It was just a month ago that Stony Brook traveled to New Hampshire and won by 30 points while holding Wildcats preseason all-America East forward and leading scorer Tanner Leissner to one point and 0-of-9 shooting. But none of that will matter when UNH visits Island FCU Arena at 2 p.m. Sunday.
Since that loss, New Hampshire (15-9, 8-3 America East) has won seven of its past eight games, including a one-point decision over defending champion Albany on Thursday. The only team hotter than the Wildcats is Stony Brook (21-4, 12-0), which has the nation’s longest Division I winning streak at 17 games.
Speaking of the Seawolves’ previous blowout of UNH, coach Steve Pikiell said, “We’ve been through enough to know the last one means nothing. If anything, it helps New Hampshire. They’re physical, they beat Albany, and they’re playing as well as anybody.”
The last time around, forward Rayshaun McGrew had the primary responsibility of shutting down Leissner with help from center Jameel Warney, who has a tough matchup of his own against Iba Camara. The defensive job against Leissner, though, was typical for Stony Brook, which has held the leading scorer for conference opponents at least 10 points below his average four times this season.
If the Seawolves beat the Wildcats to improve to 13-0, it will assure them of at least a tie for home-court advantage throughout the conference tournament, leaving second-place Albany (20-7, 9-3), which hosts Maine on Sunday, as the only team with a chance to catch them.