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The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


Stony Brook men’s basketball blows double-digit lead in loss to Delaware

Power forward Andre Snoddy brings the ball up the court against Charleston on Saturday, Jan. 6. Snoddy had an efficient game in a loss to Delaware on Thursday. ANGELINA LIVIGNI/THE STATESMAN

Despite taking a double-digit point lead into the second half, the Stony Brook men’s basketball team once again crumbled in the closing minutes.

It was a familiar story for the Seawolves (9-9, 2-3 CAA), who failed to finish off the Delaware Blue Hens (11-7, 3-2 CAA) on Thursday night in Delaware. Stony Brook led by as much as 12 points in the second half, but costly turnovers and undisciplined defense plummeted it to a 71-68 loss.

Delaware came out firing on both ends, scoring from all three levels while forcing turnovers on defense. With 13:52 left in the first period, shooting guard Gerald Drumgoole Jr. knocked down a contested, step-back jump shot to cap a 13-0 run and put his team up 17-7.

However, the Seawolves quickly found their rhythm thereafter by pounding the paint at every chance they had. Power forward Andre Snoddy and point guard Dean Noll carried a big run with a trio of crisp layups sandwiched by a pair of mid-range buckets from shooting guard Jared Frey. Center Chris Maidoh finished the 16-6 run with a mean put-back dunk before finishing with a crafty hook shot to tie the game at 23 apiece with 5:29 to play before halftime.

On the ensuing possession, the Blue Hens went back on top when center Jyáre Davis responded with a pull-up jumper. Davis’ make brought their last points of the first half, as Stony Brook closed the period with a 12-0 run highlighted by a four-point play from small forward Tyler Stephenson-Moore. The scoring streak gave the Seawolves a 10-point lead at the break.

Davis did everything in his power to keep Delaware in the game by scoring 10 points through the first eight minutes of the second half, cutting Stony Brook’s advantage in half. The Seawolves answered with layups on back-to-back possessions from Maidoh and Noll, but the Blue Hens continued to build momentum by drawing fouls against some handsy defense.

Delaware small forward Niels Lane got to the free-throw line on consecutive possessions and made all four shots to make it a two-point game with just over eight minutes left. After center Keenan Fitzmorris gave Stony Brook some cushion with a layup, Drumgoole Jr. and Davis were sent to the line on the Blue Hens’ next two approaches. Drumgoole Jr. made one of two while Davis hit both to make it a one-point contest.

Over the next two minutes, the teams matched each other until a three-pointer by Delaware center Tyler Houser and a pair of free throws by Davis gave their team a 62-60 lead. Stephenson-Moore tied things up with a mid-range jumper, but Davis responded with one of his own. After Fitzmorris put the Seawolves back on top, Davis answered once again.

Down by two points with just 54 seconds left, Fitzmorris was sent to the line with a chance to tie the game once more, but he missed the second free throw and Davis controlled the rebound. Needing a stop on the other end, Stony Brook allowed Delaware to chew the shot clock all the way down before power forward Christian Ray drained a jumper from the top of the paint to make it 68-65.

With less than 20 seconds to play, Noll drove all the way down to the shot corner and tried to back his way into the post, but the Blue Hens got the stop they needed. Shooting guard Cavan Reilly poked the ball away from him and got the steal, leading to an intentional foul on Drumgoole Jr. Delaware iced the game from the charity stripe to seal the comeback.

Dejected by the meltdown, head coach Geno Ford attributed the loss to poor defense against Davis, who scored 29 points on 8-of-14 shooting and pulled down 17 rebounds.

“Tough loss,” Ford said in a postgame interview with Stony Brook Athletics. “We played really hard. We were unable to stop [Jyáre] Davis, which meant we were going to have to score every time we touched the ball, which we were unable to do.”

Stephenson-Moore led the Seawolves in scoring with 15 points on 5-of-13 shooting from the field, including 2-for-8 from beyond the arc. He also had four rebounds and a team-leading three assists. Point guard Aaron Clarke scored 11 points but struggled to just a 5-of-17 overall line, 1-of-8 of which was from deep. Snoddy poured in 13 points while shooting 5-for-6 shooting from the field and hauling in a team-best nine boards.

Overall, Stony Brook shot just 3-for-19 from three and 1-for-10 in the second half. It was also poor in transition, as it allowed 20 points off turnovers. However, the key factor in the loss was the free-throw disparity. Delaware attempted zero free throws in the first half and 22 in the second, making 19. Davis led the effort by going 12-for-12 from the line.

Usually the sixth man, Drumgoole Jr. got the start and put up 17 points on 6-of-13 shooting, including 3-of-4 from downtown.

The Seawolves will get a longer rest period this time and return to action on Monday for the Battle of Long Island. They will welcome the Hofstra Pride to Island Federal Arena for the first of a three-game homestand. The Pride are also 9-9 overall and 2-3 in Coastal Athletic Association (CAA) play after defeating Hampton 86-77 on Thursday. Opening tip-off is set for 9 p.m.

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