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Late-game shooting drought costs Stony Brook men’s basketball in overtime loss

Point guard Dean Noll takes a jump shot from the top of the key against Charleston on Saturday, Jan. 6. Noll led the Stony Brook men’s basketball team in scoring on Thursday night at Towson. ANGELINA LIVIGNI/THE STATESMAN

A comeback victory was in sight for the Stony Brook men’s basketball team, but missing its final 10 shots sealed its fate.

The Seawolves (8-8, 1-2 CAA) had a chance to snap the Towson Tigers’ (9-7, 2-1 CAA) streak of 12-straight home wins on Thursday night, but squandered the opportunity in overtime. A steal and score by point guard Dean Noll in the final minute of regulation forced the extra period, but a dreary finish left Stony Brook with a 73-64 loss. 

Noll raced out the gate with seven points on 3-of-3 shooting, giving the Seawolves an early 14-8 lead. However, a trio of three-pointers by the Tigers carried them on a 13-0 run, handing them a seven-point advantage with nine minutes left in the first half. Stony Brook stayed within striking distance for the remainder of the frame, but more effective three-point shooting from Towson point guard Dylan Williamson kept his team up 33-28 by the break.

Just over five minutes into the second half, a technological malfunction with the shot clock caused a delay for over 30 minutes. Play resumed once the basket was replaced, and center Keenan Fitzmorris immediately broke it in by draining a hook shot.

The Tigers maintained control for the first eight minutes, but the Seawolves scored seven unanswered points and took the lead back with a triple from point guard Aaron Clarke. Towson snagged the lead right back with back-to-back mid-range jump shots from small forward Messiah Jones and power forward Tyler Tejada.

Stony Brook trailed for much of the second half’s remainder, but buckets by five different scorers kept the team within at least two possessions during the home stretch. The fifth score — a mid-range jumper by small forward Tyler Stephenson-Moore — cut the score to just 60-58 with 2:13 left.

Turnovers and misses by both sides preserved the score until the final 30 seconds. With 35.8 seconds left, Williamson inbounded the ball to center Charles Thompson, but was stripped by Noll before crossing half court. Noll raced down the floor and layed it in the tie the game at 60 apiece. The Tigers had a chance to win it, but Williamson misfired on the final shot.

Head coach Geno Ford was pleased with the fight his team showed while trailing in regulation.

“We really battled and gave ourselves a chance to win the game,” Ford said in a postgame interview with Stony Brook Athletics. “It was a back-and-forth game all night and we dug in and got two huge stops to force overtime.”

The Seawolves answered Towson’s first four points in overtime, but what started as a competitive period did not remain one. It was all Tigers the rest of the way, as they went on a 9-0 run behind a three-pointer by Tejada and five free throws from shooting guard Nendah Tarke to close out the game. Stony Brook was blanked on its final 10 shots and went scoreless over the last 3:31 of play.

Noll improved on his solid bounceback from last Saturday, scoring a team-high 15 points on 7-of-12 shooting. He pulled down four rebounds and snagged two steals in the showing.

Outside of the play of Noll, no other Seawolves were very impactful in the scoring column. Clarke was their only other player to crack double-digit scoring figures, tallying 11 points while shooting 4-for-11 from the field and 1-for-6 from deep.

As a team, they posted a .422/.211/.500 shooting line while surrendering a .446/.400/.619 triple slash on defense. Stony Brook failed to move the ball as well, collecting just five assists to Towson’s 14.

Ford was critical about his team’s offense, and cited that improvement is needed to compete with future conference matchups.

“Dean played well, but we didn’t have anyone else get in an offensive flow,” Ford said. “Every game will be a dogfight; every team that we play right now is good. We just have to stick with it and make one to two more plays to flip the result.”

Center Chris Maidoh led the team with nine rebounds and three steals while also blocking one shot. Power forward Andre Snoddy had a good night in limited touches, scoring six points on 2-of-3 shooting and connecting on his only three-point attempt. Snoddy also pulled down six rebounds.

Tejada led all scorers with 16 points off the bench, shooting 5-for-10 from the field and 3-for-5 from deep. Behind Tejada was Williamson with 14 points, Tarke with 13 and Thompson with 12. Thompson led his group with eight rebounds, four assists, three steals and two blocks but shot just 2-for-7 from the free-throw line.

Now under .500 in Coastal Athletic Association (CAA) play, the Seawolves will look to turn things around on Saturday against the William & Mary Tribe down in Virginia. Opening tip-off is scheduled for 1 p.m. The Tribe are 7-9 this season and 2-1 in conference play after defeating Hampton 73-61 on Thursday.

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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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