Four nights prior, guard Anthony Roberts raced the length of the court in the span of six seconds to end the Stony Brook men’s basketball team’s three-game losing streak.
On Sunday, Feb. 13, he put on another performance to remember, setting a new single-game program record by draining nine 3-pointers and ending with a new career-high 40 points, coming close to upending the Seawolves’ single-game Division I scoring record as well. His scorching afternoon propelled Stony Brook to an 85-74 road victory over the Maine Black Bears.
“It was a big road win for us,” head coach Geno Ford said in a press release. “I’m really proud of our guys for rallying shorthanded and with all of the stuff they’ve been forced to deal with. It has been a very difficult couple of weeks for us. Tykei [Greene] was able to play a really nice game for us and Anthony Roberts played at an extremely high level.”
Jameel Warney put up 43 against Vermont in the 2016 America East championship game. Roberts stood at 38 points with six minutes left, and it was clear that his pursuit of the record would come down to the wire. Facing constant double teams, he dished off assists to keep the Seawolves handily ahead of a Black Bears team which was still threatening to cut into Stony Brook’s second-half lead.
Roberts secured his 40th point on a drive and layup with 43 seconds remaining. His final statline — 14-for-25 from the field, 9-for-12 from three — encapsulated how he owned the game for the Seawolves. He also shared the ball with six assists and pulled down six rebounds.
Stony Brook last trailed 29-26 late in the first half. Roberts single-handedly gave the Seawolves a lead that they would own for the rest of the game, firing three straight triples for his own personal 9-0 run. On the third of those makes, he faked out Black Bears forward Ata Turgut for the open look, then gestured towards the Maine bench and got called immediately for a technical foul.
Entering the break, he had already scored 21 points as Stony Brook led 46-40.
Roberts was quieted for the first five minutes of the second half before immediately regaining his hot stroke from outside. He even went up for a passionate two-handed slam after bolting past Maine forward Stephane Ingo. Roberts had the confidence to shoot his threes even if he still had a defender one-on-one near him or if he was from NBA range, hitting a trifecta of consecutive attempts again. This time, it gave Stony Brook a 16-point lead and Roberts himself 35 on the afternoon.
His historic showing overshadowed quality performances from his castmates, including guard Tykei Greene’s 15-point, 10-rebound double-double and forward Frankie Policelli’s 10-rebound game. Maine guard Maks Klanjscek’s 24-point performance on 6-for-10 shooting for three helped stop Stony Brook from ever blowing the game open past its 72-56 lead, but on Sunday, it was just a footnote to Roberts’ party, which came with starting point guard Jahlil Jenkins not traveling with the team.
In the final-ever conference matchup between these two teams, Stony Brook won its 22nd straight game against Maine. The Seawolves had not lost to the Black Bears since 2011, and with Stony Brook’s move to the Colonial Athletic Association, that record could stand for good.
The Black Bears relied on the 3-pointer to remain competitive early with the Seawolves, and they shot 9-for-16 (56%) in the first half only to cool down to 6-for-19 (32%) in the second. Maine still ended with 15 made in the game, but shots from beyond the arc accounted for over half of the team’s total offensive attempts.
Nevertheless, there was not much that anyone could have done to stop a man as possessed as Roberts was, and his domination of the court in Bangor will be remembered for a long time.