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Worst offensive performance of the year bites Stony Brook women’s basketball

Guard Daishai Almond driving the lane against Delaware on Sunday, Feb. 26. Almond scored 11 points and led the Stony Brook women’s basketball team in assists in the loss to the Blue Hens. ABRAR NAVEL/THE STATESMAN

With its lowest-scoring output of the year, the Stony Brook women’s basketball team’s four-game winning streak came to an end.

In their home finale against the Delaware Blue Hens, the Seawolves (17-10, 11-5 CAA) narrowly lost 53-51 on Sunday. Stony Brook failed to score more than 15 points in any quarter and never shot more than 33.3% in any of the four frames.

The Seawolves only shot 28.4% overall and 16% from deep, both of which were their second-worst percentages of the season.

Head coach Ashley Langford attributed Stony Brook’s offensive troubles to both mental hindrances and good defense by Delaware.

“They did a good job of making us indecisive at times,” Langford said in a postgame press conference. “Shots that we normally make, we didn’t make today. We were pressing a little bit instead of letting it fly with no pressure.”

Stony Brook trailed for the entire game on Sunday. The team’s best opportunity to come back came in the game’s final minute. Guard Gigi Gonzalez went coast-to-coast before finding forward Shamarla King under the basket for a wide-open layup. Moments later, Gonzalez intercepted an inbound pass and made a contested shot, drawing a foul and converting the and-one. These five points in a seven-second span cut Stony Brook’s deficit to just two points with 57 seconds remaining.

However, Stony Brook struggled to create good shots after that sequence. Guard Annie Warren missed a three-pointer, and then Gonzalez missed two heavily-contested layups within the last 15 seconds. With just seven seconds left, Warren tried to create her own shot from the perimeter, but was fiercely blocked by Delaware forward Michelle Ojo.

Though Gonzalez’s highlight-worthy plays gave her team a chance to come from behind, she struggled immensely on the afternoon. Those were the only three points that Gonzalez scored, as she shot just 1-for-9 from the field. She also had five turnovers and only two assists. 

Langford attributed Gonzalez’s struggles to not being on the floor very much. She only played 16 minutes and had three fouls through the first three quarters.

“She got in foul trouble and was not able to mentally get into a rhythm,” Langford said.

Warren also struggled against Delaware. She did not score her first points until the 6:20 mark of the third quarter. She finished 3-for-17 from the field and went just 2-for-10 from deep.

The Seawolves’ shooting nightmares began at the very start of the game. They missed each of the first six shots they took, allowing Delaware to build an 8-0 lead. 

However, their defense kept them in it throughout the whole game. Stony Brook held Delaware to just 32.8% shooting and 26.3% from three-point range. Due to Delaware’s own struggles, Stony Brook never trailed by more than 10 points.

“It was a team-defensive effort,” Langford said. “We were good defensively, [we] just didn’t make the shots.”

Center Sherese Pittman had the best day of any Stony Brook player. She led the team with 13 points on 5-for-13 shooting. She also racked up nine rebounds, three blocks and a steal. Unfortunately, Pittman suffered a lower-body injury in the game’s final minute and limped off the court. Her status is currently unknown.

Guard Daishai Almond and King were the only two other players to score double-digit points for Stony Brook. Almond scored 11 points on 3-for-9 shooting while leading the team with four assists. She also tallied five rebounds, three steals and a block. King scored 11 points on 5-for-11 shooting and pulled down seven rebounds.

Delaware center Klarke Sconiers and guard Jewel Smalls carried their team’s offense. The duo combined for 35 points and shot 13-for-28 from the field.

Stony Brook is now in a four-way tie for second place in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA). The team will attempt to bounce back on Thursday against one of those fellow second-place teams, the Towson Tigers. Opening tip-off is set for 7 p.m. The Tigers are coming off a 61-52 win over Charleston.

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About the Contributor
Alex Streinger, Assistant Sports Editor
Alex Streinger is an Assistant Sports Editor of The Statesman. He is a junior majoring in journalism and minoring in political science. He is the beat reporter of the Stony Brook men’s soccer and nationally-ranked women’s lacrosse teams. He interns at Movendi International, the largest independent global social movement for development through alcohol prevention.
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