The Stony Brook women’s basketball team fell to the Rutgers Scarlet Knights 61-47 in its 2018-19 season opener on Friday, Nov. 9.
“Our team played hard,” head coach Caroline McCombs said in a press release. “We are going to learn from this game and players are really motivated to get better.”
Rutgers jumped out to a commanding 13-0 lead just over three minutes into the first quarter, forcing Stony Brook to burn an early timeout. Senior guard Shania Johnson converted on a 3-point shot coming out of the Seawolves’ timeout, but Scarlet Knights freshman guard Noga Peleg Pelc responded with a 3-pointer later in the quarter.
Sophomore guard Hailey Zeise’s shot from behind the arc at the start of second quarter cut the score to 18-10, but it was the closest Stony Brook got to tying the game. The Seawolves faltered at maintaining momentum on their drives and went 4-15 from the field in the quarter. A layup by Rutgers senior forward Caitlin Jenkins capped off a 6-point run and handed her team a 31-16 lead heading into halftime.
Stony Brook started looking to draw fouls in the third quarter in response to Rutgers’ tight defense. The Seawolves went 4-5 from the charity stripe, but the Scarlet Knights held momentum offensively, shooting 66 percent to extend their lead to 44-29 by the end of the third quarter.
Although the Seawolves eventually fell 61-47, the team played on par with the Scarlet Knights by outscoring them 18-17 in the fourth quarter. Stony Brook recorded 31 of its 44 points off 40 percent shooting in the second half.
“We came out in the second half with a different mentality,” McCombs said. “I like where we are and I know we have a lot of improvements to make, but Rutgers is a very good team and they challenge you to do things offensively that make it hard to score. They will help us get better because of that.”
Johnson was the only player from either team to play the full duration of the game and finished with 15 points, six steals and five assists. Graduate guard Charise Wilson and Pelc led Rutgers with 25 combined points and 10 combined rebounds.
The Seawolves will look to shake off the rough start when they take on the Hofstra Pride at the Island Federal Credit Union Arena on Tuesday, Oct. 13 at 7 p.m.