After hitting a program-record 17 three-pointers on Nov. 29, the Stony Brook men’s basketball team had the exact favor returned on Friday.
The Seawolves (2-7) took on the Bryant Bulldogs in Rhode Island on Friday, only to be blown out 79-60. Stony Brook’s America East replacements rained three-pointers on them all night long, as the Bulldogs broke their program record with 17 three-pointers made.
Stony Brook trailed by just two points with 14 minutes left to play, but Bryant went on a 19-3 run over the next six minutes to seal the game.
The Bulldogs unleashed their three-point attack from the get-go, propelling them to an early 11-3 lead. The Seawolves missed several good looks from both close and long range, keeping Bryant in control for most of the first half. A late-half resurgence led by guard Tyler Stephenson-Moore and forward Frankie Policelli helped Stony Brook close the gap heading into halftime.
The Seawolves’ defense was carved up in the first half from deep. Bryant shot 9-of-20 from three, resulting in 27 of its 35 points. Despite this, Stony Brook only trailed by six at halftime.
The Bulldogs gained some momentum back in the first minute of the second half, as they grew their lead to 11 points. Following a timeout, Stony Brook went on a 14-5 run and cut its deficit to two with 13:45 remaining.
The Bulldogs promptly responded by dominating the final 13-plus minutes of play on both ends of the floor. They ended the game on a 34-17 run, fueled by three-pointers and pressing full-court defense. Bryant’s defensive play forced several errant passes and turnovers, causing the game to fall out of the Seawolves’ reach.
“Give Bryant credit. They played at a really high level,” head coach Geno Ford said in a postgame interview with Stony Brook Athletics. “They made 17 threes, shooting nearly 50%. We were down two with 13 minutes to go and we ran out of gas in the middle of the second half, which has been a problem for us in every road loss.”
Stony Brook’s inability to close out on shot attempts led to a plethora of easy looks from deep for Bryant. As a team, the Bulldogs shot 17-of-37 from three-point range, good for 45.9%. Bryant’s constant ball movement gave the Seawolves trouble from the jump, tiring out the depleted Stony Brook roster and leading to wide-open opportunities all night long.
The Seawolves offense left many points on the board in both halves, as the Bulldog’s zone defense yielded them plenty of scoring opportunities. Poor shot selection at times also hurt the team. Stony Brook shot only 38.7% overall and 33.3% from deep. The team also earned just four free throw attempts, making two.
Stephenson-Moore and Policelli both had strong performances, accounting for 65% of the team’s scoring. Stephenson-Moore totaled 21 points on 10-of-19 shooting, his third consecutive game with at least 20 points. Policelli had a career night on the glass, pulling down 15 rebounds. He was also Stony Brook’s most efficient shooter, going 6-of-10 from deep for 18 points. He also dished out six assists.
“Tyler and Frankie both had great ball games,” Ford said.
Guard Aaron Clarke struggled in his second game back from injury, scoring just six points on 2-of-11 shooting. However, he did tally seven assists and three turnovers.
Guards Sherif Gross-Bullock and Charles Pride led the way for the Bulldogs. Gross-Bullock led Bryant with 21 points, while Pride chipped in another 20. The duo proved most dangerous from three-point range, shooting a combined 10-of-18 from deep.
The Seawolves are still looking for their first win against a Division I opponent this year. They will try to reach that feat on Monday when they play host to the Sacred Heart Pioneers. The Pioneers are 5-6 on the season and have lost three games in a row. They dropped their most recent game to the Pittsburgh Panthers 91-66 on Saturday.