Stony Brook Women’s Basketball picked up a 63-46 victory over Iona in a non-conference matchup on Thursday night, snapping a four-game losing streak. The game was Stony Brook’s first victory of December.
Head coach Caroline McCombs was satisfied with her team’s ability to bounce back after losing four straight games.
“I thought we had a tough stretch there,” McCombs said. “We played some pretty good competition over there. To be back home was nice. We focused on our defense and that allowed for us to create offense as well.”
Stony Brook started off slow in the first half, trailing through the early portion of the first quarter. However, junior guard Jerrell Matthews helped pick up the offensive tempo for Stony Brook. Her layup and three-pointer with two minutes left helped generate a 12-3 run to end the quarter.
Freshman forward McKenzie Bushee scored on numerous second-chance opportunities, including a putback opportunity off the backboard to beat the buzzer in the first quarter. Bushee finished the first quarter of play with three offensive rebounds and four points.
The beginning of the second quarter saw a lot of back-and-forth play, as the Gaels retook the lead 23-22 with 5:09 left in the first half. The Seawolves retrieved the lead 26-23 before a media timeout with four minutes left.
Stony Brook began to make a push following the timeout. Matthews scored a three-pointer to put Stony Brook up six. The final play of the game was a three-pointer from sophomore guard Giolibeth Perez as time winded down, putting Stony Brook up 33-27 at the half.
The second half saw the continued presence of the Seawolves offense, especially throughout the third quarter. Junior guard Shania Johnson scored back-to-back three-pointers to put the team up 51-38. The sharp offensive play by the Seawolves allowed for their defensive end to succeed as well.
In the fourth quarter, Stony Brook held Iona to just eight points. Iona couldn’t get its shots to fall down against Stony Brook’s defense, shooting just 4-14 from the field in the last quarter of play. The well-rounded play on both ends allowed for Stony Brook to close out the game and seal the victory.
The Seawolves shot 44.6 percent from the field, their highest shooting percentage since Nov. 26 in a game against Wagner, where the team shot 47.3 percent. The team also shot 37.5 percent from beyond the arc, led by Johnson, who nailed three of her five three-pointers.
“To bounce back the way we did has to do with everyone on the team,” Johnson said. “We all played hard, and we’ve been practicing hard. My team helped me get those shots in.”
The junior finished the game with team-highs in points, steals and assists, tallying 15, five and five respectively.
Matthews also filled the statsheet, accounting for 13 points, three assists and three rebounds. The guard tallied for two three-pointers and shot 50 percent from beyond the arc.
The Seawolves’ defense played a big role in their victory. Ten steals and 29 total points off turnovers helped the Seawolves to seal the victory.
Stony Brook’s record improves to 6-4 after the win. The team looks to get back on a winning streak as it takes on Central Connecticut at the Island Federal Credit Union Arena on Dec. 17 at 2 p.m.
“We need to focus on us for right now,” McCombs said. “We need to rest, it’s a quick turn-around. I’ll take a look at [Central Connecticut], I believe they’re a little different from Iona, they might slow the ball down more which can create challenges for us.”