After getting off to as strong of a start as they had seen in a long time, the men’s basketball team was dealt its first loss of the season this past Saturday, falling on the road 77-91 to the Stony Brook Seawolves and star forward Jameel Warney, the reigning back-to-back American East Player of the Year.
The Tigers (4-1 overall), going 3-0 in their first homestand of the season, came into this weekend with reason to be confident, having dispatched of Stony Brook (4-2) 77-64 in the two teams’ only meeting of the 2014-2015 season. They were evenly matched throughout the opening stages of the first half, with the score at 20-17 with just under 10 minutes to go. An 11-3 run in the subsequent 4 minutes, however, allowed the Seawolves to begin to break away. The Tigers’ inability to find the range was an issue throughout the first half (and indeed the entire night). They hit just 34 percent of their field goals through the first 20 minutes, compared to a scorching 73 percent from the Seawolves in the same time span.
Despite their difficulties shooting-wise, the Tigers were able to keep the Seawolves on their toes due to the large number of turnovers from the home team. The Seawolves gave it up 9 times in the first compared to the Tigers’ 3 — indeed, a steal and slam by sophomore guard Amir Bell brought the Orange and Black within 5 at 35-30. Three straight buckets by Stony Brook, however, would leave the Tigers down 41-30 entering the locker rooms.
In the beginning of the second, however, the Tigers came out roaring. Behind the play of junior guard Stephen Cook, junior guard Spencer Weisz, and junior forward Henry Caruso, the Tigers went on a 9-0 run to bring themselves within 2, at 41-39. The Seawolves, however, behind the strong offensive showing of Warney, responded with a 17-5 run to put themselves on top yet again. With 12 minutes to go, the Tigers would remain down by double digits for all but approximately 3 minutes of the remainder of the game, and would come only as close as 7.
On the game, the high scorers for the Tigers were Caruso and freshman guard Devin Cannady, each with 16. Cannady scored 16 off the bench on 4-9 of shooting, including three shots from behind the arc. Also having a decent game for the Tigers was Cook, who had 14 points, 3 boards, 4 assists and two steals in a well-rounded performance.
For the Seawolves, however, their success came off the back of Warney, who stuffed the stat sheet and put up a dominating 26 points on 11-14 shooting, 15 boards, 9 blocks and 5 assists on the game. Rayshawn McGrew also had a huge game in his own right, finishing with 18 points on 8-10 shooting along with 7 rebounds and 2 dimes.
With Stony Brook behind them, the Tigers continue their journey on the road as they take on Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, Pa. on Tuesday night, which can be seen on the Atlantic 10 Video network, before traveling to Nashville, Tenn. to face off against Lipscomb University, which will be televised on ESPN3.com.