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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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Men’s Basketball Continues to Struggle

With ten seconds left in the game and the Seawolves down 83-81, leading scorer Ricky Lucas grabbed a rebound and took the ball down court. Defensive pressure led to a loose ball and time expired without the Seawolves able to muster even an attempt at a game-winning shot. This type of result has become frustratingly familiar for the men’s basketball team.

The loss to Hartford dropped the Seawolves to 1-6 in 2008 and 4-15 overall. Recent losses by two, ten, seven and six points only add to the sting. ‘We have to execute at the right time,’ head coach Steve Pikiell said. ‘It has two parts, we need to execute the right play and then finish the deal.’

*Editors Note: The Seawolves lost Wednesday night 68-60 against New Hampshire, dropping their record to 4-16 overall and 1-7 in the AE conference.*

Pikiell is, of course, talking about putting the ball in the basket, something that his team has struggled mightily to do. They rank eighth out of nine teams in the America East conference in scoring. They are also 0-12 when trailing at the half, showing that it has been impossible for them to outscore their opponents in the second half of games, when they most needed to.

It’s easy to cast the harshest eye towards a team with a bad win-loss record and Coach Pikiell understands this. But in explaining the struggles of his team he gave insight into why things have turned out the way they have. ‘Stony Brook went from D-3 to D-2 to D-1 in the shortest of time frames. It was a big jump,’ he said. Pikiell, who wears his passion for basketball and his team on his sleeve said, ‘I like to say it’s like one day we were flying model airplanes and then the next day we were at the wheel of a jumbo 747 jet.’

Amidst the trials of this tough season there have been bright spots as well. Senior and tri-captain Mitchell Beauford became the tenth leading scorer in Seawolves history on Jan. 19 against Boston University.

In the tough loss against Hartford, senior and tri-captain Ricky Lucas scored 33 points, a season high. Asked about balancing the happiness of individual achievement with the disappointing of the team’s performance thus far, Lucas said, ‘You try to do what you can, individual things are great but more than anything I want to win.’

Recruiting has reaped some rewards. Speaking of a recruit without explicitly naming him, Pikiell talked about how the young man’s stat line in a high school game last week read like this: 28 points, 24 rebounds, one broken backboard. ‘He’s big, you know? He’s strong, he’s kind of an animal,’ Pikiell said.

But this season is not over and the last nine games of the season begin with a game against New Hampshire on Jan. 30. Then Stony Brook plays the eight America East teams once more.

It is in these games that coach Pikiell sees the chance for his team to improve. ‘We have to be consistent in round two, go out on the road and win some games,’ he said. To finish the season on a good note, Lucas sees the primary objective as even simpler. ‘We have to work harder and bring it everyday,’ he said.

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