When the score is tight, the pressure is high and the game is on the line, Lucas Woodhouse is right at home for Stony Brook. That is in more ways than one. It starts with the fact that he has to ask for about 20 tickets every time to accommodate all of his acquaintances in Greenlawn.
“Pretty much everybody who is affiliated with me,” he said of his retinue, after having taken matters into his own hands again down the stretch Wednesday night, securing a 64-61 win over New Hampshire at Island Federal Credit Union Arena. “Coaches kind of get mad at me, they think it’s too much. But every game I have a new person asking to come to the game.”
His parents, trainers, neighbors, former coaches at Harborfields High and various other residents got to see vintage Woodhouse this time, as he led the Seawolves to another second-half comeback and another last-second victory. Coach Jeff Boals, who challenged Woodhouse to be a leader at halftime earlier this season in a game against Hampton, kept calling plays for his point guard and his point guard delivered.
“Seven games left now. If I wasn’t comfortable, I think I’d be letting the team down. So this is the role coach wants me in. I have to fulfill it,” Woodhouse said.
“Hats off to Lucas Woodhouse,” Boals said. “He was phenomenal. He just made play after play after play.”
The senior led the Seawolves (12-10, 7-2 in America East) with nine assists and nine rebounds as well as 21 points. The last two of those were typically pivotal. Knowing that New Hampshire (14-9, 5-4) coach Bill Herrion ordered his players to foul whoever got a pass from Woodhouse, Boals ordered his point guard to hold onto the ball. With 11.6 seconds left and Stony Brook leading by one, he drove through traffic and made a layup.
Then, although Daniel Dion had made 6 of 11 three-pointers, it was Jaleen Smith who tried the three at the buzzer. He missed.
“It looked like they tried to run a flare screen, but we did a good job communicating and pressuring the ball handlers,” said Tyrell Sturdivant, who had seven of his nine points and four of his six rebounds after intermission for Stony Brook.
Still, the Seawolves’ center recognized who ran the successful show. Of Woodhouse, Sturdivant said, “He never panics, so that calms us down too. And he just attacks and he can finish.”
Only one Stony Brook player scored in double figures: the same guy who ordered double figures in the ticket allotment. “He deserves it,” Boals said.
Woodhouse added, “I’ll go upstairs and I’ll have a mob of people waiting for me. It’s a great feeling when you win, but when you lose, you kind of let them down. But it’s great having them there, supporting me, every game.”