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Stony Brook men's basketball pauses team activities after positive COVID-19 test

The Stony Brook Seawolves play against the Fairfield

The Stony Brook Seawolves play against the Fairfield Stags without fans at Island Federal Arena on Dec. 4 in Stony Brook. Credit: Jim McIsaac

The Stony Brook men’s basketball program is pausing team activities because a Tier One member – meaning a player, coach or support staffer – has tested positive for COVID-19.

As a result, the Seawolves have rescheduled their next four games.

"We have the one positive and, with testing three times per week, we hope we got to it early and contained the spread," Stony Brook coach Geno Ford said. "The person who tested positive is asymptomatic, so that’s good news among the bad."

The positive test brings a halt to a surprisingly successful start to the Stony Brook season. The Seawolves won their first four America East games to move to first place in conference standings. Vermont, which was the prohibitive favorite in a preseason poll of conference coaches, is 2-2 after four America East games.

Stony Brook (6-4, 4-0) is on a five-game winning streak. The Seawolves’ roster went through a massive overhaul at the end of last season after finishing 20-13 with a number of players exiting the program including the transfers of their top three scorers. There are eight new players on the roster, many who came in via transfer, and the entire starting five are first-year players for SBU.

"The start of the season was the struggle it was set up to be with all the new faces, but we started to build chemistry and we may have played the best basketball of anyone in our conference the past couple weeks," Ford said. "We’re going to have to try to re-boot it when we are able to practice."

Stony Brook was to play its two games against UMBC at home this coming Saturday and Sunday; those contests have been moved to February 6 and 7. The Seawolves were to play two games at Albany next weekend and those have been moved to Feb. 12 and 13. The conference built its schedule with no games in the first two weeks of February in case teams needed to pause.

The next games on the Seawolves’ schedule are Jan. 16 and 17 at home against New Hampshire.

According to reports, Stony Brook is the 13th men’s college basketball program in New York State to go on a pause because of a positive COVID-19 test.

After contract tracing was done in the Seawolves program, there are six players who are not in quarantine. They are only allowed to do individual workouts. Should the status quo remain, SBU will go into return-to-play protocols on Jan. 9 and could be practicing as a team by Jan. 12.

Last weekend, Stony Brook won a pair of home games against UMass-Lowell. The River Hawks have gone through contact tracing protocols and have been cleared to continue with team activities, according to an America East statement.

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