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Stony Brook men’s basketball defeated in Battle of Long Island

Power forward Andre Snoddy takes a contested layup through two Hofstra defenders on Monday, Jan. 22. Snoddy posted his first double-double with Stony Brook on Monday night. BRITTNEY DIETZ/THE STATESMAN

Once again, the Stony Brook men’s basketball team failed to finish and let the game slip in the second half.

The Seawolves (9-10, 2-4 CAA) hosted the Hofstra Pride (10-9, 3-3 CAA) on Monday night in the 33rd edition of the Battle of Long Island. Hot shooting by Hofstra erased Stony Brook’s halftime lead and handed it an 80-74 loss at Island Federal Arena.

The Seawolves came out ice cold, as they shot just 1-for-12 from the field to put themselves into a 15-4 hole within the first seven minutes. Following a miss from deep by center Keenan Fitzmorris, power forward Andre Snoddy raced across the court to grab a long offensive rebound and drove it back inside before laying it in. Snoddy’s energy play was a sign of things to come, as Stony Brook went on a 24-2 extended run with a couple of tough finishes inside by center Chris Maidoh and point guard Dean Noll.

Maidoh and Noll kept the Seawolves’ fans rowdy during the run. Early on, Noll dropped Hofstra shooting guard Tyler Thomas onto his back before draining down a step-back three-pointer to ignite the crowd. As for Maidoh, he knocked down four layups through traffic over centers Jacco Fritz and Silas Sunday, including an and-one to cap the run and give Stony Brook a nine-point lead.

Facing their largest deficit of the night, the Pride’s big three — point guard Jaquan Carlos, power forward Darlinstone Dubar and Thomas — got them back into it. Over the final six minutes of the half, Dubar scored 10 points while Thomas hit a three and Carlos nailed a running hook shot to cut the Seawolves’ lead to 37-32 by the break.

Stony Brook continued to roll offensively after halftime, as point guard Aaron Clarke grew its lead back to eight points with a deep three in Carlos’ face just under four minutes in. However, Carlos returned the favor and drilled a pair of threes to bookend a 12-5 run, shaving the Seawolves’ lead down to just a point with 11:21 left.

Over the next three minutes, a pair of contested layups by Snoddy and another tough finish by Clarke kept Stony Brook in control, but it never grew its cushion larger than five points. After a mid-range jump shot by Thomas got Hofstra back within a point, the Seawolves fell apart. They went into a scoreless drought, allowing two scores by Dubar and a layup by small forward German Plotnikov to give the Pride a 64-59 lead with 5:09 to play.

The teams traded baskets over the following few minutes, but a layup by Hofstra small forward Bryce Washington buried Stony Brook with an eight-point deficit with just 2:12 remaining.

A pair of free throws by small forward Tyler Stephenson-Moore and a layup by Snoddy made it a two-score game with 1:14 left, setting up a crucial defensive possession for the Seawolves. In a three-on-one fast break, Washington drove the lane and was stripped by Snoddy, who batted the loose ball out to Noll. After a spin move to lose the defender, Noll went coast to coast and finished at the rim to cut their deficit to just three points with a minute remaining.

After a miss and a make from the free-throw line by Carlos, Noll hit a pair on the other end to make it 73-71 with 44 seconds left. Just four seconds later, a pair of makes from the foul line by Carlos doubled the Pride’s lead.

On the ensuing possession, after failing to attack the basket quickly, Stony Brook settled with a contested three-pointer from shooting guard Jared Frey with 28 seconds remaining. His shot banged off the front of the rim, allowing Hofstra to put the game away from the charity stripe.

Despite the questionable shot selection on the crucial possession, head coach Geno Ford was not upset about Frey’s decision.

“If he’s not going to shoot that, we can’t have him in,” Ford said in a postgame press conference. “He was open. That wasn’t out of his range. I mean, was it deep? Yeah. But that’s what he brings to the table for us.”

Late-game defensive struggles haunted the Seawolves once again, as the Pride shot 64% from the field and made five of their eight threes in the second half. Monday’s loss marked the third conference loss that Stony Brook has suffered after taking a lead into the second half. 

Ford said that the issue is urgent and must be addressed. 

“We have not been able to stop anybody in the second half,” Ford said. “That has to get corrected, and we just haven’t been able to correct it. Until we figure it out, it’s not going to get any easier.” 

Stephenson-Moore locked up Thomas — the fourth-leading scorer in the nation. He scored just 11 points on 5-of-16 shooting and was 1-for-6 from deep. To make up for Thomas’ struggles, Dubar dropped 30 points on 11-of-14 shooting. He tacked on 11 rebounds, three assists and two blocks while playing all 40 minutes. Carlos tallied 23 points on 50% shooting, six assists, three rebounds and a steal — also without receiving any rest. 

Noll’s 19 points led the Seawolves on 6-of-16 shooting. After going into a nasty three-week slump, Noll has averaged 12.8 points on a .451/.357/1.000 shooting line over the last five games.

He credits his hot streak to his self-confidence.

“Just trust the work,” Noll said. “It is what it is. Sometimes shots just aren’t going to fall. No excuses, just have to keep playing.”

Snoddy’s 17 points on 8-of-9 shooting and 11 rebounds were all season-highs. It was his first double-double in a Stony Brook jersey.

Though Stephenson-Moore was effective in slowing down Thomas, he struggled on the offensive side with just nine points on 2-of-9 shooting, including 1-for-7 from deep.

After back-to-back losses, the Seawolves will remain home and look to bounce back on Thursday against the Monmouth Hawks. Opening tip-off is scheduled for 6:31 p.m. The Hawks are 10-9 overall and 3-3 in conference play after an 85-77 victory over Hampton on Saturday.

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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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