Stony Brook Women’s Basketball traveled to the David S. Mack Sports Complex in Hempstead, New York to face off against Hofstra on Thursday night. The Seawolves won the “Battle of Long Island” for just the second time in program history with a 73-49 blowout.
“Our mentality has been outstanding,” head coach Caroline McCombs said in a press release. “Our group came out focused, energized and ready to play, and they’re the ones who deserve all the credit for tonight’s performance.”
The game’s opening minutes featured four ties and four lead changes. Then, with 4:20 left on the clock, junior guard Shania Johnson sank a three-pointer off an assist from fellow junior guard Jerell Matthews.
Stony Brook went up 11-8 on Johnson’s three, and would never relinquish the lead.
The Seawolves went on a 12-3 run to close out the first quarter, converting steals and solid defensive play into an offensive outpouring. The team played even better in the second, scoring 21 points while holding Hofstra to eight points on just three made baskets.
Stony Brook dominated almost every facet of the first half, outscoring Hofstra 44-19 on 65 percent shooting while holding its opponents to just 28.6 percent shooting from the field. Matthews led the way with 14 first-half points, part of a career-high 21-point effort on 80 percent shooting.
While the Pride outscored the Seawolves 30 to 29 in the second half, they were never able to significantly narrow the gap Stony Brook opened up through two quarters.
The Seawolves capitalized off the Pride’s defensive errors, generating 25 points off 17 Hofstra turnovers. Stony Brook’s 10 steals coupled with 25 defensive rebounds helped the team turn their defensive efforts into offensive production to the tune of 12 points off the fastbreak.
“Our players really created their own energy tonight,” McCombs said in a press release. “I’m really proud of our defensive effort, it’s what we work on every day and it’s how we set the tone.”
Johnson and sophomore guard Giolibeth Perez notched nine combined assists on the night, one less than the Pride’s combined, and catalyzed the Seawolves’ electric passing game. The point guard duo was able to control Stony Brook’s pace of play at will, speeding up and slowing down the attack whenever needed.
After Saturday’s win against Manhattan, McCombs said the Seawolves’ depth at the point is a major asset for the team.
“One thing that [Johnson] does is she’s able to score the ball,” McCombs said on Saturday. “Gio’s game is more of a penetrate and kick kind of a thing. They’re both very good point guards. They can both run an offense and run our team, but when we have both of them on the floor at the same time it just gives us really solid taking care of the basketball.”
Stony Brook’s win over Hofstra is its second all-time against their Nassau County-based rivals. Prior to Tuesday night, the Seawolves were just 1-6 against the Pride, their lone win coming in a 64-48 road game on Dec. 4, 2007.
The win improves the team’s overall record to 2-0 to start the season, the first time in over a decade the Seawolves have been undefeated through their first two regular season games.
Stony Brook will look to extend its season-opening run when they play Fairleigh Dickinson on Sunday, Nov. 19 in Hackensack, New Jersey. Tipoff is set for 2 p.m.