With his team reeling and beat up, Stony Brook coach Steve Pikiell needed to do something.
He did, inserting Leonard Hayes and Eric McAlister into the starting lineup. It worked as the Seawolves cruised to an easy 69-35 win over Hartford at Pritchard Gymnasium.
There was more to this win than just more scoring. Stony Brook exploited Hartford's 1-3-1 zone with precision. Hayes hit three of Stony Brook's season-high 11 three-pointers.
Bryan Dougher also had 15 points and hit five three-pointers. But the key was Stony Brook got a lot of open looks, something they have rarely seen this season. Some of that was due to the return of Chris Martin. The fifth-year senior guard missed the last 10 games recovering from a torn meniscus in his right knee.
Martin scored six points in 11 minutes. More important than his scoring or the minutes he spent on the floor was his presence. He didn't waste any motions or movements. Every time he got the ball he looked to attack.
He got into the paint on several occasions and either got fouled, fed a teammate or looked for his own shot. It was a welcome sight for Pikiell.
"To have him here...It's a big lift," Pikiell said.
More importantly, Stony Brook halted a three-game losing streak. With a home game against UMBC on Monday night, the Seawolves might be able to get it going again.
Thanks to a Binghamton loss to Maine, Stony Brook (8-12, 3-5 America East) moved into sixth place in the America East.