Allowing a pair of double-doubles was too much for the short-handed Stony Brook men’s basketball team to overcome.
In the first round of the Battle of Long Island this year, the Seawolves (8-16, 4-7 CAA) were trounced by the Hofstra Pride 79-58 on Saturday. Stony Brook’s lack of depth came back to bite it, as four players combined to score 53 of the team’s 58 points. As for its Nassau County foes, Hofstra’s victory moved it into a first-place tie in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) with the Charleston Cougars.
The final score and statistical lines are no indicator of how the game began. Through the first 15 minutes, Stony Brook was neck and neck with Hofstra. A mid-range jumper from center Keenan Fitzmorris cut the Seawolves’ deficit down to one point, making it 28-27 with 5:10 remaining in the first half.
However, Hofstra guard German Plotnikov led the Pride on a 13-2 run to close out the first half, handing Stony Brook a 12-point deficit going into halftime. Plotnikov scored nine points from all three levels during the final five minutes of the half, knocking down two layups, two free throws and a three-pointer.
Stony Brook started off the second half on an 8-0 run on the backs of forwards Kenan Sarvan and Frankie Policelli, who each knocked down a three-pointer to get within four points of Hofstra. Unfortunately for the Seawolves, they never got that close for the rest of the game. Hofstra guards Tyler Thomas and Bryce Washington took over the game from that point on, leading the Pride to a 20-point blowout.
Thomas scored 13 points on 6-of-8 shooting and grabbed seven rebounds after halftime. On three separate occasions, he extended the Pride’s lead back to double digits to counter short runs by Stony Brook. Washington added another 12 points on 5-of-9 shooting in the second half.
A three-pointer by Thomas with 6:58 remaining sparked a 10-0 run by the Pride to push their lead to 19 points. After that, Stony Brook’s offense went dormant, allowing Hofstra to seal the deal. A three-pointer by Sarvan with 3:41 remaining cut the Seawolves’ deficit to 16 points, but they did not score another point for the rest of the game.
Garbage-time baskets by Hofstra center Warren Williams and Plotnikov put a bow on the team’s win and gave Stony Brook its second-biggest loss of the year.
Thomas had a monster game for Hofstra, tallying 29 points on 13-of-17 shooting. He also pulled down 11 rebounds, giving him his second career double-double.
“Tyler Thomas had the game of his life and we were unable to defend him,” head coach Geno Ford said in a postgame interview with Stony Brook Athletics. “I thought he used his size on the perimeter and shot over the top of us easily all night.”
Stony Brook had four double-digit scorers. Guard Toby Onyekonwu led the team with 15 points on 5-of-13 shooting. Sarvan put up 14 points on 5-of-12 shooting, knocking down 4 of his 10 threes. Policelli tallied his ninth double-double of the year, scoring 12 points and hauling in 13 boards. Fitzmorris was the Seawolves’ most efficient scorer, putting up 12 points on 6-of-7 shooting.
Onyekonwu also dished out six assists to lead the team. He has scored double-digit points in six straight games, averaging 12.8 points on a .441/.500/.765 triple slash. However, Stony Brook is just 1-5 over that stretch.
“Toby has strung some good games together which has helped, but clearly we have some depth issues right now,” Ford said.
Hofstra had four double-digit scorers. Washington scored 14 points on 5-of-9 shooting. Plotnikov and Williams each scored 14 points off the bench.
Hofstra guard Jaquan Carlos also dropped a double-double in unusual fashion. He only scored four points and did not make a field goal, but racked up 10 rebounds and 10 assists while only committing one turnover. Carlos made a big impact on defense, collecting four steals as well.
Ultimately, Stony Brook’s shot defense was not good. The team allowed over 50% shooting in both halves, finishing at 55.4% for the night. Stony Brook was outperformed in every single category except for second-chance points.
The Seawolves are now sitting at eighth place in the CAA. They will look to get out of this rut on Wednesday against the last-place Monmouth Hawks, who are 4-20 this season and 3-8 against conference opponents. The Hawks have won three games in a row and just defeated Drexel 69-67 on Saturday