The Stony Brook men’s basketball team was in the driver’s seat of a major comeback after UMBC head coach Ryan Odom was ejected from the game at the 9:34 mark in the second half.
Junior guard Roland Nyama knocked down four free throws that were awarded to him due to the two technicals called on Odom. Following the made foul shots, junior forward Tyrell Sturdivant made an easy layup to cut the lead to three.
At one time down 17 with 16:30 remaining, Stony Brook managed to cut the deficit to three with 8:41 left to play, but it was the closest Stony Brook came to taking the lead.
Freshman guard Arkel Lamar swung the momentum back to the Retrievers’ side with a huge fast break play late in the game Wednesday night. The Seawolves fell to the Retrievers by a score of 65-52 in the Retriever Activities Center Arena, bringing their America East conference record to 12-3.
Looking for a foul call that never came, Odom showed frustration with the referee, and it essentially got him a technical. Odom stormed onto the court when he received the technical and was issued another technical, resulting in his ejection from the game. UMBC assistant coach Nate Dixon took over the head coaching position for remainder of the game and sealed the victory for his team.
Lamar scored only three baskets in the game for UMBC, but they were the biggest buckets scored for either side. Stony Brook was on the realm of a major comeback but Lamar did not let that happen.
Late in the game, he intercepted a pass intended for Sturdivant. The flashy UMBC guard took the ball to the basket with stride, throwing it down with his right hand and igniting the crowd. UMBC extended the lead and never looked back as they made the score 55-46 with 5:36 left to go in the second half.
Earlier in the second half, the Seawolves went on a 9-0 run with 12:53 remaining in the game. Junior forward Jakub Petras set a screen up that allowed freshman guard Michael Almonacy to swing the ball over to a wide-open redshirt freshman guard Akwasi Yeboah, who capped off the run for the Seawolves.
Lamar hushed the Seawolves this time as well, hitting back-to-back shots from beyond 21 feet to help get his offense back on track.
Stony Brook trailed by nine points in the opening minutes of the game, with a lead rapidly extending in the Retrievers’ favor. Seawolves head coach Jeff Boals made four substitutions with 9:03 left in the first half, looking for someone to spark the team’s play.
That spark never showed as the Seawolves shot less than 31 percent from the field and allowed seven offensive rebounds in the first half of game play. The Seawolves posted a 21-point first half which was the second least they have scored in a half all season.
Only three players scored in the first half for Stony Brook. Nyama was the only starter to score in the first half as he tallied 11 points, Yeboah and Petras combined for 10 coming off the bench. The rest of the Seawolves shot for a combined 0-for-11 from the field in the first half.
The number one scoring option for the Seawolves, senior guard Lucas Woodhouse played 11 minutes in the first half and went 0-for-3. Woodhouse leads the team in minutes per game with 34, but was not available for gameplay in the second half and sat on the bench for undisclosed reasons.
Stony Brook will look to close out the regular season on a positive note when they continue the two-game road trip this Saturday, Feb. 25 against Vermont, who clinched the one seed Wednesday night for the America East playoffs.
The Seawolves will look to prevent the Catamounts from becoming the first America East team in 25 years to go undefeated in the regular season.