The Stony Brook women’s basketball team’s winning streak appeared to be in jeopardy on Wednesday night in Vermont, but perfect free throw shooting by senior guard Earlette Scott and a well-timed 3-pointer by guard Annie Warren led a fourth-quarter comeback and 71-63 victory to give the Seawolves (16-2, 7-1 AE) their seventh straight win.
Scott went 8-for-8 from the free-throw line, including four shots in the fourth quarter that broke a 55-55 tie and put Stony Brook ahead for good. She finished with 17 points on 4-for-8 shooting while playing a season-high 36 minutes.
Warren, also perfect from the charity stripe, made all three of her 3-point attempts to lead all scorers with 19 points. Her last 3-pointer hit nothing but net, padding the lead Scott provided and sending the Stony Brook bench into an uproar.
Guard Gigi Gonzalez added another nine free throws and 18 points, and forward India Pagan scored 10 points to reach double digits for the 10th time in 11 games.
“Tonight was a back-and-forth battle between two strong teams,” head coach Ashley Langford said in a postgame press release. “I’m proud of our team for fighting back after a slow start. As we approach February and March, winning becomes harder, especially on the road. Our guard play was fantastic tonight — Annie, Gigi, and E-Scotty willed us to win.”
The Seawolves trailed by as many as 10 points in the first quarter after poor play by their interior defense allowed a quick streak of Catamounts (11-8, 5-3 AE) layups, but Warren cut the deficit to seven points with a 3-pointer as time expired.
Gonzalez showed off her versatility to close out the half with two steals, two drawn fouls and a 3-pointer in the second quarter.
Another collapse on defense inside the paint — normally a strong suit for Pagan and the team as a whole — allowed Vermont to head into the fourth quarter with a 53-51 lead. It was the first time since the Seawolves’ conference opener that they did not lead at the end of the third quarter.
But Stony Brook’s aggressive play was too much for the Catamounts, who went 3-for-13 from the field and sent the Seawolves to the free-throw line six times in the fourth quarter. Stony Brook made 11 of those 12 free throws to finish with a season-high 26 in the game.
With the high-scoring output, the Seawolves are now averaging 68.6 points per game, 4.5 more than any other team in the America East. They are also the only team in the conference with a winning streak of over one game.