An early first quarter scoreless streak proved to be a distant memory for Stony Brook Women’s Basketball as the team slowly crept its way to a victory against the Manhattan College Jaspers 59-54 at Island Federal Credit Union Arena on Friday, Nov 8.
The Seawolves (2-0) found the bottom of the net for the first time in the game more than halfway through the first quarter. With 4:46 left in the first, graduate transfer guard Kaela Hilaire hit redshirt-junior forward Kina Smith with a pass that led to the first bucket.
“We got off to a slow start. Manhattan did a really good job coming out early and throwing the first punch,” Stony Brook head coach Caroline McCombs said in a postgame interview with The Statesman. “We responded to that, and it was a back and forth game, like our previous game, until the fourth quarter. We were gritty and tough down the stretch getting stops on defense that we needed too, inching our way back to a couple baskets more than them on offense.”
Stony Brook, which grabbed its first lead of the night a little more than halfway through the third quarter, was led by graduate forward Cheyenne Clark. Clark produced a double-double, scoring 10 points and grabbing 10 rebounds, almost made it a triple-double. She finished the night with six steals, four shy of the triple double.
“We really focused on Stony Brook basketball on our home court tonight. Having that home advantage was really good for us,” Clark said in a post game interview with The Statesman. “We had to exceed their energy, exceed everything that the [Jaspers] did. We did a really good job at playing together at both ends of the floor.”
Clark was not the only Stony Brook player who scored double digit points in the victory. Sophomore guard Anastasia Warren chipped in a team high 13 points, including hitting three of her three-point shots, along with two rebounds and assists. Meanwhile, junior guard/forward Hailey Zeise added nine points and eight rebounds as well as a block and two steals.
After the game, Zeise commented on the rough stretch at the beginning of the game. “Tonight, we faced a little bit of adversity, going back and forth, but we got it and that’s what it’s all about.”
“You want to protect your home court, and we talked about that before the game. This is our home and we needed to protect home court,” McCombs said. “You want to enjoy a win; we’ll get some rest and start preparing for Hofstra. We’ll evaluate the first two games and see how we need to improve going forward.”
Stony Brook now has five days to rest up and enjoy the victory as they prepare to take on rival Hofstra University Pride on Wednesday, Nov. 13 in the battle for the Island. Tipoff at the David S. Mack Sports and Exhibition Complex is set for 7 p.m.