Late game heroics were necessary for the Stony Brook men’s basketball team Saturday night for a second consecutive game. With five seconds remaining and the game on the line, senior forward Tyrell Sturdivant knocked down a three-pointer to give the Seawolves the win at Chase Arena against the Hartford Hawks by a 63-61 final.
“We wanted to run a double ball screen for [senior guard UC Iroegbu] and roll [sophomore forward Akwasi Yeboah] out,” Seawolves head coach Jeff Boals said. “We wanted to pop [Sturdivant] because the last play he was wide open on the pop. Obviously he’s a good shooter for us, we trusted him, UC made the right play, and it was a big time shot.”
After Yeboah ended his team’s drought with a layup, Stony Brook fought its way back and regained a one-point lead off a layup from the forward with just under one minute remaining in regulation. Hartford’s junior guard J.R. Lynch responded with a basket with 12 seconds left to take back the lead, but his efforts were canceled seven seconds later by Sturdivant’s three-pointer.
Sturdivant, who finished with 10 points in 27 minutes, was one of four Seawolves with double figures in points, joining Yeboah, Irogebu and senior guard Junior Saintel, who scored 14, 10 and 14 respectively.
Hartford came out of the gate strong, stunning Stony Brook and running out to a 13-4 lead 5:27 into the game. A media timeout provided the away team with a chance to regroup and momentum shifted in Stony Brook’s favor. Stony Brook soon tied the game at 13 and the two teams stayed close for the remainder of the first half, which ended with a 38-35 lead for the Seawolves.
The Seawolves appeared to be in control of the game for the first few minutes of the second half, going up 44-38 with 16:27 to go in regulation. A 14-0 run for the Hawks, however, turned their six-point deficit into a 52-44 lead and held the Seawolves off the scoresheet for the next 8:21.
“We thought we had to hold them under 70 points to win the game,” Boals said “They shot 58% from the field. We had a plus-three margin, we gave up a couple of offensive rebound put-backs, but our goal was to hold them under 70. We thought we would win the game and we did.”
Saturday’s win was the Seawolves’ 11th consecutive victory against the Hawks, a streak dating back to Feb. 10, 2013. The Seawolves remain in a two-way tie for first place in the America East with Vermont, who also holds a 2-0 record in conference play.
“I think one through nine in this league, you can win at home or away on any given night,” Boals said. “This is the first of six on the road and it was a big win for us.”