In these November games, an early draft on the basketball season's creative process, Stony Brook can sharpen its teeth on a Division III school such as Haverford College, win as it did Sunday, 81-65, and not necessarily feel great about itself.
"The good thing about basketball,'' said sophomore forward Jameel Warney, an inside force for Stony Brook with 15 points and 10 rebounds, "is that we have another game Wednesday.''
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Haverford -- aided by Rockville Centre senior Brett Cohen's 18 points and Amityville junior Lucas Colombo's five rebounds -- actually led 15-13, and kept from disappearing altogether by making 11 of 30 three-pointers.
But Stony Brook (2-0) led by as many as 23 -- 68-45 -- and never was in any dire danger.
It's just that Stony Brook coach Steve Pikiell spoke in terms of "a different sense of urgency,'' given the far lower level of threat offered by Haverford -- a school from suburban Philadelphia that is 1/20th Stony Brook's size in enrollment.
So the most satisfaction was in that "we did what we had to do,'' Pikiell said, "and I have [the players'] attention'' to begin preparations for Northeastern on Wednesday night and Indiana next week.
Warney and senior guard Anthony Jackson, who scored a career-high 24 points, did their expected damage. But through Stony Brook's early muddles, it was 6-10 reserve forward Scott King doing a lot of the heavy lifting.
King, in the starting lineup while Eric McAlister nursed a bad ankle, scored all of his 11 points -- nine of those on three three-pointers -- in the game's first 17 minutes. By game's end, he equaled Warney's 10 rebounds and had two assists, two blocked shots and a steal.
"Everyone on the bench has to step up and play their part,'' King said. "Just trying to do whatever it takes to win.''
That Pikiell could go to King's Derry, N.H., home a couple of years ago and have King be aware of Stony Brook is an obvious product of the school's men's basketball success.
"We can go different places now and recruit,'' Pikiell said. And find fellows such as King, "a guy I want to be instant offense off the bench,'' Pikiell said. "He really likes that role. He's fearless. He tees it up. When he's open, I don't care who we're playing, he's ready to shoot. I like that part of him.''
Not to mention King's sense of urgency Sunday.
SBU women lose. The Stony Brook women's basketball team lost to Navy, 72-54, in Annapolis, Md. Sabre Proctor had 11 points and eight rebounds for SBU (1-1), which trailed 47-24 at halftime.