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Men’s basketball looks to get back on track after tough loss to Vermont

ANDREW EICHENHOLZ / THE STATESMAN
Stony Brook maintained a 23-9 record last year, but is now at a disappointing 15-10 after the team’s loss to the Vermont Catamounts. ANDREW EICHENHOLZ / THE STATESMAN

After a crushing loss to Vermont at home on Saturday, the Seawolves men’s basketball team (15-10, 6-4) looks to rebound this week with two winnable conference matchups.

The first of those will come Wednesday night against the UMBC Retrievers (3-20, 1-9) at 7 p.m. from the Retriever Activities Center in Baltimore, Md.

It is safe to say that the first contest of the week is fairly vital to the Seawolves recovering some of the momentum they have lost after dropping their past two games.

Leading the way for the Retrievers is senior guard Wayne Sparrow, who is averaging 13.6 points per game but is shooting barely over only 36 percent from the field.  Sparrow scored a game-high 17 points back on Jan. 14, when these teams met last.

Drawing the matchup of Jameel Warney will more than likely be forward Cody Joyce.  He is the Retrievers’ second-leading scorer, who produced his averages of 13 points and five rebounds in his last game against the Seawolves.

For Warney, he will be looking to duplicate his performance from nearly four weeks ago.  His nine points, 11 rebounds and eight assists were the closest he has been to a triple-double in conference play this season.

On Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. at the Island Federal Credit Union Arena, the Seawolves will look to fire Cupid’s arrow straight through the hearts of the Maine Black Bears (3-21, 2-9).

The Saturday matinee features a matchup between the nation’s better rebounding clubs in Stony Brook against one of the nation’s worst, Maine.  The Seawolves are ripping down an average of 39.4 rebounds per game, which is good for 17th best in the nation.  On the other hand, the Black Bears are snagging just 29.3, which is 339th out of the 351 Division I teams in the country.

These two last met back on Jan. 17 from Bangor, Maine, and Carson Puriefoy led the scoring column with 18 points.  Puriefoy is just six three-pointers away from tying his mark of 39 made threes from 2013-14, but his percentage has plummeted down to 29 percent from 43 last year.

Kevin Little, the leading scorer for the Black Bears, is a Wyandanch, N.Y. product.  The freshman also happens to be Maine’s leading scorer with an average of 11.8 points per game.  Part of the reason the Seawolves cruised to a 43-point victory nearly a month ago was due to Little’s 0-for-5 shooting night, which produced zero points and five turnovers.

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