After getting swept by UMBC a week ago, Stony Brook went to Burlington to take on a very good team in Vermont. Stony Brook needed these two games to stay in a good position in the America East standings as the playoffs are approaching. Unfortunately Vermont was too much for the Seawolves to handle as they dropped both games, falling to 8th place.
Saturday’s game was a shootout all the way through. Stony Brook had a lead to start the game as they pulled ahead 8-2 in the first 5 minutes. Vermont answered that with a 12-0 run to pull ahead, and ultimately stay ahead. From there, Vermont controlled the majority of the first half, but went into the break with only a 6 point lead at 35-29. The Catamounts started to pull away early on stretching their lead to 12. However, Stony Brook brought it back to within 3 after a Mouhamadou Gueye 3 point play. Vermont again went on a 12-0 run, got their lead up to as many as 13, and led themselves to a 86-78 series opening win.
Both teams offenses were on fire. Stony Brook had 5 players scoring in double figures, as Jaden Sayles led the way with 16 points. Omar Habwe inked 15 points off the bench, and Frankie Policelli had 12 points in his return to the lineup. The team shot 43.8% as a whole for the game, and made all 12 of their free throws, which have been a struggle all season for Stony Brook. The Seawolves were a raging hot 58.6% from the field in the second half. had they have been scoring that way all game, it might’ve been just enough to propel themselves over Vermont.
As good as Stony Brook was, Vermont was just better throughout the game. Stef Smith led the way with 22 points, and leading scorer Ryan Davis wasn’t far behind with 21, also grabbing 12 rebounds. The Catamounts were hot during the whole game, shooting exactly 50% in the first half, and an incredible 65.4% in the second half. Overall they shot 58% for the game, while also going 42.1% from 3. This doesn’t come as a surprise however, as Vermont leads the conference in scoring, averaging 74.6PPG.
Today’s game was essentially an exact opposite of Saturday’s game, as both teams didn’t really get going on offense. This game looked like how Stony Brooks games have been going as of late. They have been playing great defense, but can’t seem to do anything offensively, with yesterdays game as an exception. A neck and neck first half saw both teams shoot under 35%. Vermont went into the half with a 28-26 lead. Stony Brook was in the game, but really struggled in the second half. They went 11 minutes without a field goal at one point. Policelli’s three brought them to within 1, but it wasn’t enough as Vermont came away with a 61-57 win to sweep the series.
Stony Brook couldn’t get going whatsoever offensively. Juan Felix Rodriguez had a career high 24 points, but no one else could break double figures. They could only manage 32.1% from the field, and only hit 5 threes for the game. As well as you can play defensively, if you don’t score, you won’t win, especially against a team of Vermont’s caliber That proved to be the case today, and these types of losses for the Seawolves have been killing them all season.
For Vermont, it was the Northeastern transfer Tomas Murphy who led the way with 17 points off the bench, hitting 5 three pointers. Smith and Davis also notched double figures continuing their good play. Vermont wasn’t much better shooting than stony Brook, only shooting 35.6% from the field. They did knock down 10 threes however, which was one of the big difference makers in this game.
Where does Stony Brook go From here
With Maine opting out of the season, this leaves Stony Brook with 1 more series. This series is next week against Albany. Not being able to play Maine hurts the Seawolves, as they can only improve to 8-8 in conference play, rather than 10-8, which is a big difference. Considering Albany has had their struggles, and Maine was just awful, Stony Brook could’ve easily ending their season winning 4 straight. But the only thing they can control is to win both games against Albany, which are two must win games. Stony brook can’t drop below 8th, but they can get up to 5th depending on what happens around the conference.