The Stony Brook women’s basketball team picked up its first conference victory Saturday afternoon with a score of 80-57 against the Vermont Catamounts. The victory snaps the team’s four-game losing streak that carried into the new year.
“I was really proud of our effort today, especially coming out after halftime and having a strong third quarter,” head coach Caroline McCombs said in a press release. “Executing our game plan on defense was a total team effort, and we did just that. Our guards caught fire from the field, which was exciting to see. Our home crowd created a great atmosphere once again today, and their continued support helped us earn a big conference victory.”
The Seawolves offense was able to move the ball around, and thus create plenty of scoring opportunities throughout the match. The team shot a remarkable 66 percent from the field in the second half and outscored the Catamounts 33 to 13 in the third quarter.
Junior guards Shania Johnson and Jerell Matthews continued to lead the Seawolves in scoring. Johnson finished the matchup with 29 points, a season-high nine assists and four rebounds, along with 69.2 percent shooting from the field. This game marked the third consecutive game in which Johnson has scored 17 or more points. Matthews added 20 points and three rebounds.
The Seawolves initiated a 25-4 run in the first 6:24 of the second half, resulting in a 59-39 lead with 4:36 left in the third quarter. The team capitalized on the turnovers that were committed by the Catamounts throughout the matchup. The team scored a total of 23 points off Catamounts turnovers compared to allowing 14 points off turnovers.
Stony Brook’s ability from beyond the arc was displayed as well. The team shot a season-high 63 percent from the three-point arc, along with another season-high of 12 three-point goals. Johnson led the way with six three-pointers, shooting a staggering 75 percent from three-point. Matthews completed on four three-pointers out of seven attempts, while senior guard Aaliyah Worley and freshman guard Hailey Zeise added one three-point field goal each
At the half, Stony Brook trailed Vermont by a point. The Seawolves had been shooting 46 percent from the field and 50 percent from beyond the arc. However, the offense exploded to start off the second half and was able to score 33 points in the third quarter.
Rebounding was another key factor in the Seawolves’ victory as it has been for the team all year. The Seawolves outrebounded the Catamounts 34-32, along with putting up more second-chance points, 11-5 in favor of the Seawolves. Junior forward Cheyenne Clark led the team in rebounds, picking up 10 boards and adding six points.
With the victory, Stony Brook’s record now improves to 9-8, along with a conference standing of 1-3. The team now travels to Binghamton to face the Bearcats in another conference matchup on Thursday, Jan. 18 at 7 p.m.