The euphoria of the Stony Brook men’s basketball team’s first-half run to take a lead entering intermission turned into the heartbreak of seeing it happen against them on the other end in the game’s pivotal moments.
In a sport in which a 40-minute game clock often has the winner determined off which team has the most few-minute spurts of scoring and lockdown defending, Stony Brook found itself on the wrong side of a run at the wrong time.
Host Bryant defeated Stony Brook, 81-72, in non-conference action Saturday afternoon, catapulted by a Bryant 24-5 run in the second half over a span of seven minutes, 32 seconds.
"Our runs take a while, the other teams’ runs don’t," coach Geno Ford said. "And that’s probably a big key to why you are seeing us playing in spurts where we can get the upper hand then all of a sudden, it gets away from us."
Bryant (4-2) shot 8 of 12 from the field, including 3 of 6 from beyond the arc, during a run that witnessed Stony Brook’s 53-45 lead evaporate into a 69-58 deficit with 6:43 remaining in the second half. The Seawolves shot 2 of 10 with four turnovers during that span.
Bryant relied heavily on its three-point shooting. The Bulldogs converted at 40.7 percent (11 of 27) from beyond the arc, including 45.5 percent in the second half.
"In the second half, [we] had a nice lead and then just kind of unraveled," Ford said. "We couldn’t stop the bleeding on either end. We were having a hard time guarding them."
After Bryant controlled much of the opening half, Stony Brook ended the opening period on a 19-5 run over 6:23 to take a 41-37 lead into the break. The Seawolves hit 7 of 10 shots during the run without turning the ball over, and forced four Bryant turnovers over that span.
"[I] thought we battled," Ford said. "Thought some guys had some decent games but we got work to do. It’s very obvious."
Mouhamadou Gueye showed off his athletic ability during the contest, including a pair of highlight film dunks on back-to-back possessions. He finished with 11 points, four rebounds and five blocks.
Ford said Gueye’s had to adjust to a new position, playing more as a forward as opposed to a majority of minutes at center last year.
"Mo is tremendously talented and he’s capable of making tremendous impactful plays on both ends of the floor," Ford said. "He is doing some great things and he’s also being asked to learn a new position. He’s literally the only guy on our roster that’s returning that played a major role last year."
Juan Felix Rodriguez added 19 points, shooting 8-for-16, with six rebounds, Jaden Sayles added 11 points and four rebounds and Tykei Greene added 10 points for Stony Brook (1-4).
With one more non-conference game (hosting Point Park Tuesday at 1 p.m.) before America East play begins, Ford hopes to see improvements heading into the thick of the season.
"We’re still trying to learn ourselves," Ford said. "There was no doubt this was going to be a process with a new team."