After winning a 64-59 contest at Sacred Heart University on Tuesday, December 18, men’s basketball traveled to College Park, Maryland to battle the University of Maryland Terrapins, December 21. The Seawolves entered the game with an 8-2 record this season. Maryland, a member of the powerhouse Atlantic Coast Conference, was 9-1 this season coming into play on Friday night.
After Stony Brook scored the game’s opening bucket, the Terrapins reeled off nine consecutive points to open up a 9-2 lead; center Alex Len scored seven of these nine Maryland points. Maryland took its first double-digit lead of the game, 20-10, with 13:47 remaining in the first half when guard Dez Wells converted a three-point play after being fouled during a driving lay-up.
The Seawolves struggled from beyond the arc in the first half. The visitors’ only three-point basket of the half came from forward Scott King to cut their deficit to 22-13 with 12:30 remaining. Conversely, Maryland excelled from long distance in the first 20 minutes, hitting seven three-pointers.
The Seawolves trailed 45-32 by halftime. Both Wells and Len played excellently in the half for Maryland. Wells scored 12 points on 5-6 shooting, while Len had 11 points on 5-7 from the field. Both players had two rebounds in the half. Forward Jameel Warney led Stony Brook in the first half, scoring with nine points on 4-6 shooting.
The Terrapins opened the second half on an 11-4 run and took their largest lead of the game, 56-36, on a lay-up by Wells with 17:52 remaining. Unfazed, the Seawolves quickly responded with an 11-0 run, and then pulled to score up to 56-47 on a pair of free throws by forward Ron Bracey with 13:41 to go.
The Seawolves continued to close the point gap to 68-61 on a couple of foul shots by Warney. Soon after, guard Anthony Jackson hit a three-pointer to cut the Stony Brook deficit to 69-64 with nearly two minutes left in the game.
With less than one minute remaining in play, and Stony Brook within three points of tying, Maryland’s Len missed consecutive free throws. However, Wells kept the ball alive, and Len dunked it in to extend the Maryland lead 70-65. Though Jackson hit a trey on the ensuing Stony Brook possession to cut its deficit to two points, the Terrapins hit their free throws down the stretch and closed out a 76-69 victory.
Wells and Len led Maryland in points with 19 apiece. Guard Nick Faust had a solid all-around game for the home team with seven points, seven rebounds and five assists. Warney led the Seawolves in points with 17. Forward Tommy Brenton also had an excellent game with nine points, nine assists and eight rebounds.
With the hard fought 76-69 loss, the Seawolves’ record falls to 8-3 for the season. They continue their game schedule Friday, December 28 in Newark, New Jersey against another major opponent, the Big East Conference’s Seton Hall University Pirates.