Stony Brook, N.Y. – America East Defensive Player of the Year and senior guard Chikilra Goodman tallied 12 points and six rebounds as the No. 2 Stony Brook women’s basketball team topped No. 7 UMBC, 61-49, in the conference quarterfinals. The win was the first for the #Seawolves in a conference championship game since March 3, 2011, a 76-55 triumph over No. 8 Maine in the play-in game.
Goodman added three assists and two steals to her balanced effort for Stony Brook (23-7). Jessica Ogunnorin finished with a team-high 13 points, and freshman guard Kristie Costantino tallied a career-high eight points. Junior forward Sabre Proctor grabbed 10 rebounds.
UMBC’s Sara Tarbert led all scorers with 17 points as the Retrievers’ season ends with a 4-25 mark.
Head Coach Beth O’Boyle’s Reaction
“I thought it was a great game. I have a lot of respect for Coach Stern. His team always plays hard, and we knew that we would have to play well to earn the win today. I think we did a great job of really pressuring the ball, which allowed us to get some points off of turnovers. Our players executed on offense and did an excellent job on the offensive glass. I think those extra-chance points were the difference in the game.”
UMBC took a 7-5 lead on a Tarbert layup at the 15:29 mark of the first half, but Stony Brook took complete control for the remainder of the first half. Ogunnorin scored a hoop to even it at 7-all with 15:12 until the break. KoriBayne-Walker knocked down two free throws as 12:26 to put Stony Brook ahead, and Proctor drained a jump shot about 30 ticks later that extended the lead to 11-7.
The Seawolves weren’t even close to being done yet. A trifecta and layup by Costantino gave Stony Brook a 14-point lead, 21-7, at 6:36, and Jenkins capped the 20-0 run when Goodman found her in the paint for a bucket for a 25-7 Stony Brook advantage with 5:13 on the clock.
Inside the Numbers
Bayne-Walker tallied seven points, four rebounds and tied Goodman with a team-high three assists and two steals.
Costantino was 3-for-4 from the floor and also had a team-high two steals.
Stony Brook held a 42-35 advantage on the boards and led on the offensive glass, 20-10.
The Seawolves forced 23 turnovers.
News and Notes
Stony Brook’s semifinal berth is its first since 2010, when it fell to Hartford, 65-43.
The Seawolves are one win shy of tying the 1986-87 team for most single-season wins in school history (24). They already own the Division I wins record and also claimed 23 victories in 1983-84 at the Division III level.
O’Boyle picked up her first America East Championship win.
The Seawolves improved to 7-12 in the conference tournament.
Ogunnorin has scored in double figures in six consecutive games.
SB’s eight-game winning streak ties the 1999-00 team for the longest in the program’s Division I history.
Stony Brook took a 13-12 edge in the all-time series with UMBC.
Stony Brook will look to secure its second trip to the finals in school history when it takes on the winner of No. 3 New Hampshire vs. No. 6 Vermont Sunday on ESPN3. The program last qualified for the title game during its inaugural season in the league as a seven-seed in 2001-02. Tip is slated for either 11 a.m. or 1:15 p.m. at SEFCU Arena. The Seawolves will play at 11 a.m. if No. 1 Albany is upset by No. 8 Binghamton in the quarterfinals and 1:15 p.m. should the Great Danes advance.
Stony Brook, N.Y. - WUSB 90.1 FM, the longtime home of Stony Brook University Sports has announced it's Spring #Seawolves Broadcast Schedule...Longtime veteran broadcaster Matt Mankiewich will anchor the baseball/lacrosse broadcasts this Spring, while Brendan Chamberlain and Stony Brook alum Frank Barile return as lacrosse analysts...Newcomer Joe Soccoa will contribute with baseball this Spring... All of Stony Brook Spring coaches will be interviewed during #Seawolves Sports Weekly, Sunday's, 10 p.m. on WUSB www.wusb.fm/sports
Beth O'Boyle arrived at Stony Brook three years ago with what she described as a "clear vision" of how to transform the women's basketball program. But in the darkest days of that first 4-26 season in 2011-12, she concedes it was difficult to see very far down the road.
