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Ahmad Walker leads Stony Brook past New Hampshire

Ahmad Walker #5 prepares to sink a foul

Ahmad Walker #5 prepares to sink a foul shot during the second half of Stony Brook's victory over UMass Lowell at Stony Brook University's Island FCU Arena on Jan. 9, 2016. Credit: Daniel De Mato

New Hampshire coach Bill Herrion had a pretty good idea of what type of team he’d be facing Saturday, and Stony Brook did nothing to change his mind.

‘’They’re really good, they’re really good,’’ Herrion said after the Seawolves’ 80-50 victory at Lundholm Gym in Durham, New Hampshire, “and obviously, they just dominated us in every facet of the game today. There’s really not much to talk about. Today was men against boys. It’s basically what it was.’’

Ahmad Walker had 19 points, seven rebounds and four assists and Carson Puriefoy added 15 points for the Seawolves (13-4, 4-0 America East), who earned their ninth straight victory. Jameel Warney had 12 points, nine rebounds, four assists and three blocked shots, Rayshaun McGrew scored 10 points and Lucas Woodhouse added eight. The Seawolves shot 29-for-60 overall and 8-for-19 from three-point range.

“The way New Hampshire plays defense presents challenges,’’ Walker said. “They doubled the post and played in their gaps, so I needed to be aggressive. I took the ball to the basket and fortunately the shots fell today.’’

Stony Brook — which has scored at least 80 points in three straight games and at least 40 points in five of the last six halves — and Hawaii are the only teams to lead their conferences in scoring offense and scoring defense.

Stony Brook coach Steve Pikiell wasn’t happy with his team’s defensive effort in an 86-74 victory over UMBC on Wednesday night, but he had to like what he saw Saturday.

In taking a 40-21 halftime lead, the Seawolves held the Wildcats’ top two scorers, 6-7 Tanner Leissner and 6-4 Jaleen Smith — who entered the game averaging 14.2 and 13.3 points per game, respectively — to two points and 1-for-8 shooting between them. Leissner wound up with one point and shot 0-for-9. The Wildcats shot 5-for-23 in the final 14:33 of the first half and wound up being held 21.5 points below their offensive average.

“They’re a great defensive team,’’ Herrion said. “I’ve told our guys for the last three, four days leading up to this game, there are a lot of seniors. It’s their last go-round. The clock’s ticking. I think they’re on a mission to try to win this thing and get to the NCAAs. They played like that today. You need your better players to obviously produce. They really went after some of our key guys and really took them out of the game, and that was a real issue.’’

Said Pikiell, “Tanner Leissner is a terrific offensive player and Ray [McGrew] did a great job on him. It always takes a team effort to defend a great player like Leissner and team like New Hampshire.’’

Stony Brook moved a game ahead of perennial nemesis Albany (14-5, 3-1) — which lost to Maine, 81-79, in Bangor on Friday afternoon after edging New Hampshire, 80-75, in overtime on Tuesday night — and will host the Great Danes on Friday at 9 p.m.

Said Pikiell, “This truly was a team win on both ends of the floor. I was really pleased with our approach to the game. We need to continue to be locked in because it only gets tougher.’’

Jacoby Armstrong had 14 points and nine rebounds for New Hampshire (8-8, 1-2), which shot 18-for-57 overall and 3-for-15 from three-point range. Iba Camara added 13 points, 10 in the first half.

Leading 14-13, Stony Brook went on a 15-2 run for a 29-15 lead. A subsequent 11-2 run gave the Seawolves a 19-point halftime lead, and after New Hampshire moved within 45-31, Walker led a 16-1 surge that made it 61-32 with 9:54 remaining.

‘’They took care of us,’’ Herrion said with a rueful laugh. ‘’They really handled us.’’ — GREG GUTES

Stony Brook women win. Led by 18 points from Davion Wingate, the Stony Brook women’s basketball team (12-5, 4-0) earned a 63-54 victory over visiting New Hampshire (6-10, 0-3). Brittany Snow had 16 points and nine rebounds and Ogechi Anyagaligbo added 13 points and 11 rebounds for the Seawolves, who extended their winning streak to eight games and have won their first four conference games for the first time in their 17 years of Division I play.

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