The Stony Brook men’s basketball team had better find some offense quickly if it is to make a successful final push to the top of the America East Conference standings.
The Seawolves shot 32% from the field and went scoreless in the final 2:44 of their 60-48 loss to UMBC at Island Federal Arena on Monday afternoon. Stony Brook’s last field goal of the game came with 4:24 left.
UMBC swept the Seawolves (8-10, 6-6) in their Sunday-Monday series and dealt them their third loss in their last four games.
"I don’t think we’re as bad of shooters as the percentages would tell you," Stony Brook coach Geno Ford said. "We don’t have a lot of offensive firepower, that’s not a big secret."
Mo Gueye had 16 points and 11 rebounds and Juan Felix Rodriguez added nine points and two steals for SBU. Darnell Rogers had 14 points for UMBC.
After leading by two points at the break, UMBC began the second half on an 11-2 run, opening a 37-26 lead with 17:11 left.
Rodriguez and Omar Habwe hit back-to-back three-pointers to cut UMBC’s lead to 49-43 with 5:18 left and Tykei Greene’s three-pointer brought Stony Brook to within 52-46 with 4:24 left.
That was the Seawolves’ final salvo of the afternoon as they were outscored 8-2 the rest of the way.
"The disappointing part is, there was a really good team in the gym today, but they weren’t wearing Stony Brook uniforms," Ford said. "[UMBC] is veteran. They’ve got good guards, they’ve got great size and they made timely shots. They’ve been in these wars before. Both games, when it was winning time, we [could never] muster up enough plays."
The Seawolves are still vying for one of the top two seeds in next month’s conference tournament, which would give them a bye into the semifinals. They are three games behind UMBC and Vermont in the loss column in the battle for the two seeds and also trail Hartford and New Hampshire.
Stony Brook will play a two-game series at Vermont next weekend. Vermont last played on Jan. 17 because of a COVID-related pause. "We’re going to have to try to find [offense] somewhere," Ford said. " . . . You’re not going to beat anybody scoring 48 points."
Notes & quotes: Frankie Policelli, one of the top three-point shooters in the conference, missed his second straight game with a hip injury. His status for next weekend is uncertain, but Ford said he doesn’t think the injury is season-ending.