"When you're going through that first year and you win a game in January and you don't win another game until the following November, it tests your confidence level and your commitment," O'Boyle said recently. "Year three is much nicer than year one, but it's a process. You have to go through those bumps so you can enjoy things a little bit more when you get to this point."
Year three of the O'Boyle transformation has turned out better than anyone could have imagined. After making a 10-win improvement in O'Boyle's second season, the Seawolves (22-7, 13-3 America East) have leaped another eight wins and counting, entering the conference tournament as the second seed for their quarterfinal opener against UMBC (4-24, 3-15) at noon tomorrow at SEFCU Arena on the Albany campus.
You want to go into the tournament with lots of confidence and being healthy, and we'll have a good run at it," O'Boyle said.
The Seawolves accomplished that goal in grand fashion, upsetting top-seeded defending champion Albany (25-4, 15-1) in the regular-season finale at SEFCU Arena and snapping the Great Danes' record 38-game America East winning streak. Now, a postseason berth is within the Seawolves' grasp -- either the automatic NCAA berth that goes to the winner of the conference tournament or the WNIT bid that goes to the highest-seeded team after the America East champion.
Stony Brook made the 2006 Women's NIT, but that is the only postseason bid in the program's Division I history. "Postseason in general is a huge jump for this program," O'Boyle said.
O'Boyle came to Stony Brook as the assistant head coach at Canisius after previously serving as head coach at Division III Montclair State in New Jersey. "When I looked at the Stony Brook job, I thought it was a hidden gem in the America East," O'Boyle said. "You're close to New York City; it has great academics and unbelievable facilities. They hadn't really tapped into the local recruiting area. We went after New York, Philly and the D.C.-Maryland area."
Her first recruiting class included Jessica Previlon, who has gone on to play professionally in Europe and Sabre Proctor, who transferred from North Carolina A & T and had to sit out that first season. She's now a junior and the third-leading scorer in the conference with a 14.9 average. She wanted to be closer to her home in Harrisburg, Pa., but was uncertain about Stony Brook because of the new coach.
"But Coach O'Boyle just connected," Proctor said. "I felt like this was the place for me to be. She had this feistiness in her, the kind of coach I would want to push me to make me better.
"One of the big reasons I came here is because they were one of the worst programs. I didn't want to go to a big school and just be another player. I wanted to make an impact. Here, I'm a big fish in a little pond. I wanted to help bring the program up, which the team and coach O'Boyle have done."
Three other major recruits were transfer guard Chikilra Goodman (11.8 points, 7.8 rebounds), who is now a senior, sophomore guard Brittany Snow (9.9 points, 5.1 rebounds) and soph guard Miranda Jenkins (7.3 points). Junior guard Jessica Ogunnorin (8.9 points, 7.5 rebounds) arrived this season as a transfer, and 5-5 freshman point guard Kori Bayne-Walker (5.1 points) has been a dynamic presence off the bench.
"I do enjoy coaching athleticism," O'Boyle said. "We really tried to get after it in our recruiting . . . This year, our offensive style was able to change because of the players we recruited. Controlling the boards is a big deal. Jess, Sabre, Chikilra and Brittany do a great job of that, and then, we're able to run. I think every kid loves to play an up-tempo style."
Proctor said the biggest accomplishment for this year's team was learning to win rather than settle for playing close games. Now, the Seawolves are dreaming of bigger things. "We want to win and to make it to the NCAA or the WNIT," Proctor said. "It would be making history. It hasn't been done here in some time. We have a special group. It can be done this year or next year."
The game was right where Albany coach Will Brown wanted it. His Great Danes led by 10 points with less than eight minutes to play, and their defense was making it hard for Stony Brook to score inside.
