Saturday, December 13, 2014

Bayne-Walker's buzzer-beater lifts Seawolves over Morgan State, 50-48

Baltimore, Md. — Sophomore Kori Bayne-Walker drove the lane and put in a layup as time expired to lift the Stony Brook women’s basketball team to a thrilling 50-48 win Saturday at Morgan State. Bayne-Walker finished with 10 points and a game-high six helpers. 
Junior Brittany Snow led Stony Brook (4-5) with 11 points to go along with 11 rebounds for her first double-double of the season. Senior Jessica Ogunnorin scored seven points and grabbed a career-high 17 rebounds. 
Braennan Farrar led all scorers with 21 points as Morgan State dropped to 2-8 on the season.
Head Coach Caroline McCombs’ Reaction
“Morgan State plays very well defensively, and I’m happy we were able to overcome a tough shooting day and pull out a road win. Kori did a great job remaining poised and sinking that last shot.”
Turning Point
Buzzer-beaters were the theme of the day for the Seawolves. Miranda Jenkins banked in a running 3-pointer as time expired in the first half to put SBU up, 31-25, at the break. 
Ogunnorin opened the second half with a layup-and-one at 19:27. She made her free throw, but the Lady Bears held the Seawolves without a field goal for nearly 13 minutes took a 37-36 lead when Farrar went 1-for-2 from the line with 6:54 left. 



Christa Sconamiglio broke Stony Brook’s field-goal drought with a long jump shot at the 6:31 mark. However, Farrar converted a three-point play on the other end to give the Lady Bears a 40-38 edge. 
The back-and-forth continued, and the game featured four ties over the final six minutes. 
A Farrar jump shot with 1:47 to play put the home team in front, 46-45, and prompted a Stony Brook timeout. 
Out of the huddle, Bayne-Walker kicked it out to Scognamiglio on the left for a trifecta that gave the Seawolves a 48-46 lead at 1:17, but Farrar answered with a jumper. Each side missed on their next possession, with Bayne-Walker grabbing the rebound off a missed Eva Myers 3-pointer with seven ticks on the clock. 
McCombs called a 30-second timeout, and Ogunnorin inbounded to Bayne-Walker, who took it in herself for the game-winner.  
By the Numbers
  • Junior Kim Hanlon and Scognamiglio tallied eight points apiece. 
  • Stony Brook out-rebounded Morgan State, 54-37.
  • The Seawolves held a 23-10 advantage on the offensive glass. 
  • SBU shot 31.3 percent (20-for-64) from the field. Morgan State finished at 33.9 percent (19-for-56).
News and Notes
  • The Seawolves reached the 50-rebound mark for the first time since grabbing 54 boards vs. Vermont Feb. 26. 
  • Stony Brook holds a 5-1 lead in the all-time series with Morgan State. 
  • The Seawolves have out-rebounded their opponent six times in nine games.
  • Junior Alyssa Coiro played a career-high 34 minutes in her first-ever start for Stony Brook. 
Up Next
The Seawolves are back at Island Federal Credit Union, where they are 3-0, Friday to take on Lafayette at 7 p.m. They make the short trip to Staten Island, N.Y., for a game at Wagner Sunday at 1 p.m.  

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Princeton zone gives Stony Brook trouble in loss

By COLIN STEPHENSON. Special to Newsday 

PRINCETON, N.J. - Steve Pikiell knew what he was in for when he put Stony Brook's schedule together.

"We've got a tough schedule,'' he said Saturday after the Seawolves lost to Princeton, 77-64, for their second straight defeat. "It doesn't get any easier. I told these guys before the season, I was challenging them with the non-conference [schedule].''

After losing to Cincinnati on Tuesday, the Seawolves faced a different-looking challenge in Princeton. The Tigers' 1-3-1 zone defense was like Kryptonite to Stony Brook (5-4), which took a 55-46 lead with 9:21 remaining but was outscored 31-9 the rest of the way. The Seawolves finished with 23 turnovers and shot 9-for-30 in the second half, including 1-for-10 from three-point range.

"We're a great offensive team against man-to-man, and we're pretty weak on the zone, so teams are really going to run that a lot against us this season,'' Jameel Warney said.

