The Stony Brook women’s basketball team reached a season-high in scoring in a 95-69 blowout victory over Hartford on Saturday, Feb. 19.
The Seawolves came up only one point short of tying the program’s record for total points in a Division I game.
“I’m pleased with our performance today,” head coach Ashley Langford said in a press release. “Everyone contributed and was ready to go.”
With 2:15 left in the fourth quarter, Langford and her bench were all smiles as they watched guard Earlette Scott steal a Hartford pass, dash down the court fending off two defenders and sink a layup in the paint. The layup gave Scott her eighteenth point of the game. It also gave the Seawolves their 93rd point on the day, surpassing a 91-point scoring output against Columbia back in November.
Scott, who finished shooting 64% from the field, was one of four Stony Brook players to reach double-digit points against the Hawks. Forward India Pagan put on a clinic in the paint as she led the Seawolves with 19 points.
Nine of 15 points produced by guard Annie Warren came via 3-pointers. Warren has scored in double digits 16 times this season. She also continues to lead the team with 12.5 points per game.
Forward Leighah-Amori Wool, who saw limited playing time in the first quarter, found her rhythm in the second half as she finished shooting 5-for-11 (11 points) from the field. Guard Gigi Gonzalez played only 20 minutes, although she still led the team with five assists.
Hartford’s game plan against the first-place Seawolves was simple: guard the paint and take threes. Entering Saturday’s matchup, Hartford led the league in 3-pointers with 149 total shots from beyond the arc. Stony Brook, on the other hand, is a team that lives in the paint. The Seawolves are 17-0 when their power forward Pagan reaches double-digit points in a game.
Hartford’s defense did its job through the first 10 minutes of play. While the Seawolves managed to score 12 points from the paint in the first quarter, the Hawks kept the pace with a pair of 3-pointers from guards Abby Streeter and Carmen Villalobos. The two combined for 24 points by the final buzzer. Despite shooting 53% from the field in the first, Stony Brook only held a four-point lead entering the second.
The scoring continued for both sides as the game approached halftime. Stony Brook managed to take a nine-point lead by the middle of the second quarter. Giving credit where credit is due, Hartford’s defense managed to keep a red hot Stony Brook offense in check. However, a pivotal play came from Scott to secure a double-digit Stony Brook lead.
At about the halfway point of the second quarter, Scott and Streeter both tried to secure a rebound, resulting in a held ball call. The two guards chirped back and forth in between plays, and their teammates had to step in to separate them. Immediately following the altercation, Scott got her sweet revenge on Streeter.
After an inbounds pass, the Seawolves found Scott wide open. Scott took the open lane and charged straight into the path of Streeter. She sank a layup from the paint, drawing a foul from Streeter for the and-one.
Scott received massive applause from her bench as her aggressiveness in the paint led to the team’s first double-digit lead of the game.
Stony Brook ended the first half shooting 56% from the field. In an effort to keep up, Hartford increased its field goal percentage to 50% in the second quarter. The Hawks also managed to keep Stony Brook within nine points to end the half.
But the Seawolves returned from the locker room with a relentless mentality.
Pagan, Warren and Scott had all reached double digit points by the third quarter. Forward Nairimar Vargas-Reyes reached double digits of her own in the rebound column of the scorecard, finishing with three offensive and seven defensive rebounds. The Seawolves outscored Hartford 29-18 in the third and went on to hold a 30-point lead in the fourth.
Hartford could not keep up in the second half. Despite the third-quarter return of star forward Paulina Maurina, who was benched early on due to two foul calls, the Hawks suffered from turnovers and poor defense. Maurina contributed 12 points by the final buzzer, but that was nowhere close to what Hartford needed to keep pace with Stony Brook.
By the time Stony Brook reached 90 points in the fourth, every player who clocked in for the Seawolves had contributed at least one point to the game. The Seawolves had also conquered Hartford’s early game mentality of limiting shots from the paint.
By the final buzzer, Stony Brook outscored the Hawks 54-30 from the paint. On the defensive end, the Seawolves won the glass 38-30. The team is now 18-0 when it outrebounds its opponents.
“It is always tough to beat an opponent on their senior day,” Langford said. “I’m glad we were focused and handled our business.”
The Seawolves continue to plow through the regular season in the hopes of an at-large bid. They will play their last home game of the regular season on Wednesday, Feb. 23 against UMass Lowell.