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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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Men’s Basketball Defeated by Maryland-Eastern Shore

In a back and forth game the Stony Brook University men’s basketball team fell to Maryland-Eastern Shore by a score of 64-58 on Tuesday night at the Indoor Sports Complex. With the loss, the Seawolves dropped to 500, at 3-3, while the victory was the Hawks’ first of the young season, giving them a record of 1-3.

In the first five minutes of the game the Seawolves fell behind by twelve points, 14-2, and were playing catch up for the rest of the half. When asked about the early minutes of play head coach, Steve Pikiell, simply said, “We didn’t start off the game playing good defense.”

Besides having to play from behind right out of the gate, the Seawolves were also missing their second leading scorer on the season, Ricky Lucas, who was sidelined with an injury. The missing 18 points per game that Lucas had provided in the first few games was ultimately too much for the Seawolves to overcome. “We are a limited scoring team without Ricky Lucas, and tonight that showed,” said Pikiell after the game.

To counter the early surge by the Hawks, the Seawolves turned to their full court pressure. This switch from their half court defense created several turnovers which resulted in easy scoring opportunities for the Seawolves.

Stony Brook outscored UMES by 13 points over the next thirteen minutes of play. During this time, SBU center, Emanuel Neto, controlled the boards while forward, Mike Popoko, added six of his SBU high 13 points, along with some tenacious defense that rattled the opposition. Brandon Hickson dropped two 3-pointers which were followed up by a 3 from Mitchell Beauford that gave SBU its first lead of the game at 30-29. The Hawks closed the half with a 6-0 run which gave them a 35-30 lead going into the intermission.

The Seawolves defensive intensity picked up at the start of the second half, as the forced 2 misses and 3 turnovers in the Hawks first 6 possessions of the half. This aggression on defense carried over to the offensive end as SBU scored on four of their first five possessions of the half to take a 39-37 lead. The Hawks battled back and quickly regained their first half form. However, this time around, the Seawolves countered UMES’ offense by attacking the goal and being aggressive. This resulted in a series of foul shots and second-chance points that kept SBU in the contest.

The teams exchanged punches and counterpunches through the majority of the half. With 4:28 remaining in the game, the teams were deadlocked at 54, but coming out of the timeout the Seawolves made four consecutive turnovers, which proved to be too costly as the Hawks went on a 10-4 run to close the game and secure the victory.

Despite the loss several positives did come from this game. “A lot of new players saw time tonight and we are a program that is trying to improve every game,” stated coach Pikiell. In addition, Stony Brook managed to out-rebound the Hawks in the game, owning a 41 to 30 advantage, including a 15-7 edge on the offensive glass, Mike Popoko recorded the Seawolves’ first double-double of the season with 13 points and 10 rebounds, and Brandon Hickson scored a career-high 10 points, off the bench. UMES had three players in double figures, with Ed Tyson leading the way with 18 points.

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