Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Stony Brook uses defense to trip Columbia (Marcus Henry, Newsday)



















All it took was a quick glance at the stat sheet during a timeout in the first half of Tuesday night's game against Columbia for Stony Brook coach Steve Pikiell to realize his team was putting forth a great defensive effort.
Columbia had more turnovers (seven) than field-goal attempts (six) with 11:18 left in the first half. That first-half defense played a big part in Stony Brook's 67-53 win over the Lions at Pritchard Gymnasium.
"That's the kind of defense we have to play," Pikiell said. "We really spent a lot of time this week and we were ready . . . We played our kind of basketball today."
That wasn't the case in Stony Brook's 74-63 loss at Sacred Heart last week as the Pioneers shot 49 percent from the field and outrebounded the Seawolves 39-28.
"It was nice to get back to doing what we're doing, keeping teams under their average, playing good defense the whole time and getting after the rebounds," Pikiell said.
Dave Coley led Stony Brook (2-2) with 12 points, shooting 5-for-9, Bryan Dougher chipped in 11 points and Dallis Joyner and Tommy Brenton had nine points each.
Coley, the most efficient player for Stony Brook Tuesday night, attributed his offense to his defense. "I never feel like I have to get going [on offense]," the sophomore guard said. "I feel like my defense will get me going."
Playing without second-leading scorer Noruwa Agho (knee) made it especially tough for Columbia (0-4) to find its offense in the first half as Stony Brook took a 32-20 halftime lead.
Brian Barbour (23 points) was the only player for the Lions to finish in double figures.
"They made it really hard," Columbia coach Kyle Smith said. "And we had to go through some adjustments . . . I was really impressed with how Stony Brook guarded."
Although it wasn't the smoothest offensive performance for the Seawolves, who shot just 36.2 percent (21-for-58) from the field, no one seemed concerned with it.
"Coach preaches defense, defense, defense," Coley said. "As long we play defense, our offense will come to us."
Stony Brook took a 47-29 lead on a baseline jumper by Marcus Rouse with 14:07 left. The Lions answered with a 16-5 run and cut the deficit to 52-45.
But a three-pointer by Leonard Hayes, followed by a free throw and a reverse layup from Joyner pushed the Seawolves' lead to 58-45.