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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


Men’s Basketball defeats Vermont 65-48

Rouse key off the bench, SBU now holds two game lead of 1st place


The Stony Brook men’s basketball team defeated the University of Vermont Catamounts on Friday evening in front of a sell-out crowd 65-48 cementing its first-place standing in the America East with a conference record of 10-2 and an overall record of 19-6 with four games left in the season.

“Our defense was where we wanted it to be,” head coach Steve Pikiell said after the game. “We’ve got a long way to go here.”

Vermont was last year’s conference tournament champion, winning the game on Stony Brook’s home court last year. The Catamounts also dealt the Seawolves their first conference loss of the season last month.

“It’s always good to get a win against them,” senior forward Tommy Brenton said; he totaled 13 points, six assists and six rebounds.

The Catamounts edged ahead of the Seawolves early in the game, but neither team was able to go on a run. Then senior guard Marcus Rouse hit two three-pointers in a row to drive the crowd into a frenzy. Coming off the bench, Rouse scored a game-high 16 points.

Marcus Rouse goes for a lay-up against Vermont's Clancy Rugg during the first half. Rouse finished with 16 points. Photo by Nina Lin.
Marcus Rouse goes for a lay-up against Vermont’s Clancy Rugg during the first half. Rouse finished with 16 points. Photo by Nina Lin.

“I played such a terrible game against Vermont last time, so I had to redeem myself,” he said with a laugh. “I’ve accepted my role; coach said that I would be instant offense off of the bench.”

Overall, the Stony Brook bench scored 26 points, twice as many as Vermont’s would.

“Our depth has always been importance to us. Rouse is a key guy coming off it,” Pikiell said. “I play 10 guys. When you play defense the way we play defense, you need 10 guys. It bodes well in the future.”

Vermont kept the game close, going on a 6-0 run to reduce its deficit to 20-19. But Stony Brook responded with a 7-0 run of its own. It pushed ahead to have a 35-29 going into the locker room at halftime.

The Seawolves proceeded to clamp down on the Catamounts in the second half, allowing them to score only 19 points for the remainder of the game, or 24.1 percent shooting. By comparison, the Seawolves  made half of their shots in the second half.

Making a strong showing in the second half was freshman forward Jameel Warney, who scored 10 of Stony Brook’s 30 points in that period.

“You start seeing chances open up, and we did such a good job attacking the rim in the second half,” he said, highlighting the fact that other teams putting multiple people to defend him. “Our team is talented enough to score without me having the input. [The defense] have to pick their poison.”

During the half, the Seawolves went on an 11-point run to secure for themselves a 55-37 lead. They established a lead that Vermont would be unable to overcome. They were able to coast to another victory with the added blessing of defeating the second-ranked team in the conference.

The Seawolves brought home a victory earlier in the week too with a win against Binghamton 73-47 on Tuesday night.

“We played Stony Brook defense and we rebounded,” head coach Steve Pikiell said. “It was a great team effort all the way around.”

After taking a 39-26 lead into halftime, the Seawolves did not give Binghamton any glimmer of hope to start the second half. Stony Brook started the half on a 9-0 run, which included two three-pointers by junior guard Anthony Jackson, and took a commanding 22-point lead. From there, Stony Brook only continued to build upon its lead as it grew to as high as 34 points at one point.

Stony Brook’s ball movement was strong all night, and the team did a good job of finding the open man, allowing it to make nine three-pointers on the night, including six in the second half. The Seawolves shot 43.5 percent overall in the game, and held the Bearcats to 29.4 percent from the field.

The Seawolves got contributions from many different players in this game. Junior guard Dave Coley led all scorers with 15 points, nine of which came in the first half. Jackson had 12 points. The Stony Brook backcourt was strong all evening, registering a season-high 19 assists against just 11 turnovers.

Senior forward Tommy Brenton was dominant on the boards all night, grabbing five offensive rebounds and a total of 14 boards overall. His work on the boards was one of the major reasons Stony Brook was able to score 17 second-chance points. Freshman forward Jameel Warney also added nine points and five rebounds.

Anthony Jackson had 12 points, all three-pointers, against Binghamton on Wednesday. Photo by Kenneth Ho.
Anthony Jackson had 12 points, all three-pointers, against Binghamton on Wednesday. Photo by Kenneth Ho.

The Seawolves also got a major spark from their bench in the form of two of their backup guards. Freshman guard Carson Puriefoy once again was able to use his speed and quick passing to break down the Binghamton defense. He finished with 12 points and six assists in just 18 minutes.”I was trying to attack and get my teammates involved,” Puriefoy said. “They were in the right spots, and I just got them the ball and they converted.”

Senior guard Marcus Rouse also gave Stony Brook nine points off three shots made from behind the arc. He is now in ninth place all time in Stony Brook’s Division I career three pointers list.

Stony Brook will next play the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, at home at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 19. It will be the second-to-last home game of the season. 

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