Stony Brook has some injuries throughout its roster, but the Seawolves powered through pain in an attempt to pull off an upset against Yale on Saturday night.
The Seawolves erased a double-digit second-half deficit and made it a one-possession game late but fell to Yale, 77-72, at Island Federal Arena.
Tyler Stephenson-Moore played all 40 minutes and had 21 points for Stony Brook (2-6). Aaron Clarke, who was a question mark going into the game, scored 20 points and hit three three-pointers.
“Aaron Clarke hasn’t played live five-on-five in eight weeks,” coach Geno Ford said. “Nobody was sure he was going to play, but his offense ended up generating a lot of good things for us.”
EJ Jarvis led Yale (8-1) with 17 points.
Kenan Sarvan sank a three-pointer with 7:18 left in the second half to trim Yale’s lead to two points. Sarvan scored nine points and hit three shots from beyond the arc.
“Sarvan was injured the other night and was unable to practice the last two days, but he wanted to play,” Ford said. “He’s banged up too, but he showed some toughness.”
Stony Brook was unable to make a field goal for nearly the next seven minutes until Frankie Policelli hit a layup off an offensive rebound with 15 seconds remaining. Between Sarvan’s three-pointer and Policelli’s layup, the Seawolves scored five points off free throws.
Said Ford, “That team is the second-best team we’ll play all year if you look at the metrics, and late it was a one-possession game. We competed hard and took a huge step forward tonight. This is by far the best we’ve looked this season.”
Stony Brook shot 44% from the field, including 55% on three-pointers, and held Yale to 26% shooting from outside the arc. The Bulldogs led 42-36 at the half after shooting 53% from the field.
The free-throw line was key to the Seawolves staying within striking distance in the first half as they shot 12-for-14. Stephenson-Moore converted all seven of his opportunities from the line and had 14 first-half points.
“I could tell they were going to play defense aggressively because they know I can shoot,” Stephenson-Moore said. “I was looking to attack. I saw them jumping on my pump fakes and I drew contact.”
Yale took a 33-23 lead late in the first half as Stony Brook went more than three minutes without a made field goal. Stephenson-Moore hit a three-pointer and a technical free throw to end the drought.
“I’ve just been staying consistent, taking the right shots and putting them in,” Stephenson-Moore said. “I’m exhausted now, but I feel a lot better than last game, surprisingly.”