The Stony Brook women’s basketball team cannot stop winning.
On Wednesday, Jan. 8, the Seawolves overcame a halftime deficit for the third consecutive game to defeat the Vermont Catamounts 67-49 at Island Federal Arena in Stony Brook, New York. Stony Brook (15-1, 3-0) – now owners of a 12-game winning streak, the longest in the program’s Division I history – continues to establish itself as the team to beat in the America East.
Stony Brook went up early and ended the first quarter with an 8-point lead. However, a series of miscues in the second quarter helped Vermont grab their first lead of the night. The Seawolves were held scoreless for six minutes as the Catamounts went on a 12-0 run. Vermont held a 30-26 advantage before junior guard/forward Hailey Zeise connected from deep to end the drought. The Seawolves would tie the game up at 30 with a free throw from junior guard Victoria Johnson, but Catamounts senior forward Hanna Crymble dropped in a layup in the paint to give Vermont a 32-30 lead entering the break.
The Seawolves scored the first six points of the second half, bookended by a pair of buckets from junior forward India Pagan, and never gave the lead back. Stony Brook outscored Vermont 16-6 in the third quarter to end the frame up by eight again.
“It all started on defense,” Pagan said in a press release. “Our defense was lacking in the first half. That was basically our focus in the locker room – our defense.”
Stony Brook went up 55-45, the first double-digit lead of the game, off a 3-pointer from Johnson with seven minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. Crymble’s layup brought Vermont’s deficit back to eight, but it was then that the Seawolves began to pull away, with an 11-0 run over a 3-minute span that put the game away for good. Zeise’s second three of the night gave Stony Brook a 20-point lead at 67-47, its largest in the contest.
Pagan led all players with 20 points. Despite playing just 19 minutes due to foul trouble, she was highly efficient, making nine of her 12 field goal attempts. Johnson contributed 12 points off the bench as the only other Stony Brook player to score in double digits. Crymble recorded the Vermont team high in scoring with 18.
“We did what we needed to do to this point,” head coach Caroline McCombs said. “Now we have to go on the road and win those games.”
The Seawolves play three of their next four games on the road, beginning on Saturday, Jan. 11 as the team travels up to Durham, New Hampshire to face the New Hampshire Wildcats (4-11, 1-2) at Lundholm Gymnasium. The matchup will be Stony Brook’s first road game in conference play.