For the Stony Brook women’s basketball team, earning the 70-59 comeback victory over UMBC, on Feb. 27 was nice, but making history in the process made it even better.
Senior guard Shania Johnson dribbled around the court looking for an open teammate. When she couldn’t find one, she decided to shoot. Johnson made history with just a simple flick of her wrist, connecting with a three with less than four minutes left in the second quarter. In the moment it seemed like no big deal, but that 3-pointer made Johnson Stony Brook’s all-time leader in 3s made with a total of 184, topping Mykeema Ford’s (2003-07) record of 181.
Head coach Caroline McCombs noted the improved effort the team showed following a loss in their previous game.
“I thought we really showed some maturity throughout the game tonight,” McCombs said in a press release. “We got down in the second quarter and had to inch our way back. Our team made big plays when we needed to and we were resilient in our effort.”
Stony Brook started the game sluggishly and found itself down four off sloppy defense. However, the Seawolves countered quickly and responded with an 11-point run midway through the quarter. The Retrievers battled back and ended the first quarter trailing, 15-13.
UMBC reeled off a 25-5 run that started with :32 seconds left in the first and went through most of the second quarter. Stony Brook responded again, this time with three 3-pointers from Johnson, sophomore forward Hailey Zeise and sophomore guard Jonae Cox, cutting the UMBC lead down to 33-26 at halftime.
The shooting barrage sparked new life into Stony Brook offensively, as the team carried the momentum into the second half. Sophomore forward India Pagan led the charge by scoring 10 points in the third quarter with six from the foul line, as well as grabbing two offensive rebounds and a steal.
With the score tied at 46 starting the fourth quarter, senior guard Jerell Matthews willed the team to victory and scored 10 of her 16 points in it. Matthews went 4-5 on her shots in the quarter and knocked down two clutch shots from three.
Johnson and Matthews put the game out of reach with 3:06 left in the fourth. A quick pass from Johnson to Matthews, followed by a Matthews three, put Stony Brook up 63-52 and silenced the crowd at the UMBC Events Center.
Johnson is now the all-time program leader in single-season assists, single-game threes, single-game assists and career 3-pointers made. She also holds the America East record in single-game assists with 15 and currently ranks fourth nationally with 204 assists this season.
Stony Brook has officially clinched the No. 3 seed in the America East playoffs with a conference mark of 10-5 coming out of the win. The Seawolves look to end the season on a high note at home for their final regular-season game, taking on Vermont at 3 p.m. this Saturday for Senior Day.