Backed by the hot 3-point shooting of redshirt-junior guard Makale Foreman, the Stony Brook men’s basketball team routed the Maine Black Bears 73-51 at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor, Maine on Sunday, Jan. 5 to start America East play with a victory.
Stony Brook (10-6) continued the domination in the series, winning its 19th consecutive game against Maine (4-11) to extend a streak that dates back to 2010.
Both teams came out of the gate sloppily, with the Seawolves committing three turnovers and the Black Bears committing four before the first media timeout. Neither team scored until sophomore guard Miles Latimer hit a jumper nearly two minutes into the game. It did not take long before Stony Brook’s size advantage and backcourt pressure picked apart the turnover-prone Black Bears.
Maine was held scoreless for five minutes while allowing Stony Brook to open up a double-digit lead. The Seawolves’ advantage in the first half grew as large as 14 after Foreman hit his first three of the afternoon to go up 27-13 with 4:26 to go until the break, but the Black Bears were able to cut it down to seven points using a 9-2 run. The momentum did not last for long, as Foreman hit a second triple before the half ended to go back up 13. The Seawolves entered the half up 35-24.
Senior forward Andrew Fleming, the Black Bears’ leading scorer, was held scoreless in the first half as he spent most of the time on the bench with two fouls. The last time these two teams played, Fleming suffered a season-ending broken wrist during a collision at the rim. He made his presence known as he stepped back onto the court for the second half with a dunk on the first possession. Minutes later, he drained a three to reduce Stony Brook’s lead to six, 37-31.
It was all Seawolves from there on out. Maine would not score a single point over the next six minutes as Stony Brook’s lead grew to 25 after a 19-0 run that both began and ended with a Foreman deep ball. In the middle of the stretch, the Seawolves scored five points in a span of four seconds after junior guard Elijah Olaniyi flushed the dunk off a defensive board and sophomore guard Miles Latimer recorded the steal on the successive inbound and was left wide open to sink the three from the right wing.
Stony Brook’s active hands recorded 15 steals off a Maine team that entered the matchup with a -5.43 turnover margin, the worst in the America East. The Seawolves scored 31 points off of 22 Black Bears turnovers, and seven different players were able to strip the ball, led by Latimer with four.
Foreman led all players with 22 points, having shot 6-for-12 from downtown. Latimer scored in double digits for the second straight game, adding 14. Junior center Jeff Otchere finished one board shy of a double-double, scoring a season-high 11. Maine junior forward Nedelko Prijovic led his team with 17 points.
The Seawolves have a daunting task ahead of them – a road duel with the Vermont Catamounts. Stony Brook has not beaten Vermont since Mar. 12, 2016, the America East Championship game that sent the Seawolves to the NCAA Tournament for the first time. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 8 at Patrick Gym in Burlington, Vermont.