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Women’s basketball falls to Duke and Iona

(HEATHER CANNON / THE STATESMAN)
Kori Bayne-Walker (above, No. 5) had nine points and four assists in the Seawolves’ Friday-night matchup against the Duke Blue Devils. The Seawolves would go on to lose the game, 72-42. (HEATHER CANNON / THE STATESMAN)

In the most daunting game of their 2014-15 schedule, the Stony Brook women’s basketball team was routed by Duke, 72-42, on Friday night.

The eighth-ranked Blue Devils took an 11-0 lead out of the gates at Cameron Indoor Stadium and the Seawolves were unable to mount a comeback.

Duke, which had four players reach double digits, was led by Oderah Chidom. The sophomore forward had 13 points and 11 rebounds, posting a double-double coming off the bench.

Sabre Proctor led the Seawolves with 12 points in the contest. Kori Bayne-Walker also added nine points and four assists.

Stony Brook was able to rebound from their difficult start, and managed  to stick with Duke for much of the first half. After falling down 11-0, the Seawolves went on a 16-10 run, and with 4:15 remaining in the opening half, only trailed by five points.

But, the imposing size of the home team ultimately proved to be much for Stony Brook. Duke played six players standing six-feet-three-inches or taller, while the tallest Seawolf receiving significant minutes was six-foot-one-inch Jessica Ogunnorin.

Exposing the height advantage in the match-up, the Blue Devils out-rebounded the SBU 56-31 in the contest and had ten blocked shots as a team.

Stony Brook played effective defense for most of the game, holding Duke to its lowest point total and its lowest field goal percentage (.406) of the season.

Just one night after Jameel Warney reached the 1,000-point mark for his collegiate career at SBU, Proctor was able to hit the same milestone in Friday’s game against Duke. Proctor topped the 1,000 point plateau with a three-pointer early in the second half.

On Sunday afternoon, the Seawolves continued to struggle in games played away from Island FCU Arena, when they fell on the road to Iona by the score of 73-62.

The Seawolves came out of the gate hot, starting 8-12 from the field, and held an 18-11 lead with as little as 10 minutes left in the first half. However, a three-pointer by Iona’s Damika Martinez—who had 29 points in the game–at the 9:59 mark sparked a 16-0 run by Iona and helped Iona build a nine-point lead that they would not surrender the rest of the game.

From that point on, it seemed every time the Seawolves would make a run and pull within a couple possessions, Iona would counter and extend its lead to double digits.

This is evidenced by the 6-0 run Stony Brook finished the first half off with being answered with 12-6 run by the Gaels to open the second half. Despite the setback, Stony Brook battled back again, cutting the lead to six and making it 38-32 before Iona pushed back by going on its own 18-6 run and effectively ending the game.

The Seawolves were once again led by Proctor, who had 17 points and was one of three Seawolves who scored in double figures. Even though Stony Brook was balanced offensively and doubled up the Gaels 40-20 in points in the paint, the game was decided at the three-point line.

The Seawolves had difficulty closing out on Iona’s shooters, allowing them to shoot 9-22 from three-point territory, including 7-14 in the first half. Concurrently, the Seawolves struggled in shooting threes, where they only made four, converting only 16.6 percent of their attempts.

The contrast in shooting was not only evident from the three-point line, but also the free-throw line, where Iona was able to get there more often and shoot a better percentage. Despite getting out-rebounded and beat up in the paint, Iona managed to get to the line 21 times, converting 20 shots. The Seawolves only made six shots on nine attempts.

In spite of the struggles against Iona, the Seawolves still have a lot to be optimistic about moving forward. For instance, Ogunnorin was effective scoring and rebounding, scoring 14 points and pulling down nine rebounds.

Bayne-Walker also had an encouraging, well-rounded performance, tallying nine points, six assists and five rebounds, which helped the Seawolves outrebound their opponents for the fourth time in their first five games.

Moving forward, the Seawolves will look to shore up the holes on defense and improve on their outside shooting in preparation for the second game of a five-game road trip. The Seawolves will face off St. Francis College on Wednesday.

SBU now has an overall record of 3-3 this season and is 0-3 on the road.

Julius Lasin contributed to this story.

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