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Steve Pikiell praises bench play
The three-game suspension of senior guard Anthony Jackson, one of Stony Brook’s tri-captains, coincided with the real start of America East play if you dismiss the one December league game. But the Seawolves scored a 23-point victory last Sunday at Hartford without Jackson and followed up with a 67-47 triumph over Binghamton Wednesday night at Pritchard Gym.
Carson Puriefoy III stepped into the starting role alongside senior Dave Coley in the backcourt and had 10 points against the Hawks and a more quiet five against the Bearcats but also added four assists. Coley played 34 minutes and Puriefoy was on the floor for 33 minutes against Binghamton.
“I’ve said all year that we really have six starters,” coach Steve Pikiell said. “Trey [Puriefoy] is like a starter. It’s not a big adjustment.”
In the brief time Coley and Puriefoy rested, Pikiell was pleased with the six-point, three-rebound effort of freshman Chris Braley in his 12 minutes, and Kameron Mitchell and non-scholarship player Ben Resner held their own in brief stints.
“The young guys are getting better,” Pikiell said. “Chris Braley was great against Hartford [eight points]. I could play Dave and Trey 40 minutes each because they don’t get tired, but the bench is getting better. We’re growing. Kameron is getting better.”
Without Jackson’s outside shooting, defenses tend to collapse even more heavily than usual on low-post man Jameel Warney, who had only three first-half shot attempts against Binghamton but ultimately wound up with 13 points. “Hartford really packed it in,” Warney said of the Hawks’ interior defense. “Without Anthony, we have one less shooter. But people have stepped up. This was the second game in a row Chris hit two threes. Everybody came to play.”