Warney never seemed comfortable against the zone. The Seawolves' leading scorer had his eighth double-double in nine games -- 12 points and 13 rebounds -- and also shot 4-for-7 but had a hard time getting touches in the low block. He had four assists but also turned the ball over four times.

"I think the zone bothered him a little bit, bothered us as a team, trying to get it to him in the post,'' point guard Carson Puriefoy III said.

Puriefoy also struggled, committing five turnovers and shooting 3-for-14. He had nine points and four assists. Rayshaun McGrew led Stony Brook with 18 points and Chris Braley had 10 off the bench as only three Seawolves reached double figures in scoring.

Princeton (3-6) had been struggling coming into the game, having lost six of its previous seven, but the Tigers' zone and three-point shooting proved too much for Stony Brook. Princeton shot 12-for-26 from outside the arc, with 6-5 sophomore guard Steven Cook going 5-for-7. Cook, who entered the game averaging 8.9 points, had 28 points and seven steals, both career highs.

The teams exchanged blows in a back-and-forth first half and Princeton got to intermission with a 38-36 lead. Early in the second half, the Tigers went away from their zone and played some man-to-man, which allowed Warney to get loose and Stony Brook to briefly take control.

Warney converted a spinning bank shot into a three-point play, putting Stony Brook up 45-44 with 14:02 left, and Princeton missed 10 of 11 shots at one point as the Seawolves went on a 17-3 run for a 55-46 lead.

But Princeton switched back to the 1-3-1 and turned up the pressure at the top of the zone, doubling the ball and trapping the Stony Brook guards. At the same time, the Tigers' shots began to fall. Stony Brook's lead soon melted away.

"We had a couple points, but you never feel good,'' Pikiell said. "They shoot the ball so well. They're a three-point shooting team, so if you have a six-point lead, that's two trips down the floor for them.''

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Jameel Warney, Carson Puriefoy record double-doubles as Stony Brook beats St. Thomas Aquinas

By Greg Logan, Newsday

November always was going to be the "boot camp" portion of the schedule for a Stony Brook basketball team breaking in five freshmen and some largely untested sophomores to go with junior mainstays Jameel Warney, Carson Puriefoy III and Rayshaun McGrew.

The Seawolves came through it with a 5-2 record and extended their winning streak to four games with a 70-49 victory over Division II St. Thomas Aquinas Saturday afternoon in front of 2,159 at Island FCU Arena. The game was the fourth for SBU as part of the NIT Season Tip-Off. They were 3-1 in that event, losing a 10-point decision at Georgia before beating Western Kentucky and LIU Brooklyn.

"I think we've grown a lot," coach Steve Pikiell said. "I've figured my rotation out. We have a lot of newcomers, and we played a lot of different team styles. Hopefully, it will help us. I like this team. We're a little inexperienced, but I like the way we play together."

St. Thomas (1-4) shot only 25.9 percent from the field as the Seawolves ran up a 37-16 halftime advantage. That grew to a high of 26 points in the second half.

Warney, who was America East player of the year as a sophomore, continued to show his growth, recording his sixth double-double in seven games. He had 15 points, shot 7-for-10 and added 11 rebounds, four assists, five blocked shots and zero turnovers.

"People will guard me different," Warney said. "Coach has told me to be more aggressive, so if I can shoot jump shots, I will. It will change my game, and it will open my teammates up more."

Sophomore shooting guard Kameron Mitchell had a career-high 14 points and shot 5-for-6, including four three-pointers. Puriefoy had a double-double, grabbing 10 rebounds to go with 11 points and five assists but also five turnovers. Freshman forward Tyrell Sturdivant added 11 points and five boards.

The Seawolves had a 45-32 rebounding advantage and shot 42.9 percent from three-point range, thanks to a game that should be a confidence-booster for Mitchell. "It's huge," he said. "My teammates got me the ball early. Once you get a rhythm like that, it's kind of easy to go from there . . . Playing with [Warney], we play inside-out. He'll find me. If I get that open shot, I can knock it down."

The highlight of the second half was a spin move by Warney out of a triple-team for a baseline drive that took him under the basket and up the other side for a two-handed slam. "Once I spin, I just knew I was going to dunk," Warney said. "It was an aggressive move."

