Jameel Warney isn't just a difference- maker, he's one of the best players in the America East. He has a chance to be the top big man in Stony Brook history.
So having him on the bench for long stretches is not a recipe for success for the Seawolves. And being a complete non-factor for an entire game? That isn't going to lead to many wins.
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The 6-8 sophomore forward was mired in foul trouble Sunday afternoon, and even when he was able to see the floor, he struggled. Somehow, Stony Brook still had a serious chance to win, but Wayne Martin's tip-in with 1.5 seconds remaining gave St. Francis (N.Y.) a 70-68 victory at Pritchard Gym.
A desperation 40-footer from Stony Brook's Carson Puriefoy (17 points) nearly banked in at the buzzer, but after rolling around the rim, it fell off.
Warney, who picked up his second foul 61/2 minutes into the game, played only six minutes in the first half, went scoreless and didn't attempt a field goal. In the second half, he shot 2-for-5 and had five points and four rebounds in 17 minutes. This is the same guy who lit up Detroit for 32 points and 21 rebounds in a triple-overtime win the previous Sunday.
"It was just hard to get into a flow after sitting out 14 minutes of the first half,'' Warney said. "St. Francis is a good defensive team. They surrounded me a lot. But it was more me not getting in a flow.''
Warney and Anthony Jackson, who entered the game averaging 39 points between them, were held to a total of 11, but by no means is Stony Brook (5-3) a two-man team. Otherwise, St. Francis (5-3), which won at Miami (Fla.) earlier this season, would have had a cakewalk.
Puriefoy went coast-to-coast for a fast-break layup to give the Seawolves a 66-61 lead before Jalen Cannon (23 points) hit a three-pointer to put St. Francis ahead 68-66 with 40 seconds remaining.
Jackson tied the score on a short jumper with 19 seconds left, but when former Westbury star Sheldon Hagigal (10 points) missed a layup with three seconds left after driving the baseline, the 6-6 Martin was in front of the rim for an easy tip-in. Then Puriefoy just missed.
"Of course I thought that was going in,'' he said. ". . . It shouldn't have come down to that in the first place.''
Dave Coley and Rayshaun McGrew each had 12 points for Stony Brook. Both teams were in foul trouble, and SBU coach Steve Pikiell said his team has to figure out the new NCAA rules limiting contact between a defender and ballhandler. "The new rules," he said, "have affected us tremendously.''