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The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


Stony Brook Basketball continues strong conference play against UMBC

Sophomore gaurd Bryan Sekunda (No. 22, above) scored a career-high total of 21 points in the game against UMBC on Wednesday, Jan. 13, contributing to the Stony Brook Men's Basketball team's 86-74 victory. KRYSTEN MASSA/THE STATESMAN
Sophomore guard Bryan Sekunda (No. 22, above) scored a career-high 21 points in the Stony Brook Men’s Basketball game against UMBC on Wednesday, Jan. 13 in a 86-74 victory. KRYSTEN MASSA/THE STATESMAN

One of Stony Brook’s basketball teams needed extra time on Wednesday, but both programs continued their strong starts to America East play with wins to remain undefeated in conference competition.

Head Coach Caroline McCombs’ women’s team has found ways to win, and things were no different at UMBC. Two of Stony Brook’s three previous games, all victories, were decided by six points or less, and it took the Seawolves overtime to fight back and scrape past the Retrievers, 69-60.

From the get-go, Stony Brook struggled scoring baskets, missing three of its first 11 shots from the field. By the time the second quarter rolled around, UMBC, despite early scoring woes of its own, took a 13-point-lead. But somehow, McCombs’ squad only went into the locker room at halftime down by nine despite making 29 percent of its shot attempts.

The Seawolves did not sprint out of the gates in the second half either, falling behind by 13 again 2:22 into the third period. But from there, the comeback was on. Redshirt sophomore forward Elizabeth Manner hit a layup to tie the game late in the third quarter, and freshman guard Davion Wingate hit a 3-pointer on the next position to cap a 16-0 Stony Brook run and take the lead.

Up by one point heading into the final period, the Seawolves were in for a battle from there. The Retrievers took a three-point-lead two minutes into the last frame, but sophomore guard Aaliyah Worley, who would eventually score 10 points, made two key shots to keep the affair neck-and-neck. Once the 3:10 to go mark hit, though, no team managed to break the tie, leading to overtime.

There, Worley added five of her points as Stony Brook pulled away to move to 3-0 in America East play.

Her contribution was key, as junior guard Kori Bayne-Walker did not play in the contest after leaving the team’s previous game early.

The men’s team had no shooting problems at all, using a torrid 55 percent field goal percentage to score its way past UMBC, 86-74.

For the first time in Stony Brook Men’s Basketball’s Division I history, three student-athletes scored at least 20 points apiece, with sophomore guard Bryan Sekunda and senior forwards Jameel Warney and Rayshaun McGrew combining for 61 points on a strong 25-for-35 shooting.

Sekunda, who scored 21 points, and McGrew, who poured in 20, each tallied career-highs on Wednesday and the Seawolves needed all of it. As the team brought its win streak to eight, head coach Steve Pikiell’s squad allowed the most points it had since a 75-62 loss at Northeastern on Dec. 12.

Credit is due to UMBC, as sophomore guard Jairus Lyles, a transfer from Virginia Commonwealth, and company did not lay down and let Stony Brook run away after a 3-pointer from senior guard Carson Puriefoy gave the home team a 16-point lead only 10:43 into the game.

Lyles scored 24 points in the loss, rallying the Retrievers to within three points with a 3-pointer of his own at the 9:18 to-go mark in the second half. 17 of his 24 came in the latter 20 minutes, but it still was not enough.

Warney, the two-time defending America East Player of the Year, came back the other way to score a bucket as he was fouled, giving his team breathing room that it would not relinquish. The New Jersey native earned his 50th career double-double in the contest, as he also grabbed 12 rebounds.

Sekunda knocked down five of his team’s six 3-pointers, going 5-for-10 from beyond the arc and helping the Seawolves match their 86-point performance from last Saturday against UMass Lowell.

Both Stony Brook teams look to maintain their clean conference records on Saturday. With the women in Island Federal Credit Union Arena and men away, both teams will face New Hampshire at 2 p.m. and 1 p.m., respectively.

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