Stony Brook loses to deliberate Columbia

Stony Brook's Dave Coley is surrounded by Columbia

Stony Brook's Dave Coley is surrounded by Columbia defenders. (Jan. 8, 2014) (Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy)

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This was the opposite of havoc. It was more like water torture.

Stony Brook went from the high-octane, in-your-face style of Virginia Commonwealth to the slow-it-down offense of Columbia in a matter of five days -- and the Seawolves didn't make the necessary adjustments.

"You can't get two more polar opposites,'' Stony Brook coach Steve Pikiell said.

Columbia was able to get open looks from deep and on backdoor cuts and Stony Brook just couldn't get a stop down the stretch Wednesday night in a 68-63 loss to the Lions before a subdued crowd at Levien Gym in Morningside Heights. This wasn't exactly 7,741 screaming fans in Richmond, Va., which the Seawolves encountered Friday.

"It's very difficult to be playing those different types of teams in the few days we had,'' Stony Brook sophomore big man Jameel Warney said.

Pikiell said that usually he "never'' would have scheduled teams such as VCU and Columbia back to back. But he was interested in playing VCU, and when a team like that gives you a date, you take it. Columbia is on Stony Brook's schedule, Pikiell said, because America East opponent Hartford has a similar style to the Lions. The Seawolves play at Hartford on Sunday.

"Hopefully, they don't have eight three-point shooters,'' Pikiell joked.

This game was tied at 54 with 5:30 left, but Columbia's Maodo Lo hit a three-pointer off a long rebound with 4:25 to go that gave the Lions a 58-54 advantage. A similar occurrence happened four minutes earlier when Grant Mullins knocked down a three off an offensive rebound. Columbia (10-6) made 12 of 30 three-pointers for the game and Lo had seven of them, leading to his 29 points.

The cuts and long-range shooting were expected. But Pikiell was surprised about being outrebounded 35-25, especially after Stony Brook (9-6) got the better of VCU on the boards.

"I feel like we didn't control the glass the entire night,'' Stony Brook guard Anthony Jackson said. "We paid for that down the stretch. That's something we've got to get better at.''

Warney had 20 points but struggled down the stretch. Jackson had 16 points, and Carson Puriefoy had nine off the bench for Stony Brook.

Columbia big man Alex Rosenberg also hurt the Seawolves with 24 points, making 7 of 9 from the field, including three three-pointers.

"Today was our toughest test on defense, because they hold the ball so long,'' Pikiell said. "And every mistake you make is a three-point mistake.''

At least this time Stony Brook knows what it's getting into over the weekend.

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