Loyola point guard Andre Walker was the Greyhounds’ hero. He led the team in scoring with 24 points. Two came from making the go-ahead game-winning shot against Stony Brook (1-4) with half a second remaining to give Loyola their third victory of the season.
The clutch beneficiary at the foul for Stony Brook was senior guard Kameron Mitchell who is more known for his defensive playing style. Mitchell gave the Seawolves a 70-69 lead with seven seconds left. Walker then ran up the floor against Mitchell and was able to get past him and put up a floater that sat on the back rim and went straight through, giving Loyola a 71-70 victory.
After losing eight games last season, the Seawolves have dropped five of their first games this year. They have had two unfortunate losses in the closing seconds this season, with Columbia in the first game and now Loyola.
“We are a better team than we were two weeks ago,” Stony Brook head coach Jeff Boals said. “I don’t [know] if we are just a bad luck magnet or just getting right for these teams. Our margin of error is not very big and every possession matters offensively and defensively.”
Junior forward Chancellor Barnard for Loyola was a huge contributor off the bench with 16 points, shooting 6-9 from the floor. He made some big shots outside his comfort zone and Boals noticed that.
“If you look at no. 35 Barnard, he makes a shot with one second left on the shot clock and he hasn’t made a shot outside three feet all year,” Boals said.
Tyrell Sturdivant led the Seawolves with 18 points and Lucas Woodhouse finished behind him with 12. They both had trouble making shots, combining 9-26 from the field. As a unit, the team struggled to make shots, only making 37.9 percent of their field goals. But their strengths were three-point shooting and free throws. They shot above 40 percent from three and only missed four of their 21 free throws all game.
Sturdivant was a post presence for the Seawolves tonight and he says that he’s been playing with confidence. “I’ve had confidence in myself,” Sturdivant said. “I’m just trying to be more physical and it’s working for me.”
The Seawolves trailed most of the first half until they capitalized, making a 13-0 run to take a 35-33 lead at halftime. Junior guard UC Iroegbu played a big role in the half to ignite Stony Brook. He shot 3-5 from three and had nine points in the first half, but he would not score for the rest of the game, primarily because of limited minutes. Boals said Mitchell was the better option to play.
“As a coach, it’s a tough situation,” Boals said. “Defensively, Kameron Mitchell is our best perimeter defender. Offensively, UC is a really good shooter. Walker hit five straight points on UC in the second half and we put Kam in.”
The Seawolves next matchup is Saturday against Northeastern (4-3) at Island Federal Credit Union Arena. After facing a tough loss against Loyola, they want to focus on the next game. Plus, they want to get better as a team.
“I think there’s a few mistakes we need to take care of,” Woodhouse said. “We are better now than we were from the Columbia game. I don’t think you can dwell on games like this because you’ll keep losing. You just can’t dwell on games period.”
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