The schedule originally called for Stony Brook to face Maine on Sunday afternoon about 41 hours after an intense win over archrival Albany on Friday night, but the major snowstorm that postponed the game until Monday night at Island FCU Arena came as a blessing. Operating on a full tank of energy, the Seawolves crushed the Black Bears in every phase in an 81-54 victory that was their 12th straight.
The numbers in the boxscore were little short of a work of art for Stony Brook (16-4, 7-0 America East) as it shot 60. 8 percent from the field and 71.4 percent from three-point range (10-for-14) while holding Maine (6-13, 2-4) to 33.3 percent and 27.8 percent in those categories. The Seawolves outrebounded the Bears, 41-22, and totaled 22 assists on 31 baskets.
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“We needed that day off because that was a great-intensity game,” Jameel Warney said of Albany. “We needed the same focus for this game.”
Stony Brook coach Steve Pikiell downplayed the rest factor, saying the postponement was for safety reasons. “There were 30 inches of snow in my backyard near campus,” Pikiell said.
Maine previously upset Albany and scored 61 points in one half of a loss to New Hampshire. “It was a dangerous game for us, but I liked how our mind-set was,” Pikiell said. “We did a great job of making the extra pass. Our threes were all wide open. It starts with Jameel making plays out of the post, and it gets contagious.”
With his first rebound of the game, Warney surpassed the previous all-time school career rebounding record of 1,115 set by Tommy Brenton. Warney finished with 12 points, 12 rebounds, five assists and three blocked shots. Carson Puriefoy III led the Seawolves with 23 points; Rayshaun McGrew added 14, and Lucas Woodhouse, who started for injured Bryan Sekunda (right ankle sprain), had 12 points and seven assists. Devine Eke topped Maine with 11 points.
The Black Bears showed some early bite when they tied the game at 18. But the Seawolves made 16 of their first 20 shots from the field, and Puriefoy had eight points during a 16-2 run that pushed their lead to 41-25.
“I try to be aggressive whether it’s to score or get in the lane and kick,” Puriefoy said. “Today, there were a lot of open opportunities, and my team did a great job of getting me open shots.”
In the second half, Maine cut the deficit to 11, but Stony Brook responded with a 25-5 run, including 10 points from Puriefoy, for a high lead of 71-40 with 6:30 left to play. At that point, Maine had made only three of 15 second-half shots.
Describing the complete nature of the win, Puriefoy said, “As a team, we’re all locked in. This winning streak shows that.”