BURLINGTON, Vt. — Coach Geno Ford took the Stony Brook men’s basketball team to Seton Hall, Virginia and Providence during the non-conference portion of the schedule to prep his squad for Wednesday night’s game at Patrick Gymnasium.
The battle readiness forged against those Power Five opponents paid big-time dividends.
In a matchup of the America East’s two winningest teams over the past nine years, Stony Brook beat defending champion Vermont, 81-77, serving notice that it will be a contender for the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Elijah Olaniyi had 28 points, Makale Foreman added 23 and Andrew Garcia totaled 14 points, 10 rebounds and four steals for the Seawolves (11-6, 2-0), who ended the game on a 15-5 run in winning their fourth in a row and ending a seven-game losing streak against Vermont. Olaniyi also had 11 rebounds for his first double-double of the season and third of his career. Stony Brook shot 13-for-27 (48.1%) from three-point range.
Stef Smith led Vermont (10-6, 0-1) with a career-high 31 points.
Olaniyi put Stony Brook ahead to stay, 78-76, on a driving layup with 26 seconds left.
After Vermont’s Anthony Lamb and Stony Brook’s Olaniyi each made 1 of 2 free throws to make it 79-77 with 18 seconds left, the Catamounts missed two field-goal attempts. Miles Latimer iced the game when he hit two free throws with less than a second remaining.
— Combined news services
Pagan paces SBU women
India Pagan scored 20 points in leading the Stony Brook women to a 67-49 America East victory over visiting Vermont. Victoria Johnson added 12 points as the Seawolves (15-1, 3-0) won their 12th straight game and are off to the best start in their Division I history.