The Stony Brook men’s basketball team looked like a completely different group after halftime Monday night.
After shooting 23.3% from the field in the first half, Stony Brook shot 60% from the field in the second half to earn a 71-64 win over Sacred Heart at Island Federal Arena.
“We were 4-for-17 on two-pointers and gave up nine offensive rebounds in the first half,” coach Geno Ford said. “We played how you’re supposed to play in the second half. Had we lost this game by seven with our second-half play, it would’ve been acceptable.”
Stony Brook (3-7) trailed 33-24 at the break but outscored Sacred Heart 47-31 in the final 20 minutes.
Kenan Sarvan (16 points), who went 4-for-9 from beyond the arc, drilled a corner three-pointer with 12:46 remaining to give Stony Brook a 46-44 lead. It was the Seawolves’ first lead since 2:41 into the game.
“We knew the first few minutes of the second half were so important,” Sarvan said. “Guys stepped up, made shots and it kept us in it.”
The teams traded baskets until Frankie Policelli made a putback layup with 2:43 remaining to put Stony Brook ahead 65-64.
Keenan Fitzmorris, who had 13 points and went 6-for-6 from the field, followed with a spin move in the post and threw down a two-handed dunk to give Stony Brook a 67-64 lead.
Tyler Stephenson-Moore hit two free throws with 31 seconds remaining to extend Stony Brook’s lead to 69-64, and Policelli made two free throws with 11 seconds left to seal it.
Stephenson-Moore had 13 points and seven rebounds. Raheem Solomon had 19 points for Sacred Heart (5-7).
Aaron Clarke didn’t start the second half after aggravating a back injury that forced him to miss the first seven games this season, but the graduate transfer from Sacred Heart convinced Ford to put him back in. He scored only four points but impressed his coach with his effort.
Said Ford, “I told him he wasn’t going to play the second half because he just couldn’t move, but he desperately wanted to play, and even though he wasn’t his usual self, he still made a big impact.”