With his team finally home after two weeks of road games, Stony Brook’s Akwasi Yeboah went after Thursday night’s America East game against Binghamton as if the rest of his teammates had been holding him back all day. The sophomore swingman spent the first half making three-pointers, scoring on drives and getting his mid-range game working.
The burning question, however, was whether any of the other Seawolves would join him in the assault on the Bearcats. The answer came in the middle of the second half, and it was quite a sight.
Stony Brook’s offensively gifted but inexperienced roster got in sync and put together a dominant nine-minute stretch to break the game open before rolling to a 77-66 America East victory before 2,387 at Island Federal Credit Union Arena.
SBU point guard Jaron Cornish started it by driving for a layup to cut Binghamton’s lead to 50-45 with 12:21 to play. In the next 9:05, six Seawolves had points in a 25-5 run. Yeboah didn’t score during the burst but had three assists.
“The way we work in practice, we expect to get these kind of results,” said Yeboah, who had 26 points, 10 rebounds and four assists. “It was definitely electrifying.”
Stony Brook was strong on both ends of the court during the 9:05 stretch in the second half. Cornish had 10 points, including a three-pointer from the top of the key that banked in and left him shrugging and smiling sheepishly. During the surge, the Seawolves held the Bearcats to 1-for-11 shooting and forced four turnovers.
“We try not to let teams get back in the game once we have our foot on their necks,” Cornish said.
Cornish scored 15 points (all after halftime) and UC Iroegbu had 12 for Stony Brook (8-11, 3-2). J.C. Show had 15 and Bobby Ahern 13 for Binghamton (10-10, 1-4).
The Seawolves dropped the previous two games at Albany and Vermont. The team’s leading scorer found foul trouble early and had only six points in each.
“It’s been two games where I’ve been in foul trouble,’’ Yeboah said, “and I really needed to step up for my team today, so I did everything I could.”
Yeboah had the first 10 SBU points in a 16-5 burst that gave the Seawolves a 36-35 halftime lead. “He carried us, and it was big to get the lead,” coach Jeff Boals said. “When he plays well, we’re a really good team. It’s tough when he sits out extended minutes from a scoring standpoint. He’s a three-level scorer for us. He’s got a knack to score, and he’s tough to guard.”
Cornish, a junior college transfer in his first season at SBU, thinks the more he gets used to his teammates, the more the Seawolves will be able to play like that.
“He’ll continue to get better,” Boals said. “He adds a different dynamic for us. It was good to see him have a great second half for us.”