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Defense drives bus for Stony Brook

West Orange - March 13, 2012: Stony Brook's

West Orange - March 13, 2012: Stony Brook's Dave Coley looking to make a play during the first round of the NIT between No. 8 Stony Brook at No. 1 Seton Hall. (Photo by Patrick E. McCarthy) (Credit: Photo by Patrick E. McCarthy)

Defense is truly the name of the game for Stony Brook. Sure, the offense doesn’t exactly resemble Loyola Marymount of the 1980s and early 1990s, but Seawolves coach Steve Pikiell preaches defense.

How well has Stony Brook fared playing Pikiell’s brand of basketball? Try this on for size. The Seawolves are 19-1 when holding opponents under 60 points dating back to the start of the 2011-2012 season.

Stony Brook’s first three opponents have been limited to fewer than 60 points. That includes Tuesday morning’s 54-46 road win over Rider. Rider shot just 30.8 percent from the field, compared to 42 percent for Stony Brook.

“I like the fact that we outrebounded them and that, when it was tied, we won the basketball game,” said Pikiell. “That's what we do, we defend and held them to a season low.”

Stony Brook is 3-0 for the first time since the 2009-10 season. The Seawolves will face Sacred Heart on Sunday for a chance to go 4-0 for the first time in its Division I history.