Pikiell played his starters deep into the second half against the Spartans' full-court press. It was good experience for all the newcomers and good preparation for a stretch of four road games against tough opponents, starting Tuesday at Cincinnati (5-0 going into a game against Ole Miss Saturday night) of the American Athletic Conference.

"I think it's great because Cincinnati is definitely known for their defense, known for pressuring the ball and speeding up opposing point guards," Puriefoy said of the work against the press. "I think we handled that pretty well, and we have another practice to prepare for them.

"This was definitely a learning experience with all these games in a short amount of time. Coach has been stressing togetherness and toughness. We're 4-0 in this little stretch we had, so we're ready for Cincinnati."

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Stony Brook beats LIU Brooklyn, 73-54 at MSG

By Greg Logan, Newsday

With four freshmen playing major roles, coach Steve Pikiell has as young a team as he's ever had in his 10 seasons at Stony Brook. And with junior point guard and leading scorer Carson Puriefoy III limited to 20 minutes by foul trouble in an NIT Season Tip-Off game against LIU Brooklyn on Thanksgiving afternoon at Madison Square Garden, even more of the burden fell on the youngest Seawolves.

But with the guidance of juniors Jameel Warney and Rayshaun McGrew, Stony Brook passed another early-season test, scoring a dominant 73-54 victory over the Blackbirds that could have served as a clinic on defense and team basketball.

Warney's string of double-double performances to open the season was snapped at five when he fell one rebound short, grabbing nine boards to go with a game-high 18 points plus three assists. McGrew (13 points, 11 rebounds, three assists) and redshirt freshman Roland Nyama (16 points, eight rebounds) came on strong and Puriefoy had 10 points for the Seawolves (4-2).

In addition to Nyama, SBU got big contributions from freshmen Tyrell Sturdivant (five points, five rebounds, two blocks), Deshaun Thrower (five points, three assists) and Bryan Sekunda. All played excellent defense, holding LIU (0-3) to 26.9 percent field-goal shooting in the second half and 9.5 percent shooting for the game from three-point range (2-for-21).

"They're growing up right in front of our eyes," Warney, who reached the 1,000-point mark with a dunk in the final minutes, said of the freshmen. "They're succeeding every day in getting better and they're helping us in big games."

Nyama has calmed down since scoring only seven points in the first three games. He followed a 10-point effort in Tuesday's win over Western Kentucky with an even better game against LIU.

"The redshirt year helped me tremendously," he said. "I still get nervous, but the coaching staff does a great job of just telling me to play basketball . . . Trey [Puriefoy] found me a couple times and Jameel found me a couple times. All thanks to the team."

Stony Brook built a 16-point first-half lead but let it slip to 36-31 at halftime after committing 10 of its 19 turnovers. Puriefoy played only seven minutes in the half. But Nyama converted a three-point play and fed Warney for a dunk during a 12-0 run that pushed the lead to 48-31 before LIU scored its first points of the second half at the 13:24 mark. Stony Brook twice led by 21, the last on a three-pointer by Nyama that made it 73-52.

Winning without his point guard was a holiday treat for Pikiell. "Trey is the leading scorer in the league right now, and he's an important part," he said. "But we learned how to play without him. It's a credit to our young guys. They're figuring it out a little bit.

"This preseason NIT has been great for us with Western Kentucky and then to play here at the Garden on ESPNU is great for our program."

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Stony Brook rallies for big win over Western Kentucky

By Newsday - Stony Brook coach Steve Pikiell never had any reservations about tossing his young team into deep water right away. He figured they were bound to learn how to deal with just about anything if they played a tough schedule. What they showed Tuesday night is that, by the way, they already have learned how to win.

The Seawolves overcame a horrible start, a daunting press, a second-half deficit and a proven program -- the eighth best winning percentage in NCAA basketball history -- and beat Western Kentucky, 71-61, at Island Federal Credit Union Arena.

"We knew we had a tough schedule coming in, and the coaching staff has always preached toughness and togetherness. I think that's what we did," said Carson Puriefoy, who scored 15 of his 21 points in the second half, when the visiting Hilltoppers came back from a 10-point hole and took a 57-56 lead with 4:41 left.

