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Freshman Akwasi Yeboah steps up and sparks Stony Brook

Stony Brook guard Akwasi Yeboah sets to shoot

Stony Brook guard Akwasi Yeboah sets to shoot defended by Lehigh guard Brandon Alston in the first half of an NCAA men's basketball game at Island Federal Credit Union Arena on Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2016. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Stony Brook coach Jeff Boals hopes to look back at his team’s 62-57 win over Lehigh Tuesday night as a turning point for freshman forward Akwasi Yeboah.

In his first seven college games, the Chigwell, England, native endured inconsistent performance, but he enjoyed a career night as the Seawolves won for the second consecutive time at Island FCU Arena last night.

On a night in which usual high scorers Tyrell Sturdivant (2-for-11, six points) and Lucas Woodhouse (1-for-8, 14 points) had trouble sinking their shots from the field, Yeboah stepped up and scored 16 points, including hitting three treys to help set the tone in the second half.

“I have all the confidence in the world in him. For him to see the ball go in the basket was really key for us with those two struggling,” Boals said. “He’s capable of doing it. I’ve seen it in practice. It’s a matter of him going out and producing it. It was great for us.”

Yeboah sank 6 of 13 field-goal attempts, including 3 of 8 from three-point range, and finished with a team-best six rebounds.

“That’s what I was looking for this whole season,” he said. “I knew I had to be aggressive and help my team win. Also, I had confidence in my game. I worked hard for it. I have no fears on what I do.”

Even though they didn’t match their usual production, Sturdivant and Woodhouse did play key roles down the stretch. Woodhouse sank two technical foul shots to break a 39-all tie with 12:19 left in the game and spark the Seawolves (3-5) on a 10-1 run. Sturdivant backstopped the run with a couple of baskets.

Woodhouse converted all 12 of his foul shots, including 10 in the final 5:03, which helped keep Lehigh (3-5) at bay in the late going.

Boals said Woodhouse was tired from playing 34 minutes a game in the last three contests.

“For him to step up and go 12-for-12 from the line tells you a little about on who he is,” he said.

Senior forward Tim Kempton, Jr., the son of former St. Dominic High School standout Tim Kempton, Sr., kept Lehigh in the game with 27 points and nine rebounds.

“Kempton’s huge,” Boals said. “He’s like a Sequoia out there,”

Woodhouse added: “He made some tough contested three-point shots. He can do everything. He’s a great player.“

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