For the second time this season, the Stony Brook men’s basketball team found itself down at halftime against New Hampshire. And much like their road win back on Jan. 5, the Seawolves used a 40-point second half to defeat the Wildcats 64-61 at Island Federal Credit Union Arena on Wednesday night, bringing the team’s record to 7-2 in America East play.
Back in January, senior guard Lucas Woodhouse scored just three points, shooting 1-for-10 from the field, in his poorest performance of the season.
However, the Greenlawn native nearly had a triple-double on Monday night, scoring 21 points, grabbing nine boards and dishing out nine assists. In the second half Woodhouse had his way with New Hampshire’s defense, cutting through for easy layups and scoring 14 points within the period.
“He never panics,” junior forward Tyrell Sturdivant said of Woodhouse’s demeanor. “That calms us down too.”
That is not to say Woodhouse was not aggressive. His 16 shot attempts were the most he has taken this season. He was not afraid to pull the trigger, even draining a pull-up three from 27 feet with a minute left in the first half, with a stoic look on his face.
“The thing with Lucas is, he’s going to demand a lot of attention the way our offense is run,” head coach Jeff Boals said. “99.99 percent of the time, he’s going to make the right read. We ran the same play probably six, seven, eight times in a row and he had different looks off of it.”
Boals remained calm as well. Despite trailing eight points, he just told his team at halftime that it was in the same situation as it was back in New Hampshire.
“Well, it was nothing like the Hampton game,” Boals said with a smile, referencing a halftime speech he gave when Stony Brook was trailing by 10 back in its first win of the season.
On defense, the Seawolves threw everything they could at Wildcats leading scorer Tanner Leissner and fellow big man Iba Camara. The two forwards were limited to 12 and four points respectively, but New Hampshire’s backcourt posed a problem for Stony Brook.
Wildcat senior guard Daniel Dion shot a hot 6-for-11 from behind the arc, scoring a game-high 22 points, and played all 40 minutes. His counterpart and classmate Jaleen Smith dropped 13 points and also ran the court for 40 minutes.
Down three points with less than 10 seconds remaining in the game, it seemed New Hampshire head coach Bill Herrion would run a play for Dion to tie the game and send it to overtime. With the defensive pressure on Dion, the Seawolves forced the ball into the hands of Smith. He missed a contested attempt from the left wing.
“It looked like they tried to run a flare screen, but we did a good job communicating and pressuring the ball handlers,” Sturdivant said.
Stony Brook will take on rival Albany on Saturday, Feb. 7 at 7 p.m. The last time the two played, Sturdivant hit a game-winning layup to seal a second-half 21-0 run for the Seawolves and give them the home win against the Great Danes, 72-70.