A day after watching his team surrender 103 points, Stony Brook coach Steve Pikiell expected a return to normalcy on defense in Saturday's game against Florida Atlantic.
Pikiell got what he was looking for as the Seawolves, sparked by a career day from sophomore big man Jameel Warney, topped FAU, 67-61, at the 2K Sports Classic in Detroit.
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Warney had career highs in points (23) and rebounds (19) for the Seawolves (4-2). He is averaging 17.3 points and 10.3 rebounds this season.
"I thought I was able to play to my strengths against their big guys," said Warney, who had 13 points and 15 rebounds in the second half. "I was able to use my speed to get around them and get to the basket."
On Friday night, Toledo shot 52.5 percent from the field and took 42 free throws in a 103-99 win over Stony Brook. The Seawolves held FAU (1-5) to 30.2 percent shooting.
"Today we grinded out a win against a good Florida Atlantic team and got back to playing Stony Brook defense," Pikiell said. "We were solid up the middle, forcing them to take jump shots, and we defended without fouling for the most part."
Eric McAlister had 12 points and seven rebounds, Dave Coley added 10 points and seven rebounds and Carson Puriefoy chipped in with nine points off the bench.
Warney hit a layup at the 4:41 mark to give Stony Brook a 59-52 lead. FAU managed to keep things close, cutting the deficit to 62-58 on a free throw by Dragan Sekelja with 1:37 left. But Puriefoy hit four free throws and Coley added a free throw in the final 28 seconds to seal it."It was a team effort win,'' Pikiell said, "and we'll have to be prepared for a tough Detroit team tomorrow."