Then Seawolves freshman Ahmad Walker fought to the rim for a three-point play and a layup. That ignited the offense before the seniors took over on Senior Day, completing a 21-2 run that l ed to a 73-68 Stony Brook victory on Sunday in the final regular-season game at 1,630-seat Pritchard Gym.
The raucous home court that will give way to 4,008-seat Stony Brook Arena next season took its final bow, too. "We opened Pritchard with a win, and this was a great game to close it," coach Steve Pikiell said. "I went with the seniors down the stretch. You saw the shots they were making . . . This group was 49-15 in conference play in four years."
After Walker's baskets, senior guard Dave Coley made a three-pointer before senior forward Eric McAlister's layup tied the score at 55 with 5:00 left. Then Coley added two more three-pointers, the last of which came from NBA range and had the crowd roaring. Senior guard Anthony Jackson's three capped the 21-2 run for a 66-57 lead with 1:32 left.
"You hit one and then two, and the basket looks like the ocean," Coley said. "The crowd had a lot to do with that. The energy gets you pumped."
Added Jackson, who passed the 1,000-point mark, "I think it set in for all of us that Pritchard has been good for us."
Albany scored 11 points in its next four possessions, hitting three three-pointers, to make it 71-68 with 13 seconds left. But Jackson's two free throws with eight seconds left sealed it.
Coley scored 17 points, hitting 5 of 8 threes, and was joined in double figures by Jackson (13 points, six assists), McAlister (13 points), Walker (11 points, nine rebounds, five assists) and Jameel Warney (10 points). Albany got 15 points each from Sam Rowley, DJ Evans and Peter Hooley and 11 from Gary Johnson.
Second-seeded Stony Brook (21-9, 13-3 America East) will face No. 7 Maine to open the conference tournament at 6 p.m. Saturday at SEFCU Arena on the Albany campus. The Great Danes (15-14, 9-7) dropped to No. 4, meaning the Seawolves won't have to face them in Albany, as they did in a semifinal loss last season.
Looking back at Sunday's ending, Brown had to smile at his defensive instructions. "I told the guys to make Coley a shooter, and he shot it," he said. "Coley put in some daggers. I tip my hat to him. He kept backing up further and further . . . Their seniors made big plays on Senior Day."
Albany, N.Y. –Powered by junior guard Jessica Ogunnorin’s career-high 18 points, the Stony Brook women’s basketball team ended Albany’s 38-game America East winning streak in a 66-56 upset Saturday afternoon on ESPN3. Senior guard Chikilra Goodman recorded a double-double on 13 points and 14 rebounds.
Sophomore forward Brittany Snow put in 11 points for Stony Brook (22-7, 13-3 America East). The Seawolves locked up the No. 2 seed for next weekend’s conference tournament, matching their highest seed in program history. They were also No. 2 in 2006-07.
The loss was the first for Albany (25-4, 15-1) since Jan. 28, 2012, a 62-55 setback to Hartford, the longest streak in conference history.
Head Coach Beth O’Boyle’s Reaction
“We wanted to go into the America East Championship feeling good. I have such respect for Katie and her players. We knew we needed to play a complete game to win it, and I am so proud of our players for playing so hard.”
Stony Brook led nearly the entire game. Up by five, 45-40, with 8:57 left, Goodman put in a layup to spark a 15-5 spurt that gave Stony Brook its largest lead of the game, 60-45, at the 4:18 mark. The Great Danes rallied, pulling to within seven, 60-53, when Sarah Royals put in a layup with just under 90 ticks to play.
MirandaJenkins made it a nine-point game on a pair of free throws at the 1:02 mark, but Erin Coughlin nailed a triple to get Albany within 62-56 with 43 ticks left and then stole the ball from Ogunnorin. But TammyPhillips. could not put in a 3-pointer, and Ogunnorin grabbed the defensive board.
Jenkins knocked down two more free throws as the lead stretched to 64-56 with 31 seconds on the clock, and Goodman hustled to come away with a steal on the other end and was fouled. Though she missed both, Coughlin’s trey was off the mark, and Snow sank a pair of free throws to put Stony Brook ahead, 66-56, with nine seconds remaining.
