It was not artistic. It was not aesthetically pleasing.
And that was exactly what Geno Ford wanted — and needed — to see.
"I thought we played really hard," the Stony Brook men’s basketball coach said after his team’s 65-51 win over UMBC at Island Federal Credit Union Arena on Monday.
Stony Brook, the preseason favorite to win the America East title, has won two of its three conference games and improved to 10-6 overall.
It was the Seawolves’ first game after a 98-65 loss to Vermont on Jan. 12 in which they allowed 19 made three-pointers.
Against the conference’s highest-scoring team, the Seawolves held the Retrievers to 30.8% shooting from the field (16-for-52) and 19.2% shooting from beyond the arc (5-for-26).
"When we’re locked in on both ends, it’s hard to beat us," said Jahlil Jenkins, who led SBU with 17 points, 15 of which were scored in the second half.
Tykei Greene added 11 points and 12 rebounds. Anthony Roberts also scored 11 points.
"Today, we really took pride in our defense," Jenkins said.
Ten minutes into the game, the Seawolves trailed 17-8, even though UMBC had shot 4-for-12, including 2-for-8 from three-point range, and committed three turnovers.
For its part, Stony Brook shot 4-for-16 and turned the ball over four times in that stretch.
Stony Brook is the fourth-best three-point shooting team in the conference, but it missed its first seven attempts before Greene ended the drought with 5:35 left in the half.
Even though the Seawolves shot 38.2% from the field (13-for-34) and 20% from three-point range (2-for-10), they ended the final 10 minutes of the half on a 21-9 run to build a 29-26 lead at halftime.
"Offensively, we left some points on the table," Ford said. "Luckily, Jahlil Jenkins got it cooking a little bit in the second half. Tykei was consistent throughout, but we needed another guy to put points on the board and Jahlil . . . in the second half was clearly that guy. He did a great job."
The possession-by-possession nature of the game continued in the second half. Unlike the opening 20 minutes, however, Stony Brook was able to convert shot attempts with efficiency. The Seawolves shot 13-for-30 and were able to slowly extend their advantage, leading by as much as 18 points late in the game.
"We played fast," Jenkins said. "When we play fast, it’s hard to beat us."