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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


Sarvan’s career night lifts Stony Brook men’s basketball in home opener

Forward Kenan Sarvan handling the ball in a game against Miami Hamilton on Friday, Nov. 11. The Stony Brook men’s basketball team picked up its first win of the year behind Sarvan’s career night. CAMRON WANG/THE STATESMAN

After a historic loss in its season opener at Florida, the Stony Brook men’s basketball team rebounded in a big way on the back of forward Kenan Sarvan. 

The Seawolves (1-1) faced off against the Miami Hamilton Harriers on Friday in their first game back at Island Federal Arena. After suffering a 36-point loss on Monday, the team came out and asserted itself with an 86-65 victory over the Harriers.

Miami Hamilton is an NJCAA team, which made Stony Brook a heavy favorite. However, head coach Geno Ford made it clear that they did not underestimate their Junior College (JUCO) opponents. 

“We knew it was going to be a hard ball game,” head coach Geno Ford said in a postgame press conference. “I told our guys it was going to be a game. It was not going to be easy.”

The Seawolves outscored their opponents in the first half, 40-24. However, defensive missteps allowed the Harriers to hang tough. Miami Hamilton lacks in size, but their shooting prowess kept them within striking distance. 

The Harriers went on a 16-4 run through the first three-and-a-half minutes of the second half, making it a six-point game. The offensive surge was led by guard King Goss, who scored 19 points in the second half and 29 in total.

The Seawolves flipped the momentum back into their favor when Sarvan made a big play on both ends. Following a big-time block on the defensive end, Sarvan stormed down the court to knock down his third three-pointer of the night. Stony Brook did not look back, outscoring the Harriers 40-29 over the rest of the second half. 

Sarvan went on to drain three more triples in the half, ending with a career-high 29 points in his first home game with Stony Brook. The hot shooting of Sarvan fueled the Seawolves’ explosive offensive finish. Stony Brook ended the game shooting 53.5% from the field and 42.4% from three-point range. 

“My teammates just gave me the ball at the right time,” Sarvan said. “We swung the ball pretty well and just found open shooters, and tonight I was the hot hand.”

Stony Brook’s zone defense struggled to guard Miami Hamilton’s small ball lineup in the second half. It created a problem on the perimeter for the Seawolves, as they struggled to switch on and off to defend the Harrier shooters. Ford combated the problem by beating them at their own game, removing center Keenan Fitzmorris in favor of guard Tanahj Pettway. 

“We came out to start the second half, went zone, and they shredded it,” Ford said. “That’s why we subbed Tanahj in and went small.” 

Despite the limited minutes, Fitzmorris still ended with a career high 10 points on 5-of-6 shooting. 

Pettway was the beneficiary of this adjustment, as it was the first time he played extensive minutes in a Seawolves jersey. The senior made the most of the opportunity, scoring 11 points on 5-of-10 shooting in 27 minutes.  

A big factor in the win for Stony Brook was its ability to crash the boards, winning the rebounding battle 39-22. The team’s size also allowed it to score 36 points in the paint, outdoing the Harriers’ 20.  

Other key contributors for the Seawolves were guard Tyler Stephenson-Moore and forward Frankie Policelli. Stephenson-Moore ended with 14 points and eight rebounds, while his fellow co-captain recorded the second double-double of his career with 13 points and 10 rebounds. 

“I just took what the defense gave me and rebounded,” Policelli said. “I did my job, so I’m pretty happy with it.”

The health of Stony Brook will continue to be a challenge going forward, as its backcourt rotation has grown thinner. Guard Jared Frey will be out indefinitely with a foot injury. The loss of the freshman adds to the list of guards missing time that includes Aaron Clarke, Dean Noll and Sabry Philip. Only nine Seawolves players suited up on Friday, and Ford will need to ask for contributions from players deep on the bench.

The Seawolves will look to carry this momentum with them to Kingston, R.I. when they play the Rhode Island Rams on Tuesday, Nov. 15. Opening tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. 



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About the Contributor
Kenny Spurrell, Assistant Sports Editor
Kenny Spurrell is an Assistant Sports Editor of The Statesman. He is a senior English major and journalism minor at Stony Brook University. He began covering sports for The Statesman during the Fall 2021 semester. Since then, he has covered men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s lacrosse and football. His passion for sports derives from his many years of playing basketball, football and baseball. He is a Long Island native from Selden, N.Y. and has dreams of becoming a sports journalist.
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