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Stony Brook University Seawolves

Jaden Sayles cruises in for a layup last Sunday in Newark.

NEWARK, N.J. — A day after coach Geno Ford lamented the Stony Brook men’s basketball team’s defensive execution, the Seawolves clamped down on Jan. 24.

Stony Brook rebounded from a defeat the previous day to beat host NJIT, 56-44.

The Seawolves held the Highlanders to 13 first-half points. It was the fewest points scored by a Seawolves opponent in a half since UMBC mustered only 10 in the second half of an 83-39 loss to Stony Brook on Feb. 19, 2013.

Juan Felix Rodriguez (16 points) and Frankie Policelli (11) each scored in double-figures in Sunday’s victory, while Mouhamadou Gueye contributed a career-high 14 of the Seawolves’ eyepopping 55 rebounds.

Stony Brook trailed 36-35 after a three-pointer from NJIT’s Miles Coleman with 10:58 remaining in the game. The Seawolves then answered with a 10-0 run that included three field goals from Rodriguez.

The Seawolves (7-7, 5-3) maintained the lead the rest of the way despite shooting 1-for-19 from three-point range for the game.

Stony Brook snapped a three-game conference losing streak to stay in the upper echelon of the conference.

“It was a grind,” Rodriguez said. “Coming from the two losses from the last weekend and the loss yesterday, we needed this win. We came in with the mentality to get that W.”

Said Ford: “As a staff I felt like we were playing for our lives today. Losing stinks.”

Stony Brook held NJIT leading scorer Zach Cooks to four points on 1-for-13 shooting from the field. The 55 rebounds marked the most since producing that same number against Farmingdale State on Nov. 11, 2019.

“I was super-pleased with our defensive effort, obviously, today,” Ford said. “I know they missed some shots. But clearly we did, too. We missed almost all of them.

“It’s the first game since we’ve returned (from a two-week COVID pause) that we mentally and physically competed at a high level. That looked like our team from four weeks ago. And not because we won. We could have lost, and I would have just said, ‘Well, we didn’t shoot it good.’ But, man, we did a look of good things. Anytime you out-rebound people like we did, you know guys are playing super hard.”

With America East shuffling schedules due to COVID-related pauses, Stony Brook now will host Hartford Jan. 30 and 31 at Island Federal Arena. Start time for both games is 2 p.m.

Photo by Jim Harrison/SBU Athletics

The No. 17 Stony Brook women’s lacrosse team gave its eight seniors something to celebrate about, topping Binghamton at LaValle Stadium, 20-4, on Friday night on Senior Day. The victory marked the team’s seventh in a row and moves the Seawolves to 6-0 in America East play.

“Senior Day is an emotional day so there’s a lot of moving parts with the lineup being different and honoring your seniors and the seniors coming to the reality that it’s the last home game of the regular season and that they don’t have too much time left as far as being a college athlete,” said head coach Joe Spallina.

“We always try to funnel the emotion. I loved the way we responded to the emotion of Senior Day. We came out and were very business-like and we continued the momentum that we’ve had during our winning streak,” he added.

Stony Brook headed into the locker room with a 15-1 lead and didn’t look back en route to the 16-goal victory. Taryn Ohlmiller (Islip) led the offensive attack with seven points from four goals and three assists. Ally Kennedy (North Babylon) was once again big on the offensive attack, recording all of her five goals in the first half as well as an assist.

Kasey Mitchell (Port Jefferson Station) was a standout on her special day, recording a career-high five points from a hat trick and two helpers. All three of her scores came from the free position.

Nicole Bifulco (Huntington) also had a Senior Day to remember, scoring on both shots she took to earn a pair of goals. Keri McCarthy (Hauppauge) also got in on the scoring with her fellow seniors, putting in a highlight-worthy behind-the-back shot in the first half.

Goals also came from Siobhan Rafferty (Long Beach) (2), Rayna Sabella (Mount Sinai), Sarah Pulis (Baldwin) and Nicole Rizzo (Syosset). Goalkeeper Anna Tesoriero (Huntington) got the win in net after recording two saves. Gabrielle Cacciola (Wading River) made a save in the second half.

Kennedy has scored in all 15 games this season and Rafferty has notched at least one point in each contest. Ohlmiller has now moved up to No. 4 in program history in career points (252) and Kennedy is eighth with 189. Mackenzie Burns (West Sayville) led the team in ground balls (4) and also had five draw controls along with McCarthy and Kennedy.

Stony Brook is 16-1 all-time against Binghamton, winning its last nine matchups. The team was Penn State bound, meeting with the Nittany Lions on Tuesday. Results were not available as of press time.

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The Stony Brook University women’s basketball team welcomed a special top recruit to its ranks April 24 as Amelia Garcia, of Centereach officially became a member of the team through the school’s Team IMPACT program.

Team IMPACT is a national nonprofit organization based in Boston that connects children facing serious or chronic illnesses with college athletic teams, forming life-long bonds and life-changing outcomes.

The 11-year-old Centereach native was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 2012 and is an avid fan of the Seawolves.

Joined by her family and friends as well as members of the basketball team, Amelia took part in a special draft day celebration where she signed an official letter of intent to join the team and received a customary team jersey, T-shirt and basketball shoes.

“It’s a special day for us, as we welcome Amelia into our Seawolves family,” said Caroline McCombs, head basketball coach.

Sophomore forward Oksana Gouchie-Provencher said when the team found out they had been matched with a die-hard Stony Brook women’s basketball fan, they were all excited. 

“We are so happy to welcome you to our team and be a part of our journey,” she said. 

As a member of the team, Amelia will attend Seawolves practices, games, team dinners, events and more.

Since 2011, Team IMPACT has matched more than 1,700 children with more than 500 colleges and universities in 49 states, reaching over 50,000 participating student-athletes.