After a home loss to NJIT (currently 9-18) on Dec. 28, Stony Brook stood 4-8 and apparently needing at least a season of transition after last year’s run to the America East title, graduating a strong senior class including all-time great Jameel Warney, and seeing the coach the built them basically from scratch (Steve Pikiell) leave to go to Rutgers with his top assistants.
On top of everything else, two of its top returning players – Ahmad Walker and Deshaun Thrower – were arrested in separate incidents and no longer on the team by the time the season started.
But the dreaded “rebuilding” didn’t take as long as most thought. While Stony Brook was surely not as loaded as the last couple of years, it still had plenty of good America East talent, and the result has been winning 12 of 14 since that NJIT defeat, and being 11-2 in conference play with three games remaining (and clinching at least a No. 2 seed) after finally putting away a stubborn Hartford team 66-54 at Chase Family Arena Wednesday night.
Roland Nyama, perhaps Stony Brook’s best defender, walked through the bowels of Island Federal Credit Union Arena after Wednesday night’s game where he ran into NJIT’s Damon Lynn. Nyama had spent the better part of 40 minutes trying to chase Lynn all over the court earlier, but could do nothing but flash a big smile afterward while shaking Lynn’s hand.
“They told me to chase you off the three-point line, but man, you’re tough,” Nyama said.
Nyama actually did a good job keeping Lynn from hurting Stony Brook from outside the arc Wednesday, as he hit just a pair three-pointers (both in a 90-second span late in the first half) in 11 attempts. But by night’s end, the final stats showed Lynn with 26 hard-earned points, and NJIT with its seventh win of the season, 64-61.
Stony Brook picked up their first victory in the NIT Season Tip-Off, beating Western Kentucky 71-61 in front of 2,522 at Island Federal Credit Union Arena on Tuesday night. Junior Jameel Warney led the way with a characteristic double-double of 17 points and 15 rebounds, while his classmate Carson Puriefoy carried the team late with a game-high 21 points and some critical steals.
In a game that saw the Hilltoppers open with a 11-1 run, then have a Stony Brook 20-2 run in the same half, the Seawolves secured the victory by making 17 of their 21 second half free throws. Here are three thoughts from the Seawolves victory over the Conference USA team, which marks their second straight season with a win over a team from that conference. Continue reading
Stony Brook may have to wait for redshirt freshman Roland Nyama to make his debut. Continue reading
Despite graduating two 1,000 point scorers, Stony Brook head coach Steve Pikiell said he believes he has the talent stocked to make another run at an America East championship in 2015. Continue reading