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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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Women’s basketball rolls into conference final game

Teasha Harris started for the first month or so of the season before being relegated to coming off the bench. In the semifinals of the America East tournament against the University of New Hampshire, the Seawolves needed all she could give off the bench, and she gave it, helping lead the way to a dominant victory over the third seed 79-59.

After falling behind 7-2 against the Kelsey Hogan-led Wildcats, Stony Brook needed a spark. Harris energized the team from the moment she stepped on the floor, doing what Coach Beth O’Boyle has begged the team to do all season long: get the ball to the basket.

Getting on the scoreboard with a three-pointer, Harris began to dribble her way through traffic to get a variety of layups in the paint, leading the team’s first half effort. The guard ended up leading the team with a massive 16 points and two rebounds in the win.

Harris knew heading into the game that it would be important to get to the rim, saying, “we just had a real big focus on getting to the rim as much as we could,” and the team as a whole certainly succeeded with that.

Even when the Seawolves could not convert in the paint, they attacked the boards to dominate the second-chance opportunities department, grabbing 16 more boards than the Wildcats in the first half alone. Not having their finest shooting day, Stony Brook maintained their hard-working aggression down low, with everybody contributing to the physical effort to maintain possession of the basketball.

Regardless of whether or not they could put the ball in the hoop, the team as a whole did a good job of at least getting to the free throw line, getting 21 attempts, converting on a terrific 18 of those to really pull away from New Hampshire. When a team gets 17 more tries from the free throw stripe, it is more than likely that good things will come.

Stony Brook’s usual suspects did their usual thing in this matchup, as Chikilra Goodman led the starters with a key double- double, adding 13 points and 11 rebounds in the big win. For a point guard to be flying underneath the basket to pick off missed shots and put them back up shows just how competitive the Seawolves are.

The large rebounding margin from the first half ballooned in the second, as once again Stony Brook hit the glass to grab a massive 23 more boards than the Wildcats, 13 more on the offensive side of the ball. Advancing to play Albany, which is known for its play down low, it will be of the utmost importance to keep battling in the paint to win the battle of the boards.

Stony Brook had a total of five players in double figures, as Jessica Ogunnorin, Sabre Proctor and Kori Bayne-Walker also got in on the scoring act.

Ogunnorin, a junior guard, was a  key contributor in all facets of the game, adding a massive 14 points with seven boards, while playing tough defense on the Wildcats with a steal and a block in the game.

Ogunnorin will be a key as the Seawolves match up with Albany, as she scored 18 points in their win over the Great Danes in the final game of the regular season, snapping the team’s 39-game conference winning streak.

Stony Brook’s leading scorer all year has been another junior, Proctor, and she once agains was a major contributor, pouring in 13 points to go with her three rebounds, two of which were on the offensive glass. As New Hampshire fought to stay in the game, Proctor peeled off of her defender to receive a nice pass from Bayne-Walker that she converted into a layup, which really blew the game wide open.

That wasn’t the only nice dish for Bayne-Walker, as the freshman connected with teammates all game long, adding to her 10-point performance with 4 assists and a rebound.

The guard has been a key throughout conference play, sparking the offense by constantly getting to the rim, much like Harris did, getting to the line 8 times in the game.

Coach O’Boyle completed an amazing turnaround in her third year as Stony brook’s head coach, not only advancing to the championship game of the America East tournament, but clinching the team’s first postseason birth since the 2005-2006 season.

Regardless of the outcome of tomorrow night’s matchup, a 4.pm. game against the Great Danes on their home floor, Stony Brook will at least be heading to the WNIT.

Coach O’Boyle was extremely happy with the way her team contained one of the most dynamic players in the conference in Hogan, as she said, “We knew that we would have to play a great game,” and that she was, “really impressed with our team’s ability to get up and defend.”

Four wins in year one, and now the Seawolves have 24 in year three.

One more and the Seawolves will become the first Stony Brook basketball team, men’s or women’s to get to the NCAA tournament.

With the win Stony Brook advances to AE final game. Photo by Mehmet Temmel
With the win Stony Brook advances to AE final game. Photo by Mehmet Temmel
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