley-ooping ability and continued to display a frequent connection with Woodhouse on lob passes. Yeboah further solidified his role off the bench scoring 14 points in addition to his performance on the boards.

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The Seawolves closed in on the America East Conference’s top scorer, senior guard Jalen Ross, who was held without a field goal until 2:47 was remaining in the first half. Ross finished with 14 points despite shooting 25 percent. Head coach Jeff Boals had an ensemble of guards including junior guard Roland Nyama, senior guard Kameron Mitchell and Woodhouse that helped contain Ross throughout the game. Together they held him to 3-12 with just 12 points, well below the 21 points per game he averaged earlier in the season.

Sophomore guard Jason Dunne kept the Hawks in the game early on in the first half. In fact, he scored his team’s first 13 points in the first 6:29 of the game. The sophomore finished with a game-high 22 points, along with five three-point makes.

The victory was Stony Brook’s ninth straight win over Hartford, the Seawolves last lost to the Hawks in February 2013. Hartford became Stony Brook’s fifth victim as the program continues to roll despite being picked seventh in the conference in the America East Preseason Coaches Poll.

“We had a coach tell one of our coaches we wouldn’t win more than three games,” Boals said. “Everyday we worry about us. We have a motto that we want to be better today than we were yesterday.”

Stony Brook will move on to play at Binghamton University Events Center to face the Bearcats, who are winless in five conference games. The game will tip off at 2 p.m. on Sunday.

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