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Stony Brook men’s basketball opens doors to ice-cold William & Mary

The Stony Brook men’s basketball team gathers around head coach Geno Ford (right) during a timeout against North Carolina A&T on Thursday, Feb. 22. The Seawolves will host William & Mary tomorrow afternoon. MACKENZIE YADDAW/THE STATESMAN

As the regular season nears its end, the Stony Brook men’s basketball team will play host to the owner of the longest losing streak in the Coastal Athletic Association (CAA).

The Seawolves (15-13, 8-7 CAA) will take on the William & Mary Tribe (7-21, 3-12 CAA) at Island Federal Arena on Saturday afternoon. Opening tip-off is scheduled for 1 p.m. The two teams met earlier in the season, with Stony Brook stealing a 63-59 win on the road thanks to a clutch three-pointer by point guard Aaron Clarke.

Coming into the previous matchup, William & Mary had won two of its first three conference games. The Tribe have gone 1-11 since then, with the loss to the Seawolves sparking a four-game losing streak. After squeaking out a four-point victory over Northeastern on Jan. 27 to snap out of it, another seven consecutive losses followed, and that slump is still active.

William & Mary’s 69.7 points per game are the third fewest in the CAA, getting there on the secondlowest shooting percentages from both the field (.415) and from three (.316). Owning the third-slowest pace in the league only hurts the Tribe, as they attempt just 57.1 shots per game.

William & Mary does have a go-to scorer, but rather a group of players that share the load. Shooting guard Trey Moss leads the team in scoring with 13.5 points per game, but small forward Gabe Dorsey and point guard Chase Lowe both average within a point of him at 13.3 and 12.6, respectively.

The Tribe are without power forward Noah Collier, who averaged 13 points through the first three games before suffering a season-ending injury. Small forward Jack Karasinski — a 6-foot-7 floor-spacer — is also out for the year with an injury suffered in December.

Moss, Dorsey and Lowe all have their weaknesses when it comes to efficiency. Moss shoots 41.5% from the field and 73.1% from the free-throw line, but his 27.0% average from range is a glaring weakness. Lowe is also not a threat from downtown, as he has only taken one attempt from there this season. Dorsey is a good standstill shooter, as he has shot 36.4% from deep and 92.4% from the charity stripe, but his 39.1% overall figure is below league average.

Despite averaging only 7.4 points per game this season, shooting guard Sean Houpt led the way for William & Mary in its last meeting with Stony Brook. He scored a season-high 17 points, shooting 6-for-8 from the field and 5-for-6 from three-point range.

Lowe has been the team’s lead facilitator this year with 2.8 assists per game, followed by Moss’ 2.2. However, 6-foot-10 center Charlie Williams — the Tribe’s tallest player — has also been an active playmaker, dishing out 2.5 dimes per game. Unfortunately for them, Williams has been out with an injury since Feb. 8 and may not play on Saturday.

To make up for Williams’ missing production in the ball-movement department, point guard Jayden Lemond has been playing more recently. Lemond is a 6-foot-4 freshman who has played only 8.5 minutes per game this year, but has averaged 12 over the last three. He is more of a slasher than a jump-shooter, as he has attempted only four three-pointers thus far but has shot 52.9% from the field.

The Tribe’s deficiencies on the perimeter benefit the Seawolves, who have struggled to defend threes this year. This year, opponents have shot 35.5% from beyond the arc against them, the second-worst mark in the league.

However, from within the three-point line, Stony Brook’s defense has been respectable. Its .431 opponent field goal percentage is the sixth best in the league. Its scoring defense has seasawed between above and below average this season, and it currently ranks eighth in the CAA with 72.5 points allowed per game.

Centers Chris Maidoh and Keenan Fitzmorris anchor the Seawolves’ defensive unit. The 6-foot-10 Maidoh averages 1.0 steals and 0.8 blocks per game. The 7-foot Fitzmorris’ 1.0 rejections per contest rank ninth in the conference.

Small forwards Tyler Stephenson-Moore and Sabry Philip along with shooting guard Dean Noll headline Stony Brook’s perimeter defensive unit. Noll averages 1.5 steals per game — the fifth most in the CAA. Stephenson-Moore’s 1.1 steals per game and 0.6 blocks per game are both career-high averages. Both Stephenson-Moore and Philip have been the team’s most reliable when it comes to limiting opposing scorers on the wing and halting fast-break opportunities.

The Seawolves guarded William & Mary well in the last meeting, holding it to a .345/.333/.786 shooting line.

Stephenson-Moore is also one of Stony Brook’s most lethal players on the offensive side of the ball. He is coming off a career-high 28-point performance against North Carolina A&T on Thursday. He is the CAA’s eighth-leading scorer with 15.7 points per game on a .441/.411/.816 triple slash. He struggled last time around against the Tribe, scoring 12 points on 4-of-11 shooting, including 0-for-4 from three.

Clarke was also neutralized the last time around against William & Mary, scoring only five points on 2-of-9 shooting. He is the Seawolves’ second-leading scorer at 13.0 points per game on a .399/.333/.769 shooting line. He also leads them with 2.8 assists per game. He has been red-hot as a facilitator, averaging six assists over the last five games.

Noll had one of his best games with Stony Brook in the last meeting with the Tribe, scoring a season-high 19 points while grabbing six rebounds, four assists and two steals. He averages 10.1 points per game along with 2.1 assists. Shooting guard Jared Frey is the only other player on the team who averages at least 2.0 assists per game.

Fitzmorris is the Seawolves’ third-leading scorer at 10.8 points per game on a .510/.333/.798 triple slash but was held to only seven points in the previous matchup. His partner in crime — Maidoh — has been a useful weapon in the paint, as he is averaging 6.9 points per game on 53.5% shooting. To help space the floor out for them, Frey is shooting 36.4% from deep on 107 tries, which has helped Stony Brook become the sixth-best three-point shooting team in the CAA at 34.1%.

Despite Fitzmorris’ offensive abilities, he often leaves a lot to be desired on the glass. He only had one rebound in the previous matchup between these two teams, which could be costly if repeated this time around.

The Seawolves barely won the rebounding battle last time, grabbing 33 to William & Mary’s 31. Stony Brook is one of the better rebounding teams in the CAA, as it ranks fifth with 36.3 per game. The Tribe have pulled down the eighth-most boards per contest in the conference with 35.0.

Leading the fight for rebounds on Stony Brook’s behalf will be power forward Andre Snoddy, who has pulled down 7.4 per game this year, which ranks seventh in the league. Maidoh is the team’s second-leading rebounder at 5.8 per contest, followed by Fitzmorris’ 4.4.

The 6-foot-5 Lowe is William & Mary’s leading rebounder, as his seven per game are the ninth most in the CAA. Power forward Caleb Dorsey — Gabe Dorsey’s older brother — uses his 6-foot-8 frame to grab 5.8 rebounds per game. Small forward Matteus Case is third amongst active players on the team with 4.0 boards per contest.

Lowe being the Tribe’s leading rebounder is indicative of their lack of size, which also leads to a lack of rim-protection. They are last in the conference in blocks, only recording 1.6 per game as a team. Center Tai Hamilton leads them with 0.9 rejections per game.

William & Mary is also last in the CAA with 4.6 steals per game as a team. Lowe paces the team with 0.9 steals per game.

Based on the numbers, the Seawolves have every reason to win this game. However, with how desperate the Tribe are, and with how up and down Stony Brook has been, there is no guaranteeing what will occur tomorrow.

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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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