Stony Brook got off to a good start Thursday night, but things went downhill fast.
Carson Puriefoy hit a three-pointer 13 seconds into the game -- but that proved to be the Seawolves' only lead as host Vermont earned a 69-53 victory in Burlington, Vt.
The Catamounts (20-9), who responded to Puriefoy's three-pointer with a 30-9 run and led by as many as 24 in the second half, clinched the America East Conference regular-season title by moving to 14-1 with one game left.
Stony Brook (20-9), which had beaten Vermont, 67-64, on Jan. 24 at Pritchard Gymnasium, fell to 12-3.
Victories over Vermont and Albany on Sunday would have given the Seawolves the title, but they're now locked into second. The top remaining seed in the conference tournament final earns the right to host the game.
Puriefoy finished with 20 points. Anthony Jackson, who entered the game two points short of 1,000 for his career, shot 0-for-8 and went scoreless. Luke Apfeld led five Vermont players in double figures with 14.
Vermont shot 24-for-44 from the field to Stony Brook's 18-for-53.
Sandro Carissimo's three-pointer with 5:35 left in the first half gave Vermont a 30-12 lead. Carissimo and Candon Rusin each had eight points in the half as Vermont shot 13-for-23 from the field, including 6-for-12 from three-point range. The Catamounts held Stony Brook to 9-for-29 shooting in the half, limiting Jameel Warney to two points. He finished with seven.
Stony Brook's Carson Puriefoy drives the paint for the basket and the foul against Vermont. (Jan. 24, 2014) (Credit: George A. Faella)
If you didn’t know better, you’d think Stony Brook basketball coach Steve Pikiell was sports information director at Vermont. Pikiell can cite chapter and verse on an impressive array of Catamounts statistics.
“They’ve won games in our league by an average of 24 points a game,” Pikiell said, embellishing slightly on the actual 22-point margin in conference games that is tops in the NCAA. “They’re the best defensive team and the best offensive team…They’ve got big guys who can play, guards who can play. There’s not one guy you can key on. They have nine guys that have played a lot of minutes and won a lot of games.”
Well, it’s all true. Stony Brook (20-8, 12-2 America East) might have won three of the past four America East regular-season titles, but Vermont (19-8, 13-1) has earned its status as a strong favorite in an ESPN3-televised game that likely will decide the conference title Thursday night at Patrick Gymnasium in Burlington, Vt.
If you look at statistics for conference games only to compare apples to apples, the Catamounts are No. 1 in 14 of 17 categories. The Seawolves are No. 1 in two – rebounds per game and offensive rebounds per game – and No. 2 in eight other categories.
Of course, they did hand the Catamounts the No. 1 in their conference loss column, but after building a 17-point lead with 16:32 left to play, Stony Brook barely hung on for a 67-64 win on Jan. 24. The Seawolves must beat Vermont and then win their home finale against Albany on Sunday to capture a share of the league title and the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament by virtue of a head-to-head sweep of the Catamounts.
If Vermont wins, it gets the No. 1 seed even if it loses its finale at Binghamton, which is highly unlikely. The top seed is critical because the highest-seeded team in the March 15 AE final hosts the game.
Pikiell knows he’s headed to the proverbial lion’s den. Vermont will be honoring its all-senior starting five of Brian Voelkel, Sandro Carissimo, Candon Rusin, Clancy Rugg and Luke Apfeld plus reserve Josh Elbaum. The Cats’ starting five was held to 18 total points by the Seawolves, but Hector Harold (17), Ethan O’Day (16) and Kurt Steidl (13) came off the bench at SBU to give them fits.
One thing Pikiell’s team has going for it is good health. Post man Jameel Warney has shown he can overcome the effects of a thumb injury, and point guard Carson Puriefoy III had a career-high 24 points in Sunday’s win at Maine, demonstrating he’s over his groin injury.