Puriefoy, the junior point guard, put Stony Brook ahead to stay with a steal and another in a series of one-man fast breaks to make it 59-57 with 3:46 remaining. "It means a lot. These are the types of game you wish to play in when you're a little kid: close, coming down the stretch, making plays for your team in front of your home fans. It's just a great feeling," he said.

Jameel Warney, the junior big man who had 17 points and 15 rebounds, added, "It's a great feeling. They're a really good team. They came out of the gates, winning 11-1 and that made us bond together even more and face adversity. It's good for us, the veterans and younger guys to see what we're made of and show our true colors."

In this NIT Season Tip-Off game, those two upperclassmen outlasted Western Kentucky stars George Fant and T.J. Price, who both fouled out. They are no small parts of a sizable team, which has made it to two Big Dances in the past three years and whose program's all-time .665 winning percentage is only one spot behind UCLA.

So it was a big win for Stony Brook (3-2), a big step in the growth of a team that has no seniors. In fact, down the stretch, Pikiell had three freshmen on the floor -- Roland Nyama, Tyrell Sturdivant and Deshaun Thrower -- and he tossed in another, Bryan Sekunda, when he needed big free throws and a steady ballhandler.

Puriefoy said, "They handled themselves tremendously. I don't even think of them as freshmen anymore." Nyama and Sturdivant each scored 10 points.

The coach didn't think of this as just a proverbial learning experience. Nor does he think of his freshmen as kids. "The guys," he said, "did a great job. They got a great win today. I'm happy for them."

Monday, November 24, 2014

Warney's double-doubles land him America East Player of the Week honors

Cambridge, Mass. - After averaging 17.0 points, 12.7 rebounds and 2.7 blocks in three games last week while extending his double-double streak to five games, junior Jameel Warney (Plainfield, N.J.) of the Stony Brook men’s basketball team has been named the America East Player of the Week, the conference office announced Monday.

This is Warney’s third career America East Player of the Week honor and the 18th in Stony Brook’s program history. It’s also the second consecutive week a #Seawolves student-athlete has gotten the nod after juniorRayshaun McGrew (Chicago, Ill.) was tabbed the recipient last week.

Warney has been dominant to open the 2014-15 season, recording double-doubles in each of the first four games of the season. He also had one in the final game of 2013-14, giving him five in a row. He is the only player in Stony Brook's Div. I history to record at least three straight double-doubles, which he also accomplished in the first three games of the 2013-14 season. 

After a 12-point, 14-rebound performance at Georgia last Tuesday, Warney had an epic game at Hofstra last Friday. He poured in 26 points on 11-of-14 shooting, grabbed 14 rebounds and blocked two shots. He scored 17 of his 26 in the second half, including 11 straight Stony Brook points midway through. He gave Stony Brook a one-point lead with nine seconds left in the Hofstra game with a terrific layup before the Pride won it with a buzzer-beating jumper.
Warney ended the week with a 13-point, 10-rebound and four-block day in just 25 minutes of action in Stony Brook’s 89-54 win over the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.

For the season, Warney is averaging 15.8 points, 13.3 rebounds and 2.3 blocks while shooting 50 percent from the field. He is only 35 points away from 1,000 for his career.



Warney and the #Seawolves will host Western Kentucky Tuesday at Island Federal Credit Union Arena at 7 p.m., as part of the NIT Season Tip-Off.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Dion Nesmith's jumper with 1.6 seconds left lifts Hofstra over Stony Brook, 66-65

If there were a trophy awarded to the winner of this rivalry game, which would not be a bad idea, Hofstra's Dion Nesmith would have been the one holding it longest and highest. High enough to match the apex of his jump on the shot that won it.

"The kid jumped 14 feet in the air, shot it over two guys. He made a great play. Got to give them the tip of the hat," said Stony Brook coach Steve Pikiell, who could only shake his head after Nesmith's pull-up jumper in heavy traffic from the foul line with 1.6 seconds left gave Hofstra a 66-65 win and marked a rousing comeback in a rivalry that was dormant for six years.

