Stony Brook Women’s Basketball earned its biggest win of the season by defeating Albany 68-52 on Wednesday, Jan. 25 at the SEFCU Arena. The Seawolves remained dominant offensively from their opening possession and earned their first victory over the Great Danes since Feb. 22, 2015. Besides breaking the losing streak, the Seawolves also secured home court advantage in the America East Quarterfinals on Wednesday, March 6.
Stony Brook busted out the gate hot by going on an unanswered 25 point run in the first quarter. Redshirt-sophomore forward Oksana Gouchie-Provencher knocked down back-to-back shots from three, giving Stony Brook a 15-2 lead midway through the first. Senior guards Shania Johnson and Jerell Matthews led the explosive scoring outburst and combined for 16 points in the first quarter, scoring consecutive 3-pointers during the run.
“I thought we came out well,” head coach Caroline McCombs said in a press release. “We really executed, shared the ball and moved the ball. Obviously when you can knock down your shots, things are going to go well for you.”
Knocking down shots was easy for the Seawolves as they shot 71 percent in the first quarter and finished with over 54 percent of their shots made on the night. Johnson spearheaded the team with 26 points, five assists, four steals and four rebounds while Matthews had a perfect night, going 4-4 from the floor and 6-6 from the free throw line. Together, the dominating duo combined for 43 points while sophomore forward India Pagan added 11 points to the tally.
Albany turned things up a notch in the second period, outscoring Stony Brook and cutting its deficit to 13 at halftime. However, the Great Danes couldn’t keep up in the second half as the Seawolves continued their hot streak by shooting nearly 62 percent in the third and 50 percent in the fourth.
By converting on six shots from three, Johnson is now four 3-pointers away from tying the school record set by Mykeema Ford (2003-07) with 181 made.
The contest had significant playoff implications considering both teams were tied for third in the America East standings entering it. With the win, Stony Brook secured sole possession of third place and trails second place Hartford by two games.
Stony Brook will continue its road stretch to Maine, facing the Black Bears on Sunday, Feb. 24 at 1 p.m. A win over the top-ranked conference team would give the Seawolves a substantial momentum boost heading into playoffs.