Anticipating the scene Thursday night, Pikiell said, “It’s their Senior Night; the place will be packed; they’re playing for a league championship and we’re playing for a league championship. I’m just glad we’re playing games in February that are meaningful.
“They’ve got the most seniors in the country, one of the oldest teams. They’re well-coached. It’s going to be a war. I’m excited and I think our guys are, but we have a lot of respect for their program. Those seniors have done nothing but win at Vermont, especially at home…If we don’t play great at both ends of the floor, we’ll be in trouble.”
If the Seawolves don’t win, the punishment just might be a return trip to Burlington in a couple weeks
Bangor, Maine - Sophomore Carson Puriefoy (Wenonah, N.J) scored a career-high 24 points, and seniorAnthony Jackson (Columbus, Ohio) ignited a second-half rally with eight straight points as the Stony Brook men's basketball team came back to beat Maine, 83-79, Sunday afternoon at Cross Insurance Center.
The #Seawolves, who have won 11 of their last 13 games, improve to 20-8 overall and 12-2 in America East. They have clinched their third straight 20-win season and fourth in the last five years. Maine falls to 5-21 overall and 3-11 in the conference.
Head Coach Steve Pikiell's Reaction "Today was a tough battle with a talented Maine team, and I'm happy to be able to come away with another road win. I give them a lot of credit, they made big shots and took advantage of our poor first half when we were turning the ball over too many times. We're fortunate that we made big plays in the second half and got enough stops to take advantage."
Turning Point Stony Brook allowed Maine to score 42 points in the first half, struggling with the Black Bears' potent offense. However, the #Seawolves knew they could hang with Maine's offense. They just needed to string together a run of points and stops.
Trailing 49-45 early in the second half, Jackson ignited that rally with a jumper at 15:11. That was followed by Puriefoy stripping Xavier Pollard and Jackson converting a layup and drawing the foul. He finished the three-point play with a free throw and the #Seawolves took a 50-49 lead. After Maine missed a jumper, Jackson drilled a three-pointer at 13:52 to make it 53-49.
Stony Brook extended the run to 20-4 as Maine went 0-for-6 from the field from the 15:35 mark to the 9:29 mark. The #Seawolves led by as much as 15, 77-62, before Maine went on a 13-1 run to get within one possession, 78-75. But the #Seawolves made their free throws to secure the win.
Inside the Numbers
Stony Brook shot 45.5% for the game and was stellar at the free throw line, making 19 of 23 shots (82.6%).
Maine was 52.8% from the field and 35.7% from three-point range. After going 5-for-10 from behind the arc in the first half, the Black Bears were 0-for-4 in the second half.
The #Seawolves out-rebounded Maine 37-30 and used 15 Black Bear turnovers to create 23 points.
Puriefoy scored a career-high 24 points, surpassing his previous high of 22. He was 9-for-16 from the field.
Warney had 15 points on 7-of-11 shooting and nine rebounds.
McAlister posted 15 points, and Jackson added 14. Jackson is now at 998 career points, two shy of 1,000 for his career.
After turning the ball over seven times in the first half, the #Seawolves committed just two turnovers in the second half.
Xavier Pollard and Till Gloger each scored 21 points for Maine.
News & Notes
Stony Brook has now beaten Maine in seven consecutive meetings, including the last three on the road.
The #Seawolves have reached the 20-win mark for the third consecutive season and fourth time in the last five years.
Stony Brook remains in control of its own destiny for the America East regular season championship and tournament No. 1 seed.
This was Stony Brook's third win of the season when trailing at halftime.
The #Seawolves are 40-6 in their last 46 conference games.
Stony Brook is now 8-4 in true road games this season and 21-11 since the start of the 2012-13 season.
Up Next Stony Brook will travel to Burlington, Vt., Thursday for a showdown with first-place Vermont. The clash will air nationally on ESPN3 and the WatchESPN App. Live audio will also be available on WUSB 90.1 FM www.wusb.fm/sports