McKenzie Bushee in a home game last spring. Senior forwards McKenzie Bushee and Leighah-Amori Wool as well as junior guard Anastasia Warren scored 10 points in a game against NJIT. ROYA MEHRBAKHSH/STATESMAN FILE

With its sweep over the NJIT Highlanders, the Stony Brook women’s basketball team has improved its strong record to 8-4 (6-2 AE) after a pair of home victories on Saturday, Jan. 23, and Sunday, Jan. 24. It was the first time the two teams have opposed each other since NJIT joined the America East last year.

After two split series, in which the Seawolves dropped the first of the two games, the team played hard and scored when it needed to in order to win Saturday’s series opener 63-51. 

Four players scored in double figures. Junior guard Asiah Dingle led the way with 11 points on 40% (4-for-10) shooting, while fellow junior guard Anastasia Warren and senior forwards McKenzie Bushee and Leighah-Amori Wool all dropped exactly 10 points as well.

The two teams played a tight contest for a majority of the game, with NJIT tying the score at 46 early on in the fourth quarter. However, Stony Brook seized control from that point on, going on an 11-0 run to leave the Highlanders behind in the dust late.

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In contrast, Sunday’s game showcased why the Seawolves were the America East champions a year ago, dominating NJIT 73-41. The 32-point victory was Stony Brook’s biggest since trouncing Hofstra by 43 points last season.

After a relatively back-and-forth first quarter, the Seawolves lit the spark and tore the court up by outscoring their opponent 27-4 in the second quarter. It was the largest single-quarter scoring margin for Stony Brook since quarters were introduced in the 2015-16 season. 

Stony Brook has not scored that many points in one quarter since scoring 35 in the fourth quarter against St. Francis Brooklyn last season.

 “We really talked about refocusing going into the second quarter,” head coach Caroline McCombs said in a postgame press release. “We keyed in on our defensive principles, and with that we were able to convert rebounds and turnovers into points.”

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In all, Dingle led the scoring again with 16 points on 42% (6-for-14) shooting from the field, with Wool and fellow senior forward India Pagan dropping additional 14 point performances. Wool also grabbed 10 boards for a double-double. 

The pair of losses dropped NJIT to 4-12 overall (4-8 AE).

Now riding the high of a 3-game winning streak, the team will face the Hartford Hawks after the Vermont Catamounts announced the cancelation of their season by player request. The Seawolves will travel to Connecticut for their next matchup.

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