Junior Guard Anastasia Warren throws the ball towards the basket during a game against Manhattan on Nov. 8, 2019. Warren had a team-high 18 points in a game against UMass Lowell on Dec. 27. SARA RUBERG/STATESMAN FILE

After sweeping the Binghamton Bearcats at home last weekend, the Stony Brook women’s basketball team played an even series on the road against the UMass Lowell River Hawks, narrowly losing the first game on Sunday, Dec. 27 by a score of 63-60 before turning it up on Monday, Dec. 28 for an easy 60-44 victory.

The Seawolves looked to be headed towards an effortless win on Sunday, holding a 16-point lead midway through the second quarter. However, the River Hawks, once down 25-9, were able to reduce their deficit to single digits by halftime with the score at 31-22 in Stony Brook’s favor.

The third quarter belonged to the River Hawks, who outscored the Seawolves 27-11. A pair of free throws put UMass Lowell up 35-34 with 4:06 remaining in the period, and Stony Brook would never get the lead back. The River Hawks went up by as much as ten points, 54-44, with 6:36 left in the fourth quarter.

Despite a stellar performance from junior guard Anastasia Warren, who had a team-high 18 points on 7-for-11 shooting, including 3-for-6 from three-point range, the Seawolves could not come back after blowing their massive lead. Warren hit a clutch three with four seconds remaining to bring the Seawolves within one point, 61-60, but Stony Brook could not finish the miracle ending.

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It was the first time UMass Lowell had beaten the Seawolves. Stony Brook won the first 14 meetings between these two schools, dating back to 2014.

In contrast, on Monday, the Seawolves reminded everyone why they won the conference last season and were among the favorites to do so again this year. Dropping 52 points in the first three quarters, the Seawolves were hell-bent on demonstrating the previous game was a fluke.

“I thought we were consistent for four quarters today and got contributions across the board,” head coach Caroline McCombs said in a press release. “UMass Lowell is a gritty and tough team and we needed to stay locked-in to playing a complete game. This was a great way to close out the series and we look forward to competing again this weekend at UMBC.”

An evenly-matched first quarter, the only period in which UMass Lowell led in, saw its pace quickly change when Stony Brook ended on a 10-0 run. The Seawolves carried that momentum into the second quarter as the run extended to 23-4, giving them a 32-16 lead with 2:09 remaining until halftime. 

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Stony Brook’s lead was as large as 17 points midway through the third quarter.

Senior forward Leighah-Amori Wool posted a team-leading 15 points on an efficient 5-for-8 (62%) shooting and 3-for-5 (60%) from deep, also adding seven rebounds. Junior guard Asiah Dingle and senior forward India Pagan added 11 apiece as well. 

Now 5-3 overall with a 3-1 record in the America East, the Seawolves were originally scheduled to hit the road again for a series against the UMBC Retrievers, but have paused all activities after a positive COVID-19 test within the program.

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