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Men’s Basketball takes No. 17 Vanderbilt to overtime but falls, 79-72

Senior forward Jameel Warney (No. 20, above) scored 22 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in Stony Brook's 79-72 overtime loss at No. 17 Vanderbilt on Thursday night. Ziyi Liu/ The Vanderbilt Hustler
Senior forward Jameel Warney (No. 20, above) scored 22 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in Stony Brook’s 79-72 overtime loss at No. 17 Vanderbilt on Thursday night. ZIYI LIU/THE VANDERBILT HUSTLER

Despite 22 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks from senior forward Jameel Warney, the Stony Brook Men’s Basketball team fell just short of upsetting No. 17 Vanderbilt, 79-72, in overtime. A layup from senior guard Carson Puriefoy tied the game in regulation with one second to go, but the Seawolves were outscored 13-6 in extra time in the loss.

“Today was certainly a huge test for us, but we have some veteran players and we’ve been in these games before,” Stony Brook head coach Steve Pikiell said. “We expected to play well today. I think we talked to our guys a lot about that, and they feel pretty confident coming into games like this.”

Up 10 points with 15 minutes to go in the second half, the Seawolves kept Vanderbilt—which lost in the National Invitational Tournament’s quarterfinals last year—at a distance until the Commodores hit back-to-back threes to tie the game with 2:17 to play. Stony Brook trailed by two with 46 seconds remaining following a score by junior center Damian Jones. After a missed three-pointer and offensive rebound, Puriefoy sliced through the defense for the game-tying layup with a second to go.

But the Seawolves were in foul trouble as overtime began, and failed to get the timely stops and scores necessary to head back to Long Island with the victory.

Stony Brook shot 12 free throws as they headed into halftime with a four-point advantage, but attempted none in the second half. The Seawolves led for 28:49 of regulation, holding a double-digit lead in both halves.

“You can’t go on the road against an SEC [Southeastern Conference] team, against a team this good, and just play well for 35 minutes,” Pikiell said. “You have to play the complete 40 and we struggled a little bit to do that.”

Warney played 41 minutes on the night, scoring 12 of his 22 points in the second half and eight in the final 10 minutes of action.

Puriefoy finished with 16 points, four rebounds and four assists. Junior guard Lucas Woodhouse collected 11 rebounds and scored eight points, including a three-pointer with 4:11 remaining to give Stony Brook a six-point edge. Junior guard Ahmad Walker added 13 points.

It was the defense that stole the show for Stony Brook, though. The Seawolves held the Commodores to 39.4 percent shooting from the field in the first half. Vanderbilt freshman guard Matthew Fisher-Davis shot just 3-for-10 from the field, while junior forward Luke Kornet went 3-for-13. However, Stony Brook could not stop Wade Baldwin IV. The sophomore guard put up 21 points on 7-for-12 shooting with two threes.

“Their size really was a factor,” Pikiell said. “We really needed to do a good job of not giving them great low-post position and I thought we did for the most part.”

Vanderbilt’s biggest threat was Jones, who DraftExpress.com expects to be the 16th pick in the 2016 NBA Draft. Warney got Jones into early foul trouble and stole the spotlight, holding the touted prospect to 13 points and six rebounds on 6-for-13 shooting.

A Seawolves win would have been their second victory over a ranked opponent in program history. Last season, Stony Brook was a SportsCenter regular the day after upsetting the then-No. 13 Washington Huskies.  

Pikiell’s team will now travel to play Western Kentucky on Saturday after the Seawolves won last year’s contest between the two teams at home, 71-61. Stony Brook looks to improve to 2-1 on the season.

 

Featured Image Credit: ZIYI LIU/THE VANDERBILT HUSTLER

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