Forward Frankie Policelli driving through contact towards the rim on Friday, Nov. 11. The Stony Brook men’s basketball team lost both of its games in the FIU Tournament last week. CAMRON WANG/THE STATESMAN

Everything that could go wrong did go wrong for the Stony Brook men’s basketball team down in Florida, as the Seawolves dropped both games in blowout fashion in the Florida International University (FIU) Tournament.

The Seawolves (1-5) were beaten down hard by their two opponents in Miami. They tipped their tournament off with a matchup against the FIU Panthers on Wednesday and lost 83-50. They returned to the hardwood on Friday, only to be blown out by the Eastern Washington Eagles, 81-52.

It was bleak from the get-go for the Seawolves. The Panthers went on a 10-0 run to start things off. Stony Brook finally converted its first bucket of the game when forward Kenan Sarvan hit a three-pointer with 12:23 remaining in the first half. The Seawolves cut the lead to seven points several times throughout the first half, but were never able to get past that threshold.

After Stony Brook made it a 16-9 game, FIU ended the opening half of play on a 22-12 run. The Seawolves only shot 25% from the field in the first half, shooting 7-of-28.

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“Tough game tonight,” head coach Geno Ford said in a postgame interview with Stony Brook Athletics. “[FIU] pressed and forced the tempo. It’s going to be a really tough month for us if we continue to have 20 turnovers and double figures of turnovers from the perimeter.”

Things continued to spiral out of control for Stony Brook in the second half. The Panthers did not let up, outscoring Stony Brook 45-29 in the final frame.​​ The Seawolves’ defense was carved up in the second half from both inside the perimeter and out. FIU made 18 of its 30 shots (60%), including 8-of-15 from three-point range. Stony Brook shot a measly 36.4% from the field.

The offensive woes continued for the Seawolves, shooting 15-of-50 on the night for an anemic 30%. The inability to shoot the three ball was apparent yet again, going just 8-of-27. Shooting 29.6% from three was the second-best performance from deep by Stony Brook this season.

Sarvan was the team’s leading scorer with 15 points. He shot 4-for-9 from deep on Wednesday. 

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The Stony Brook backcourt had a rough night, with poor guard play running rampant throughout the lineup. Starters Tyler Stephenson-Moore and Toby Onyekonwu combined for 19 points while shooting 6-of-23 from the field.

For the second straight game, turnovers greatly hurt the Seawolves. They turned the ball over 20 times, including 11 in the first half. The lack of depth for Stony Brook remains apparent, as its bench put up two points in 55 combined minutes of play. Center Rocco Muratori scored its lone bucket off the bench.

The 33-point loss marks the second time this season the Seawolves have been defeated by 30-plus. This margin is now tied for the ninth-worst loss in program history. 

Game two against Eastern Washington was not much better for Stony Brook. The Seawolves could not muster up much of anything on either side of the ball. Turnovers proved costly once again for Stony Brook’s sputtering offense, with their 17 turnovers resulting in 26 points for the Eagles.

The Seawolves scored first when Stephenson-Moore knocked down a three-pointer on their opening possession. However, the Eagles took the lead with 17:25 remaining in the first half and never looked back. Throughout the first half, Stephenson-Moore and center Keenan Fitzmorris kept Stony Brook in the game, but turnovers and poor defense undid their work.

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With a minute left in the first half, Stony Brook cut its deficit to 11 after a three-pointer from guard Tanahj Pettway and free throws from Fitzmorris.

Stony Brook had a chance to pull off a second-half comeback when they cut the lead to eight with just over 17 minutes remaining in the second half. However, the Seawolves collapsed during the final stretch of play, being outscored 38-17.

“We were down 13 with seven minutes to go and we desperately needed to make a run to give ourselves a chance to win it late,” Ford said. “We had a total meltdown in the final seven minutes. Tonight was really disappointing. We have to be better than we were.”

Despite that, there were some silver linings that the team can be happy about. Muratori had the best game of his collegiate career, putting up seven points and three rebounds in 13 minutes off the bench. Fitzmorris had one of the best games of his career, tying his career-high in points for the second time this season with 14. Pettway had another solid outing for the team, adding nine points on 3-of-5 shooting. He also tallied four rebounds and a steal. 

Overall, Sarvan had a bounceback week. After shooting just 1-for-19 overall and 0-for-16 from three-point range the week before, he went 6-for-14 in the tournament. He scored 21 points between the two games while making six of his 13 three-pointers.

The Seawolves will look to return to the win column this upcoming Tuesday against the St. Joseph’s Golden Eagles. The Golden Eagles are an NCAA Division III team. Opening tip-off is scheduled for 6:31 p.m. at Island Federal Arena. The Golden Eagles are 2-3 on the season and won their last matchup 70-68 against Union College on Sunday.

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Matt Howlin is an assistant sports editor of The Statesman. He is a junior journalism major at Stony Brook University. He previously served as the campus news editor for The Compass Newspaper at Suffolk County Community College. Following graduation, Matt plans to follow his dream of becoming a sports journalist. He hails from Coram, N.Y. and is an avid Yankees, Giants, Islanders and Lakers fan.

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