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Miranda Jenkins leads the way in SBU’s win over Columbia

(MANJU SHIVACHARAN / THE STATESMAN)
Miranda Jenkins (No. 14, above) finished with 14 points in Friday’s win. (MANJU SHIVACHARAN / THE STATESMAN)

In March, redshirt junior Miranda Jenkins ruptured her right patella tendon in the semifinals of the America East Championships.

257 days later, she was back to herself in only the third game of the Stony Brook women’s basketball season, scoring 10 points in the first half to lead the Seawolves past Columbia, 82-68 at Island FCU Arena.

“My knee feels good,” Jenkins said after the win that made Stony Brook 2-1 on the young season. “I’m back to my old self, so it felt great.”

It looked pretty great early on, as a foul-stricken first half for both sides led to 32 total free throw attempts in the half.

Jenkins wreaked havoc down low, zigzagging in and out of defenders to go after rebounds, which gave her easy opportunities, and forced Columbia to foul. In the half, she got to the line four times, where she was perfect.

Jenkins finished the game with a double-double, scoring 14 points while snatching 12 rebounds and also dishing two assists.

After a terrific performance in last game’s loss against Army, senior Sabre Proctor had a quiet first half, only mustering two points in the opening 20 minutes.

While Jenkins shouldered much of the load, it would not be long before the forward would come back, and she did so with a vengeance, taking Stony Brook on a momentum swing that they would never look back from.

With 11 of the first 22 Seawolves points in the second half, Proctor started to attract more attention from the Columbia defense, leading to more room for the likes of sophomore Kori Bayne-Walker, who finished up with 14 points on the night.

Even when Proctor did not get things going down in the paint, she stepped out to the arc, where she showed that last season’s top-notch three-point shooting was no fluke, hitting two on the night in her 19-point game.

Coach Caroline McCombs, after a rough offensive first half in which her team just could not seem to get the ball to bounce the right way, was happy with the second-half effort.

“I’m just really proud of how we persevered through a lot of things in the second half,” McCombs said. “I thought that as a group everybody really contributed in some way.”

As tremendous as Proctor was in the second half, it was a team effort, as the Seawolves scored an unheard of 52 points in the frame.

Junior Brittany Snow, who was working hard in the paint the whole game, found her way to the line for her efforts, leading to a 12-point half herself.

“I thought that we started making some reads,” McCombs said about the team’s second half showing.  “It was just about our girls having some composure on the offensive end and then just buckling down and getting stops on defense.”

For the most part, the Seawolves were able to do just that, keeping a tight hold on much of Columbia’s offensive production all night.

The exceptions were Tori Oliver and Camille Zimmerman, who scored 30 and 24 points, respectively, accounting for 79 percent of Columbia’s scoring output on the night.

The Seawolves will look to stay on track with a quick turnaround, as they hope to bring a pre-Thanksgiving treat to campus on Monday night.

McCombs and company welcome Bradley of the Missouri Valley Conference for a 7 p.m. contest, the Seawolves’ last game before heading to North Carolina for their toughest game of the year, a Friday matchup with national-powerhouse Duke.

On Sunday, SBU will have a road matchup against Iona.

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