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Stony Brook men’s basketball destroyed by Michigan State

Point guard Dean Noll pump fakes a shot against Norfolk State on Wednesday, Dec. 13. Noll led the Stony Brook men’s basketball team with four steals against Michigan State on Friday. BRITTNEY DIETZ/THE STATESMAN

Nothing went right for the Stony Brook men’s basketball team, who was obliterated to kick off its holiday weekend.

The Seawolves (6-6) found themselves on the wrong side of a 99-55 blowout in East Lansing, Mich. on Thursday night at the hands of the Michigan State Spartans (7-5, 0-2 Big Ten). With a lid sitting on the hoop all night long, Stony Brook never gave itself a chance to get into it.

The first half was one to forget for the Seawolves, as the Spartans quickly jumped out to a 20-2 lead through the first six minutes. Michigan State shooting guard Tyson Walker had his fingerprints all over the game, scoring eight points from all three levels during the opening run.

The Spartans capitalized off Stony Brook’s misses and turnovers, pushing the pace and finding the open man on the fast break. A three-pointer from power forward Andre Snoddy and a layup from center Chris Maidoh revived the offense for a brief moment, but the Spartans answered with another run.

After the Seawolves’ rare buckets, Michigan State point guard Jeremy Fears Jr. pushed it up the court to Walker, who raced to the basket and knocked down a layup in transition. Walker’s score sparked a streak of 13 unanswered points that was broken by a dunk from Maidoh with 6:28 left in the first half. Unfazed, the Spartans rattled off another 12 consecutive points, starting with a three-pointer by Walker off an aggressive assist by point guard Tre Holloman just seven seconds after Maidoh’s slam.

A three-pointer by small forward Tyler Stephenson-Moore broke the scoring spree with 1:22 left in the first half. For good measure, Michigan State small forward Jaden Akins answered with a three of his own during the half’s final minute to enter the locker rooms up 48-12.

The game was over by that point, but Stony Brook showed some fight in the second half. After shooting 13.5% from the field in the first half, the Seawolves’ offense finally made some shots. A fast-break three-pointer from shooting guard Jared Frey just 70 seconds into the second half cut Stony Brook’s deficit to 31, which was as close as it got for the rest of the night.

Around eight and a half minutes into the second period, back-to-back threes by Akins and power forward Xavier Booker secured the Spartans’ 40-plus-point cushion. It shrunk only as small as 41 points, as Michigan State never took its foot off the gas and secured the decimation. 

The Spartans rode the fast break all night long, scoring 27 points in transition — including 19 in the first half — while only allowing 12. By getting good looks and keeping a fast pace, they shot 59.4% from the field and 38.7% against the Seawolves’ defense.

Akins led all scorers with 22 points on 9-of-12 shooting, including 4-of-7 three-point shooting. Walker trailed him with 17 points while shooting 7-for-12 and adding two steals.

Michigan State point guard A.J. Hoggard dropped a double-double with 12 points on 4-of-6 shooting and 10 assists. He also swiped a pair of steals. Booker scored 11 points off the bench while shooting 4-for-9 and leading the team with seven rebounds and three blocks.

Other notable contributors for the Spartans include Fears Jr., Holloman and small forward Coen Carr. Fears Jr. had 10 assists and five rebounds in 21 minutes off the bench, while Holloman racked up six points while shooting 2-for-5, pulled down six rebounds and dished out six assists. Carr scored eight points on 100% shooting along with a team-co-leading three blocks.

Center Keenan Fitzmorris led Stony Brook with 10 points on 4-of-9 shooting. He also hauled in six rebounds. Maidoh led the team with seven rebounds. Point guard Dean Noll’s four steals led all players, and fellow point guard Aaron Clarke’s three assists were a team-best total.

The Seawolves will now get a full seven days off for Christmas break and return to action at Island Federal Arena on Friday, Dec. 29 against the Brown Bears. The Bears are 3-9 this year and will match up with Siena on Friday, Dec. 22 before their meeting with Stony Brook. The contest will serve as the Seawolves’ nonconference finale.

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