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Stony Brook men’s basketball trampled by Nebraska

Shooting guard Dean Noll takes a baseline jump shot against St. Joseph’s University on Friday, Nov. 10. Noll had 14 points and three steals in a loss on Wednesday. BRITTNEY DIETZ/THE STATESMAN

For the second-straight game, the Stony Brook men’s basketball team was outplayed in every aspect.

The Seawolves (1-3) took on the Nebraska Cornhuskers (4-0) on Wednesday night at Pinnacle Bank Arena, where they were bested 84-63. The loss dropped them to 0-2 in the Cornhusker Classic with only one game left.

Despite the lopsided final score, the Seawolves held tough in the first half. The first six minutes saw four lead changes and two ties. Nebraska broke away with a 7-0 run to take a 15-9 lead, but a layup by center Chris Maidoh and a three-pointer from shooting guard Dean Noll made it a one-point game with just over 10 minutes until halftime.

The teams locked horns once again for the next five minutes, with neither taking more than a three-point lead. However, the Cornhuskers closed out the first half on a 13-6 run on the back of seven points by center Rienk Mast to put Stony Brook in a 36-28 hole going into the break.

Nebraska’s hot streak continued into the second half by extending their lead to 16 points within the first five minutes of the second half. The Cornhuskers shot 7-of-9 from the field and 3-of-4 from three-point range during the timeframe.

However, the Seawolves refused to back down. Noll and shooting guard Jared Frey nailed five of the team’s next six shots to engineer a 12-3 run, cutting the deficit down to 56-49. Frey helped flip the momentum during the run by pulling up from just past the logo burying a fast-break three. On Stony Brook’s ensuing possession, an easy layup from Noll forced Nebraska head coach Fred Hoiberg to call a timeout. 

Energized by whatever Hoiberg said in the huddle, the Cornhuskers came back and outscored the Seawolves 28-14 over the remaining 12 minutes to wipe them out.

The box score accurately depicted the Seawolves’ loss. Their .379/.233/.600 shooting line was significantly trumped by Nebraska’s .550/.308/.588 split. They lost the rebounding battle 45-28 and failed to move the ball efficiently, as the Cornhuskers recorded 19 assists while they dished out just six.

Nebraska put pressure on the basket all night, scoring 42 points in the paint to Stony Brook’s 18. The Seawolves’ defense was scorched in the second half, allowing the Cornhuskers to shoot 65.5% from the floor and 55.6% from three-point territory.

Head coach Geno Ford pointed to the defensive breakdown as the top reason for the loss.

“Nebraska played at a high level in the second half, and I give them a lot of credit,” Ford said in a postgame interview with Stony Brook Athletics. “We’ve got to get better on defense, so that’s got to get corrected.”

With the absence of small forward Tyler Stephenson-Moore, Frey made the first start of his NCAA career. After scoring three points on 1-of-7 shooting in the first half, he shot 5-for-7 and tallied 12 points after halftime. He also added three steals.

Noll was right behind Frey in the scoring department, putting up 14 points on 6-for-14 shooting along with three rebounds and three steals. Maidoh put up nine points and made four of his five shots while also leading the team with eight rebounds.

Point guard Aaron Clarke and shooting guard Toby Onyekonwu both struggled. They posted identical shooting lines, with both scoring seven points on 3-of-11 shooting from the floor while going 1-for-7 from deep. Clarke co-led the team with two assists alongside Maidoh. Onyekonwu recorded two of the team’s steals.

Nebraska had four players break double-figures in scoring. Small forward Juwan Gary led all scorers with 19 points, shooting 8-for-11 from the field and 2-for-4 from three. He also pulled down seven rebounds. Point guard Brice Williams scored 17 points on 6-of-9 shooting and went 2-for-3 from three-point range while also pulling down nine rebounds and adding four assists. Mast recorded 14 points on 5-of-8 shooting and threw in eight rebounds and five assists.

Nebraska shooting guard Keisei Tominaga rounded out the team’s top scorers with 16 points on 7-of-11 shooting. He also grabbed two of his squad’s three steals.

The Seawolves will look to get the wheels turning once again when they return home to play the Rider Broncs on Monday in the Cornhusker Classic’s finale. The Broncs are 1-2 on the season after losing 64-50 to Nebraska on Monday. They will play Duquesne on Friday before the matchup with Stony Brook. Opening tip-off for Monday’s contest is scheduled for 6:31 p.m.

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About the Contributor
Kenny Spurrell
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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