That was six years too long, judging by the electricity from a crowd of 2,726 at Hofstra and by the intensity of the two Long Island teams. It sure looked as though whoever had the last possession would win, Roland Nyama's desperation shot at the buzzer notwithstanding.

In fact, the hero's role seemed to fit nicely on Stony Brook's Jameel Warney, who received a nice entry pass from Carson Puriefoy and hit a layup with nine seconds left for the last of his game-high 26 points (to go with a game-high 14 rebounds). The only problem was that it left Hofstra with time to set up a play.

The Pride did just that, except the play was designed for Juan'ya Green (22 points). He was guarded heavily, so Nesmith (18 points) -- who had made a reverse layup with 33 seconds left to put Hofstra ahead -- took matters into his own hands.

"I saw the clock was running down, I just went to go make a play and I was fortunate enough to make it," Nesmith said. For the record, he thought his elevation was only his usual three feet. Joe Mihalich, his coach, said, "I thought it was four."

It was enough. As Warney said, "He made a great play, he drove the middle, a pull-up jump shot. It was good defense, but it was his night."

Mihalich was touched that it came from Nesmith, a sixth-year senior who has been at three colleges (Northeastern and Monmouth previously) and came to Hofstra last season when the program was desperate for players. He isn't starting this season. "But he's a finisher," Mihalich said. "Nobody finished a game better than him: a game-winning shot against one of your rivals."

"Rivalry" was not hyperbole. There was palpable intensity. Stony Brook fans roared when Warney scored 10 consecutive Seawolves points in the second half. Hofstra's fans, who carried the day, let out an explosion of sound when Brian Bernardi made a three-pointer and a free throw that tied it with 3:23 left.

"I think there's just a feel," Mihalich said. "The students at Hofstra all have friends who go to Stony Brook and the students who go to Stony Brook all have friends who go to Hofstra."

All of them saw quite a show. "It was a heck of a game tonight," Pikiell said. "You've got to give them the tip of the hat. They got the home game first. We'll have them at home next year."

And, with any luck, Long Island will have them both for years to come.

Hofstra, Stony Brook resume men's basketball rivalry Friday night

Newsday - This season, both Hofstra and Stony Brook have realistic aspirations of reaching The Big Dance. On Friday night, on their way, they will play for The Big Duck -- and Jones Beach Tower, Montauk Lighthouse, Bald Hill, Sagamore Hill and all the other Long Island landmarks symbolically up for grabs as the men's basketball rivalry resumes.
"Our kids can't wait to play. I know Stony Brook feels the same way," said Hofstra coach Joe Mihalich, whose team will host the 7 p.m. game. "It should be a great night. College basketball is about rivalries. When you have a rivalry with two schools that are close together, it makes the game even better."
Stony Brook coach Steve Pikiell, who was coaching the Seawolves when the teams last met -- a 61-56 Hofstra win on Dec. 10, 2008 -- said, "I'm actually excited for Long Island to have two Division I schools and I'm excited that we can start playing again. I don't see any downside to it."
In the previous six years, though, some people in the respective athletic departments saw enough downside to stop scheduling each other in various sports. There has been a significant thaw, so the teams from Nassau and Suffolk will share a court Friday night and will meet at Stony Brook next year. Both sides hope they can keep it going.
Making it particularly intriguing this year is that both programs are healthy and hopeful. When Sports Illustrated recently projected the entire field for the 2015 NCAA Tournament, it picked both Stony Brook, of the America East, and Hofstra, of the Colonial Athletic Association, to make it.
"Coach Mihalich has done an awesome job in year two. He has transformed the whole program. He's a real good coach," Pikiell said, adding that the two men have been friends in the coaching fraternity for years. "He has upgraded everything there. They have terrific talent."
Mihalich, whose program leads the all-time series 18-4, said of Pikiell, "He's a terrific coach and an even more terrific guy. Their team plays with a sense of purpose. They understand how to win, that's why they win. They found a way to win that first game [last Friday]. I'm sure there was a lot of pressure to open their new building."
Their seasons have had a similar arc so far. Stony Brook christened its new arena with a 57-56 win over Columbia and played well in an 80-70 road loss to Georgia on Tuesday night. Hofstra routed Jacksonville, 94-61, at home Friday night and had a creditable 76-64 loss at North Carolina State on Monday night.
Each side is led by a talented guard -- Juan'ya Green is averaging 16.5 points for Hofstra and Carson Puriefoy is averaging 20.0 for Stony Brook. Stony Brook's Rayshaun McGrew and Hofstra's Brian Bernardi were their respective conference's players of the week.
Pikiell, who has lived in the Three Village area for nine years and loves the fact that he is an hour away from both the city and the Hamptons, said, "Games like this help the high school coaches. They just help get everybody involved."
Second-year Hofstra coach Mihalich, still exploring the Island and treasures such as Vincent's Clam Bar in Carle Place, said, "If you like basketball, my goodness, why wouldn't you come to this game?

