by Pete Janny, Staff Writer
The Manhattan College women’s basketball team looked to snap their two-game skid when they hosted the Stony Brook University Seawolves on the afternoon of Saturday, Nov. 17th.
The matchup marked the sixth ever between the two programs with the Seawolves having won last season’s matchup 74-59 on Long Island. Entering Saturday’s tilt, the Jaspers held a 3-2 advantage in the all-time series.
Right from the get-go, Stony Brook looked like the hungrier side as they jumped out to an early 8-2 lead. Fifth-year graduate transfer Candela Abejon and sophomore guard Lizahya Morgan responded with consecutive three balls to help Manhattan tie the score at 8-8. However, Stony Brook answered with six straight points to procure a lead that would never be relinquished.
Manhattan’s second quarter was particularly troubling as the team shot 2-of-10 from the field and were outscored 27-8. The Jaspers found themselves facing a 43-17 deficit by the time the first half had concluded.
“We got punched in the face in the first half,” said Manhattan head coach Heather Vulin. “I challenged them at halftime to respect your home court and your fans. You might’ve had a bad first half but now you had to use that as motivation to make sure we have a better second half.”
The Jaspers showed signs of life in the third quarter with their solid play translating into an 18-18 scoreline for the quarter. Ultimately, Manhattan was unable to overcome their anemic first half performance and fell to the Seawolves by a score of 79-48. Stony Brook senior guard Shania Johnson did her part to sink the Jaspers as she tallied 23 points, seven assists and six rebounds.
“We had a gameplan to try to contain Johnson but to her credit she had an excellent game and was able to lead her team to victory,” said Vulin. “I’m disappointed in terms of how we didn’t put our gameplan into effect, but that’s something we’ll continue to work on in practice.”
Stony Brook took full advantage of the plethora of Manhattan miscues as they scored 26 points alone on Manhattan turnovers. The Jaspers finished with 21 turnovers when it was all said and done. Vulin believed her team’s turnover number was merely a bump in the road for her young team.
“Since we have a young team and it’s early in the season, I am playing a lot of different players just to see what I’m getting from them,” said Vulin. “Twenty-one turnovers isn’t who we are and it’s not what we are about so I think it’s more of just a bump in the road today.”
Manhattan freshman guard D’Yona Davis’s second half offensive outburst was the lone bright spot in a day to forget for the Jaspers. Davis finished with 18 points; 15 of them coming in the second half alone. Vulin was pleased with the maturity Davis showed as the game progressed.
“We moved her over to the point guard so she was able to have the ball in her hands which is something that she likes to do,” said Vulin. “She’s a talented scorer and when she makes a couple she’ll probably make four or five in a row.”
The Jaspers will return to action on Saturday, Nov. 24 when they host the University of Detroit Mercy for a 2:00 p.m. start at Draddy Gymnasium.