After falling to Albany on the road and having their 18-game winning streak snapped, the Stony Brook Seawolves (23-5) celebrated after using their home-court advantage to win against Maine (8-19) for the playoffs.
Seizing their fourth America East regular season title, the Seawolves came out with their foot on the gas pedal and did not show any signs of slowing down in a 75-56 victory. SBU has a 14-1 record in conference play this season. Maine has lost six straight games, including its 10th conference loss.
SBU Head Coach Steve Pikiell raved about senior Jameel Warney after the win. “Jameel’s a great kid,” he said in a press release by the Athletic Department. “He’s grown so much as a person.”
Both teams had three players in double figures. The three players in double figures for SBU were the seniors.
Playing his final road game for Stony Brook, Warney led the charge for SBU with 20 points, including his 2,000th career point. He was relentless on the glass with nine rebounds, and had three blocks and two steals in 34 minutes.
“There’s a lot of people who’ve put me in a position to succeed,” Warney said. “Not many players get to 2,000 career points let alone 1,000 rebounds, too. It just shows how far you can go with hard work.”
Seniors Carson Puriefoy and Rayshaun McGrew chipped in 14 points each. Puriefoy added three assists in 36 minutes, and McGrew tallied eight rebounds in 32 minutes of action.
Junior Lucas Woodhouse led SBU in assists with five and played 30 minutes. He was very happy to win the conference title but is aware that there is work that still needs to be done.
“It feels great to win [the] league title, but the journey’s not over,” he said. “We’ve got to stick together and play within our system.”
For Maine, it was sophomore guard Aaron Calixte and senior forward Till Gloger who led the Black Bears with 11 points each. Freshman forward Ilija Stojiljkovic finished with 10 points, seven rebounds and led Maine with five assists in 32 minutes of action. Calixte struggled shooting, only going 4-13 from the field in 33 minutes of play. Glogger had a solid field-goal percentage off the bench, shooting 5-7 on field goals but only brought down one rebound in 18 minutes. The three of them scored 32 of the team’s 56 points.
SBU shot the ball just under 50 percent and shut down Maine’s offense. Maine shot the ball 62 times and made 21 field goals throughout, shooting under 34 percent.
SBU was also conservative from deep, only shooting nine three-point attempts with four makes while Maine hoisted it up almost three times as much from deep with 26 attempts. , Maine made seven threes, shooting under 27 percent from three-point range.
The Seawolves were extremely aggressive today and had a great day from the foul line going 19-24, shooting just under 80 percent. Maine went 50 percent, going 7-14 from the charity strike.
Stony Brook has its final game of the regular season at Island Federal Credit Union Arena where they have not lost a single game this season. Its opponent is the Vermont Catamounts (17-12) on Feb. 27 at 7:00 p.m. SBU won the first meeting between the teams at Patrick Gym in Burlington, Vermont in a 72-61 victory back on Jan. 30.