On the heels of coach , the Stony Brook University women’s basketball team played solid basketball for the first half Tuesday night but couldn’t keep up with Albany in the second in a 67-55 loss at Pritchard Gymnasium.
Interim coach Evelyn Thompson, in her first collegiate game as a head coach, got her team to play very solid basketball and head into halftime in a 30-30 tie with a very good Albany (4-2) team. In the second half, however, things fell apart and the Seawolves (0-5) committed costly fouls, including four in a one-minute span. The Seawolves shot just 30.8 percent from the field in the second half compared to shooting an even 50 percent in the first. They allowed runs of six, six and eight in the second half to let the game slip away and extend their losing streak to 11.
Turning Point: Albany’s Ebone Henry hit a layup at the 15:47 mark in the second half to give her team a 36-35 lead they would never relinquish. Albany took its largest lead of the game, 16 points, with 5:14 remaining in the game.
Heroes: Kirsten Jeter scored 23 of the Seawolves’ 55 points while shooting 9-16. She was 2-3 on three point attempts and 3-5 from the line. Tamiel Murray led Stony Brook with seven rebounds while adding seven points and five steals. Destiny Jacobs scored 11 points. Albany’s Ebone Henry had a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds; as did Julie Forster with 12 and 10.
Quotable: “I have the utmost respect for Coach Cherry,” Thompson said. “We’ve been friends for quite a long time, 20 years. My first job was working with Coach Cherry at Arizona State so I love and respect [her]. We were sad to see her leave. That being said, my focus with the team these last few days was just to move forward. We have an opportunity here to prove ourselves so we want to get them into that mindset.”
Bottom Line: Despite the loss, the Seawolves showed they can stand toe-to-toe with Albany for the first 20 minutes of the game. A coaching change mid-season is always a challenging experience for a team, but it seems the familiarity the team has with Thompson will make the transition a bit smoother.
“I respect these young women and I love them and I think they know that so to have some cohesiveness there I think it helped with the transition,” she said. “I’m privileged to work with these young women. I take this job very seriously and I’m very excited about the opportunity that our athletic director Jim Fiore has offered me and hopefully we’ll make the best of it.”
Who’s Next? The first-place team in the America East Conference, Boston University (5-0) comes to Stony Brook to battle the Seawolves on Thursday, Jan. 20 at 7 p.m. “We’ll go over some things that we should expect from Boston because they are coming in here as the number one team in the conference so that is an exciting opportunity for us to go in and be very competitive against them,” Thompson said.
Key StatsStony Brook Points Rebounds Assists Kirsten Jeter 23 3 2 Destiny Jacobs 11 5 1 Tamiel Murray 7 7 4 Juanita Cochran 4 5 0 Albany Points Rebounds Assists Felicia Johnson 16 1 4 Ebone Henry 14 10 0 Julie Forster 12 11 1
Box ScoreTeam 1 2 F Albany 30 37 67 Stony Brook 30 25 55