McKenzie Bushee in a game against New Hampshire on Feb. 16, 2019. Bushee co-led the team in scoring with 14 points in a game on Dec. 14 against Hofstra. NOOR LANE/STATESMAN FILE

In what is always a competitive battle between two Long Island universities, the Stony Brook women’s basketball team took down the Hofstra Pride on Monday, Dec. 14 with a final score of 63-52 at Island Federal Arena, extending the team’s current win streak against the Pride to four years in a row.

“Tonight it was a total team effort,” head coach Caroline McCombs said in a postgame press release. “Our growth is so important and we continue to grow stronger each game. Hofstra is a tough and physical team. We battled throughout the game and stuck together through adversity in the second half.”

By the time the first quarter came to a close, the Seawolves parlayed an 8-0 run into a 21-12 lead that the team eventually stretched into a 21-point lead in the second quarter. Stony Brook outscored Hofstra 16-6 during the second frame. 

The Pride, however, came roaring back in the second half, scoring 17 points in both the third and fourth quarters and even closing the scoreboard gap to four points on two occasions. Clutch points from senior guard Jonae Cox and junior forward Nairimar Vargas-Reyes stopped Hofstra’s momentum in its tracks as the Seawolves never relinquished their early lead.

A number of players got in on the action for the Seawolves. Senior forward McKenzie Bushee and junior guard Earlette Scott, who also pulled down 7 rebounds, co-led the team in scoring with 14 points apiece, while Vargas-Reyes and junior guard Anastasia Warren added 10 points each as well, with Warren adding a career-high seven assists. Bushee’s 14 points tied a career high for her.

Wednesday’s contest was a closer call than last year’s Battle of Long Island, which the Seawolves dominated in a 43-point victory.

After beginning the season with two straight losses to Fordham and No. 23 Syracuse, Stony Brook has bounced back and now owns a two-game winning streak.

Now the Seawolves begin conference play in the America East, starting 2 p.m. on Saturday at home against the Binghamton Bearcats. Due to protocol agreed on by the America East teams for pandemic safety, the teams will complete their season series by playing on two consecutive days at the same venue.

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