The Stony Brook men's basketball team shot only 36 percent from the free throw line and dropped a 70-59 decision to Maine Saturday night at Alfond Arena in Orono, Maine, after the Black Bears opened the game on a 25-6 run and held off a Seawolves rally. Leonard Hayes (Voorhees, N.J.) led Stony Brook with a career-high 22 points and was named the team's America East Player of the Game.
"We got off to a slow start, but we did a good job getting back into the game and making it interesting," head coach Steve Pikiell said. "But you can't win many games shooting free throws like that, and Maine did a good job on the offensive end. We need to commit fewer turnovers and make our free throws."
Stony Brook fell behind fast to a Maine team bent on hitting three-pointers. After the Seawolves held a 4-3 lead, the Black Bears went on a 14-0 run that included triples from Gerald McLemore, Murphy Burnatowski and Terrance Mitchell.
Dave Coley ended the run with a jumper, but the Black Bears continued to jump all over the Seawolves with an 8-0 run, punctuated by Raheem Singleton's three-pointer that put Maine up 25-6.
However, the Seawolves did not go down quietly, as Hayes came off the bench to give the Seawolves a huge offensive lift. He made all five of his shots, including back-to-back three-pointers at the end of the half to close Stony Brook's deficit to just eight, 34-26, at halftime.
Early in the second half, the Seawolves cut Maine's lead to six on three separate occasions, but the Black Bears responded each time. Then Bryan Dougher (Scotch Plains, N.J.) sank a three-pointer at 15:04 to bring SBU within five points, 42-37, but Maine responded with five straight points to go back on top by double digits.
Stony Brook made only six field goals the rest of the game and was plagued by poor free throw shooting. The Seawolves were only 9-for-25 (36 percent) from the charity stripe.
Troy Barnies led Maine with 17 points. The Black Bears got to the line 33 times, but made only 19 of them, keeping the Seawolves in the game. Nonetheless, Stony Brook is now 0-10 this season when its opponent takes more free throw attempts.
The Seawolves will head home for the next two weeks. After a Wednesday bye, the team will host Hartford on Saturday, Jan. 29 at 3 p.m.