Strong Second Half Propels Stony Brook Past Maine, 79-61
LONG ISLAND, N.Y. – The Black Bears limited Stony Brook to just 27 first half points but the Seawolves exploded for 52 in the second frame as the Black Bears fell, 79-61 at the Pritchard Arena on Saturday afternoon. With the loss the Black Bears drop to 3-16 and 1-6 in conference while Stony Brook remains undefeated in conference play at 7-0 and 15-6 overall.
Much of the focus surrounded Stony Brooks' premiere player, Jameel Warney but it was Ahamad Walker that did most of the damage for the Seawolves. The freshman dropped 22 points on the Black Bears and recorded 11 rebounds for the double-double.
For Maine, Xavier Pollard paced the offense scoring 19 and taking down five rebounds.
Stony Brook shot 51 percent for the game, improving upon a 34 percent first half average, while Maine shot 41 percent, improving upon a 24 percent first half mark.
The Seawolves opened up the scoring with a pair of free throw makes by Eric McAllister to make it 2-0, but the Black Bears responded on the next possession as Christan Ejiga found a offensive rebound and laid in the first bucket of the game and nailed the ensuing free throw to make it a three-point play, making it 3-2 with under 18:00 minutes to go.
McAllister made it a 3-point lead headed into the first media timeout at the 14:25 mark as he laid in a bucket and missed on a free throw following an Ethan Mackey foul to make it 8-5.
Carson Puriefoy drained a trey at the 13:25 mark to make it 11-5 but Till Gloger responded on the next possession to keep pace with the Seawolves, making it 11-7.
Coming out of the media timeout Ejiga netted another bucket off the rebound of a Garet Beal shot to make it 11-9 but Stony Brook answered with a made jumper by Anthony Jackson to maintain that four point lead, 13-9.
Following that Jackson bucket the Seawolves went on a 6-0 run headed into the under 8:00 minute media timeout to push their lead to the largest to that point, leading the Black Bears 19-9 with 7:36 left in the half.
The Black Bears broke a six minute scoreless streak with a Pollard layup at the 5:45 minute mark to make it 21-11 but Walker answered right back the next possession
Gloger got it back to a 10 point lead with 4:10 remaining as he laid in his second bucket of the day to make it 23-13 with under four minutes remaining in the half.
Valjarevic hit his first 3-point bucket with 3:30 left in the half to cut the Stony Brook lead to seven, 23-16, while Lawton cut the deficit again with under 2:00 minutes left in the half as he laid in a bucket on a fast break to make it 23-18.
Stony Brook reeled off a trey and a fast break layup in the final minute but Pollard hit a last possession bucket to make it 27-20 to head into half.
Both teams held the other to a paltry shooting percentage as Maine hit on 25 percent of its shots from the field while Stony Brook managed a 36 percent first half percentage from the field.
The 27 points given up in the first frame is the fewest that the Black Bears have given up in any first half this season, likewise it's the fewest amount of points scored in any first half this season.
Stony Brook edged the Black Bears in first half rebounds taking down 27 while Maine took down 22.
Ejiga paced all Maine scorers coming away with five points in the first frame while both Gloger and Pollard had four. For the Seawolves, the usually dangerous Warney was held scoreless in the first half but the damage was done by McAlister, who finished the frame with 10 points. Wallker also chipped in six.
Stony Brook opened the half on a 11-0 run highlighted by a opening trey by Walker and a dunk by Warney, his first bucket, and made it 38-18 with just under 17 minutes remaining in the game.
Pollard hit a trey with 15:41 left to make it 41-25, but the Seawolves rode a 14-5 run into the under 16:00 minute media timeout.
Lawton and the Black Bears attempted to cut into that Stony Brook lead dashing into the paint and getting fouled but failed to convert on the free throw as Maine trailed 43-27 with 14:20 left in the game.
Kilian Cato drained a trey coming of a media timeout sparking a small Black Bear run as the squad scored back-to-back buckets, and Pollard forced two charity shots at the stripe to force a Stony Brook timeout with the score 59-39 with 8:37 left.
Black Bears cut the Seawolves lead to fewer than 20 headed into the final media timeout going on a 13-10 run as the team attempted the comeback bid, making it 69-52.
Valjarevic hit a 3-pointer coming out of the media break making it 69-55 but that's as close as the Black Bears got as the Seawolves closed out the game on a 10-6 run to win the ball game, 79-61.
The Seawolves outscored the Black Bears 52-41 in that final frame in the winning effort.
The Black Bears will be back on the road next Wednesday when the team takes on New Hampshire in Durham, N.H.