Monday, November 17, 2014

#Seawolves to hold Touchdown Pledge Drive at Albany Saturday


Each touchdown Stony Brook scores will support Medulloblastoma research

Stony Brook head football coach Chuck Priore is calling on all #Seawolves fans to help make a difference. 

In conjunction with Uplifting Athletes, the Stony Brook football team will hold a Touchdown Pledge Drive at Albany this Saturday. With each possible touchdown scored against the Great Danes, money will go towards the support and research of Medulloblastoma, the most common malignant brain tumor in children.

Fans can support the drive by making a donation through the Seawolves’ online Touchdown Pledge Drive site.

Through a former college teammate and the Friends of Jaclyn program, Priore was introduced to Joey Feminella, a West Islip resident who was named co-captain the following season. 

The Seawolves have formed a long-lasting friendship with Joey, who is in remission and cancer-free. 

Seniors Davonte AndersonShane Johnson and John Kinder helped form the Stony Brook Chapter of Uplifting Athletes. Stony Brook is one of 25 college football chapters run by student-athletes.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Rayshaun McGrew's layup gives Stony Brook 57-56 victory over Columbia

Rayshaun McGrew carved out his personal niche in Stony Brook history Friday night by scoring both the first basket and the last basket of the inaugural game at 4,000-seat Island FCU Arena.
The first was a footnote but the last was anything but trivial, capping a comeback from a 16-point deficit that gave the Seawolves a 57-56 victory over a tough Columbia team in the season opener for both.
"It feels good to know those two baskets were a big part of us winning," said McGrew (14 points, eight rebounds).
For most of the game, the Seawolves seemed destined to disappoint their opening-night crowd of 4,009, falling behind 28-12 and shooting 33.3 percent from the field and 16.7 percent from three-point range in the first half. But juniors McGrew, Jameel Warney (12 points, 15 rebounds) and Carson Puriefoy III (14 points, five assists, four rebounds) led a very young team back from the brink.
Stony Brook trailed by seven points with just over six minutes left when Warney blocked a drive by the Lions' Maodo Lo (19 points). Puriefoy scored two straight baskets to cut the deficit to three, but an uncontested layup by Lo gave the Lions a 56-51 lead with 1:27 left.
Stony Brook coach Steve Pikiell set up a "drift" play for freshman Bryan Sekunda, who buried an open three-pointer from the left corner on a feed from Puriefoy to pull within 56-54 at 1:16. "Bryan teed it up," Pikiell said. "You don't know until guys get in live action, but he didn't hesitate."
The ball splashed, and the crowd erupted far beyond anything heard in old 1,600-seat Pritchard Gym next door. "It was nothing like I've been a part of before because of the size of the arena and the number of people who can fit in," Puriefoy said. "The fans packed the house and brought us back."

Stony Brook had missed five of its previous seven foul shots, and Warney missed two more, but McGrew controlled the rebound and made the putback with seven seconds to go.
The Lions got two shots at the other end but missed both, and McGrew was fouled with 13.1 seconds left. He made the first to get within a point and missed the second, but Warney rebounded and was fouled with 12.0 seconds showing.
Asked if he anticipated another miss, McGrew said of Warney, who was 0-for-6 at the line, "He had a tough day. The rebound kind of came to me, and I took advantage."
Lo missed a three-pointer at the buzzer and the Seawolves celebrated their new digs with the fans. "Thank God we got the win," Warney said. "It was going to be a tough loss to swallow. We didn't want to let down our brothers, our coach or the fans."