The Stony Brook women’s basketball team captured its first win of the season on the backs of their star guards.
The Seawolves (1-1) welcomed the Manhattan Jaspers on Thursday at Island Federal Arena. Improvements in several areas led Stony Brook to a commanding 69-51 win in its home opener.
Guard Annie Warren made her mark immediately in front of the home supporters, recording the Seawolves’ first six points. It only took Warren three-and-a-half minutes to match her scoring total from Monday night’s game against Syracuse.
Warren’s backcourt counterpart, guard Gigi Gonzalez, hit the ground running as well. Gonzalez tallied 10 points and two assists in the first half. The duo helped Stony Brook jump out to a comfortable 40-22 lead at halftime.
The tandem did not slow down in the second half. Warren scored 13 of her 28 points in the fourth quarter alone. Gonzalez had nine points along with four assists in the second half.
“These are our captains who lead us in every aspect,” head coach Ashley Langford said in a postgame press conference. “Even when they’re not scoring they do so much, but it’s obviously nice when the ball is going in for them.”
The Seawolves shooting improved significantly against the Jaspers. After hitting just one three-pointer in Monday’s loss, Warren and Gonzalez combined to make eight on the day. The team improved on its efficiency overall, shooting 38.2% from the field against Manhattan after shooting 31.3% against Syracuse.
Langford was pleased with her team’s lack of turnovers. The Seawolves recorded a 1.0 assist-to-turnover ratio, much improved from the 0.23 in the season opener. Points allowed off turnovers were also cut down to nine on Thursday night.
“We’re getting more connected every game,” Langford said. “It takes time to create chemistry, I think it’s going to continue getting better the more they settle in.”
Stony Brook out-rebounded its opponents 47-44. Forward Sherese Pittman grabbed 16 of those rebounds, a collegiate career-high for the sophomore.
The Seawolves defensive effort was highlighted by their containment of Manhattan guard Dee Dee Davis. The 2021-22 All-MAAC First Team recipient was held to 12 points on 5-for-18 shooting.
“I was proud and pleased with our defensive effort,” Langford said. “Holding them to 11 points or under in three quarters is important.”
On the night, Warren tallied 28 points on 10-of-17 shooting. She also went 5-for-7 from deep and made all three of her free throws. Opposite her, Gonzalez put up 19 points on 7-of-16 shooting and led the team in assists with six.
“I wasn’t trying to overthink things,” Gonzalez said. “I was letting the game come to me and getting all my teammates involved.”
The Seawolves were not at full strength in this win. Forward Nairimar Vargas-Reyes did not suit up for Thursday’s game. Guard Daishai Almond played only 12 minutes before heading to the locker room following a collision in the second quarter. Langford did not comment on either players’ status.
Stony Brook will remain at home on Monday, when they face the Iona Gaels at 6:31 p.m. The Gaels opened their season with a resounding 87-62 win over Wagner.