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Miscues doom SBU in loss to LIU Brooklyn

Stony Brook's UC Iroegbu gets held by LIU

Stony Brook's UC Iroegbu gets held by LIU Brooklyn's Julian Batts at the Steinberg Wellness Center in Brooklyn on Monday, Dec. 4, 2017.  Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy

There were mistakes aplenty for Stony Brook on Monday night. The Seawolves started making them early against LIU Brooklyn but managed to bail themselves out for quite a while. But in the final minutes, the mistakes accumulated too fast for SBU to recover, and the flood pulled them under in a 75-71 loss at Steinberg Wellness Center.

“What can you take away from a game like this?” Bryan Sekunda said, repeating a question that had been posed to him. “You can’t screw up the little things all game long and expect to win.”

Fouls played a big role in the mounting of miscues. Leading scorer Akwasi Yeboah was limited to nine minutes and spent 18 on the bench in the first half after picking up two quick fouls. Second-leading scorer Tyrell Sturdivant also spent a couple of long stretches on the bench and was in the game for only 20 minutes.

But fouls weren’t the only mistakes they made. SBU committed 18 turnovers, including 10 in the second half. The Seawolves missed 21 shots inside the three-point arc. And on the free-throw line — an issue that has reared its head more than once this season — they were 9-for-17.

“We made unforced turnovers. We missed free throws. We didn’t score on point-blank shots,” coach Jeff Boals said. “We’re just not a good enough team yet to be making those kind of mistakes and overcoming them.”

Stony Brook (3-6) rallied from an eight-point deficit with about seven minutes to play. Sekunda had bookend three-pointers in a 10-1 burst, with the second giving the Seawolves a 68-67 lead with 3:06 left.

LIU Brooklyn (4-6) tied the score on the ensuing possession when Joe Hernandez got an offensive rebound, was fouled by Sekunda and made one of two free throws. Stony Brook’s next possession ended with point guard Jaron Cornish getting blocked at the rim by Hernandez to ignite a break capped by Raiquan Clark’s layup with 2:01 left.

“We made errors, and it wasn’t even like they forced us into them,” Cornish said. “This is on us.”

Stony Brook never got back in front. Its next three possessions ended with a turnover, a blocked shot and Sturdivant making one of two free throws.

The back-breaker came after the Seawolves appeared to get a stop in the final minute of a one-point game. Hernandez found Jashuan Agosto open in the corner for a three-pointer and a 73-69 lead with 15 seconds left.

“We were in a 2-3 zone, and at the end of the possession, people were not where they were supposed to be,” Boals said.

Cornish had 15 points, Junior Saintel 13 and Sekunda 12 on 4-for-6 three-point shooting for SBU. Hernandez scored 23 points, shooting 8-for-14, and Clark had 20 points for LIU Brooklyn.

New York Sports