Stony Brook is off to its best start in nearly two decades.

Heading into Tuesday night's game at Binghamton, loyal followers of the Seawolves figured it would be an easy win. Not so fast. College basketball isn't that simple. Good teams can't just show up and think an opponent will lay down, especially on the road.

Stony Brook learned the lesson the hard way in its 64-62 loss at Binghamton. Is it a bad loss? Yes and no. It's a bad loss because Binghamton (7-11, 2-1 America East) is not a good team. The school dismissed five players over the summer for various school and legal infractions. Stony Brook, sporting an 11-5, 3-0 mark heading into the game, should be able to defeat a struggling program.

But Stony Brook (11-6, 3-1) is still in its infant stages as a program. Having joined the Division I ranks 10 years ago, the Seawolves are still "a work in progress" coach Steve Pikiell has said to me on many occasions.

"We played well in stretches tonight," Pikiell said after the game. "But we didn't play well enough on the defensive end of the court to win a conference game on the road."

That statement shows how demanding Pikiell is when it comes to defense. The Seawolves gave up 62 points and he still had issues with his team's effort on defense. You wish more coaches would emphasize defense.

Making matters worse, the Seawolves wasted another sterling effort from sophomore guard Bryan Dougher, who went 7-for-12 from three-point range for 21 points.

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Getting back to the team's road woes. All of the Seawolves' losses have some on the road. Stony Brook will get a chance to redeem itself on Saturday with a trip to Maine.

Great teams win on the road. Good teams win on the road, sometimes.  

 Photo credit: Newsday / John Dunn