CATONSVILLE, Md. — Stony Brook’s Jameel Warney (36 points) and UMBC’s Jairus Lyles (37) each set a career high for points in his previous game.
But their individual performances were much different Thursday night, as was the outcome for their teams.
Warney had 22 points, seven rebounds and three blocked shots as the Seawolves beat UMBC, 75-52, for their 17th straight victory, the longest active streak in Division I.
VCU transfer Lyles, who entered the game averaging 25.4 points per game, missed his first five shots from the field, shot 3-for-17 and was held to 13 points.
“He is so good, you have to limit his touches,” Stony Brook coach Steve Pikiell said. “We changed our defenses and I thought that helped us. He has been really good. He got a lot of different looks from our guards.”
“He is a great player,” Warney said of the 6-2 Lyles. “No one gave him easy shots.”
The Seawolves (21-4, 12-0 America East) moved three games ahead of second-place Albany with four games to play as the visiting Great Danes lost to New Hampshire, 69-68, last night. The regular-season champion earns homecourt advantage throughout the conference tournament.
Warney, who played only 27 minutes, shot 9-for-12 from the field, making him 25-for-30 in his last two games and 35-for-44 in his last three. Warney, who has averaged 27.3 points in the last three games, needs 24 points to break Emeka Smith’s school record of 1,978. He needs 45 to become the third player in conference history with 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds.
Ahmad Walker had 15 points, 10 rebounds and five assists, Carson Puriefoy added 13 points and Rayshaun McGrew had 12 points and seven rebounds. “We prepare every game. We had to focus on stopping the ball and keeping them out of the lane,” Walker said. “Our preparation really took over control of the game.”
So did the Seawolves’ defense, which not only stymied Lyles but limited UMBC to four fast-break points. Stony Brook scored 23 points off turnovers.
Walker’s two free throws capped a 27-4 run and produced a 34-10 lead with 5:32 left in the first half. UMBC (6-19, 2-9) missed 16 straight field-goal attempts en route to shooting 4-for-27 in the half and scoring 17 points, its lowest total for a half this season.
The Seawolves did an excellent job of making entry passes into the post early on. They outscored UMBC 36-26 in the paint, outrebounded the Retrievers 41-33 and held UMBC to 31 percent shooting, including 1-for-11 from long range.
Stony Brook extended its road record to 10-4. “Any time you win on the road . . . it is hard to do,” Pikiell said. “I thought we were locked in.”
Longest current Division I win streaks:
17 Stony Brook
10 Stephen F. Austin
New Mexico State