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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


#8 Stony Brook women’s basketball rocks #9 Maine to open America East Championships

Kirsten Jeter, left, looks inside against Maine on Thursday night. She finished with 26 points. (Photo: Doric Sam)

Kirsten Jeter scored a game-high 26 points to lead the #8 Stony Brook Seawolves past the #9 Maine Black Bears in the first round of the America East women’s basketball championship tournament on Thursday in Hartford.

“[Maine] brings the best out of me,” Jeter, who was named a second-team all-conference player, said. “They’re not a team to let up on, they pressure, they attack.

The Seawolves will now play top-seed UMBC on Friday at 6 p.m. in the conference quarterfinals.

Maine came out fired up and jumped out to an early 7-2 lead, but Seawolves head coach Evelyn Thompson called a timeout and the Seawolves changed course, going on a 6-2 run to take the lead for good.

“I don’t think they can say that on camera,” Thompson said about her message to the team during the timeout.

Jeter added: “She just told us to relax. We came out so ready to go and so overexcited, we had to relax. That timeout was great so we could get our momentum together, get our minds straight and go back out there and perform the way we knew we could.”

They didn’t look back, as the Seawolves exploded for a 41-point first half, taking a hefty 41-26 lead and a 10-0 run into halftime. Stony Brook shot 50 percent from the floor in the first half.

The second half brought more of the same, as the Seawolves went on a 9-0 run to start the final period. It was part of a 21-6 run that allowed Stony Brook to put the game to bed early.

Coach Thompson was able to clear the bench with about eight minutes to go. Sophomore Dani Klupenger was able to contribute 9 points on 3-for-4 from behind the three-point line, a nice birthday present to herself.

In addition to points, Jeter led all players with 5 steals. She also grabbed 8 rebounds as she played her program-record 119th game as a Seawolf.

Sam Landers added to her standout regular season with 13 points, while Juanita Cochran scored 8 points and grabbed eight rebounds. Tamiel Murray led both teams with 9 rebounds.

Coach Thompson hailed her team’s fighting spirit.

“We’ve been through a lot of adversity,” she said. “It’s been a wonderful ride, and it’s not over yet.”

The Seawolves will play UMBC in the quarterfinal round. UMBC beat Stony Brook twice during the regular season. The first was a 65-52 home loss, with the Seawolves losing again at Maine, 65-57.

Despite this, Jeter was confident the team could play with the Retrievers.

“I think we’re just going to learn from our mistakes,” Jeter said. “We were a team that struggled keeping leads or finishing the full 40 minutes of the game, but now that’s a different story.”

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