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The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


Stony Brook women’s basketball improves to 3-0 with commanding win

Shooting guard Victoria Keenan creates a shot against Columbia on Monday, Nov. 6. Keenan scored 16 points off the bench in the Stony Brook women’s basketball team’s win on Wednesday. CHRISTOPHER SCHULZ/THE STATESMAN

The Stony Brook women’s basketball team’s offense had another huge day on Wednesday, leading to its third-straight double-digit point win to begin the season.

Strong outings from center Khari Clark and shooting guard Victoria Keenan helped the Seawolves (3-0) remain in the win column against the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) Hawks (1-2) in Maryland. The pair combined for 37 points in Stony Brook’s 76-63 victory.

The Seawolves established control from the get-go, as they jumped out to an early 15-4 lead in the first quarter. Clark led the way, contributing five points during the stretch to help put the game out of reach early. UMES never recovered, as Keenan took over in the second quarter to bolster her team’s advantage. She drained a trio of three-pointers, with the final shot pushing the Seawolves’ lead back to 11 points with 4:40 left in the first half.

Keenan’s hot shooting stroke proved to be contagious, as small forward Kelis Corley and Clark followed up with threes of their own — helping Stony Brook to a 44-31 lead at the half.

The Seawolves put the nail in the coffin after the break. For the second consecutive game, they opened the second half on a dominant stretch, breaking off a 13-4 run to extend their lead to 22 points halfway through the third quarter.

The Hawks closed the gap down to 10 points with a layup from power forward Ariana Seawell, but Clark and point guard Gigi Gonzalez combined for five unanswered points to push the lead back to 15. With 41 seconds left in the game, Keenan delivered the dagger with another shot from three-point territory to give Stony Brook a 75-61 lead.

Keenan finished with 16 points on 5-of-11 shooting from the field off the bench. For the first time all season on Wednesday, she attempted a two-point field goal — which she missed.

Head coach Ashley Langford highlighted the bench unit — which finished with 21 points from Keenan and power forward Shamarla King — as a key contributor to the win.

“Tonight was a battle,” Langford said in a postgame interview with Stony Brook Athletics. “I’m proud of our team for fighting through the adversity. I’m especially happy that we got key production from our bench and were able to adapt.”

Clark — the inaugural Coastal Athletic Association Player of the Week award winner for the new season — punched in another stellar performance. She led all scorers with 21 points while shooting 7-for-8 while also hauling in 10 rebounds for her second double-double in three games. She also blocked two shots.

Gonzalez chimed in with 13 points on 5-of-11 shooting and contributed three assists and a steal. Power forward Sherese Pittman only played 18 minutes but scored nine points on 3-of-4 shooting and added three rebounds, a block and a steal.

Shooting guard Zaida Gonzalez knocked down just two of her seven shots for seven points, but she led the team with five assists. Gonzalez and Corley co-led the team with two steals.

Stony Brook shot at a .481/.417/.800 clip compared to UMES’ .367/.333/.765 shooting split. The Seawolves’ superior shooting made up for them being outrebounded 31-30 and losing the turnover battle 19-17.

Point guard Jála Bannerman and power forward Mahogany Lester were the only Hawks to crack double-digit scoring figures with 15 and 13, respectively. UMES’ two leading scorers to begin the season — point guards Mya Thomas and Zamara Haynes — were held to 13 points on 5-of-20 shooting from the field combined.

The Seawolves will return to Island Federal Arena on Sunday when they take on the Holy Cross Crusaders. The Crusaders are fresh off a 51-41 victory over the University of Massachusetts Lowell on Monday, improving them to 2-1 this year. Opening tip-off is set for 1 p.m.

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