The top team in the America East, the University of Maine Blackbears, knocked off the Stony Brook Women’s Basketball team 71-61 on Sunday, Feb. 24 at the Augusta Civic Center.
The Seawolves continued their trend of a high offensive push from the opening tip, yet struggled to keep the momentum going in the second half. Stony Brook also lost the season series to Maine, having previously lost at home 68-54 on Jan. 19.
Stony Brook raced out to a 14-7 lead less than halfway through the first quarter and ended the quarter up 24-21. Senior guards Shania Johnson and Jerell Matthews both scored two three-pointers, while Johnson led the scoring with 10 first quarter points.
“I thought we had a great effort from our team today,” head coach Caroline McCombs said in a press release. “Offensively, we had a tremendous first half of basketball and we had some good looks that just didn’t fall in the second half. Maine capitalized off of their offensive rebounds and our turnovers at critical times.”
The Seawolves were able to knock their shots down in the first half, connecting on 52 percent from the field and headed into the break with a 2-point lead over Maine. The team finished shooting just 42 percent overall due to a putrid 28 percent in the second half. Johnson led the way with 28 points, tying a season-high, five assists, seven rebounds and three assists, while Matthews finished second in team scoring with 10 points, two rebounds and one steal. The senior guards combined for 38 points while sophomore forward India Pagan chipped in with 8 points and nine rebounds, falling just two points and one rebound shy of her first double-double of the season.
Maine came out into the second half on a mission, turning an early four-point deficit two minutes into the quarter, to a five-point lead by the time the quarter came to a close. Maine took the lead for good with 5:53 left in the third quarter, holding Stony Brook to just 18 points throughout the second half.
Johnson is just two away from breaking Mykeema Ford’s program record of 181 3-pointers made after hitting three three-pointers on the day. Matthews is now tied for fifth in program history in single-season threes with 54 on the year.
Despite the loss, Stony Brook remains in third place in the American East standings with a conference mark of 9-5. The team closes out its three-game road trip with a matchup against UMBC this Wednesday, Feb. 27 at 7 p.m.