With Hartford's best scorer and rebounder, Mark Nwakamma, on the bench and Stony Brook's stand out player, Carson Puriefoy out of action, it was a battle of the slightly injured teams Saturday when the Seawolves and Hawks took to the floor.
It came down to the wire, just like every Hartford versus Stony Brook game does. It felt like eerily like the game between Stony Brook and Vermont just a few days ago. It came down to just three points in the final seconds. Nate Sikma tried for the tie, but his treys just weren't falling.
With a final foul on Hartford with 1.5 seconds left on the clock, the Seawolves made it a four-point win.
Hartford was not going to go quietly in this one. When the Hawks had the ball and Stony Brook was closing in on defense, they would go out for their specialty: threes.
The Seawolves tried to answer back but only made 2 of 9 long-range shots while Hartford went a bit trey happy and hit 12 of 32. Almost every Hawks player who can make a three did.
"We're a big team, but they have all guards running around with the perimeter shooting threes," said Stony Brook coach Steve Pikiell
Sorry Seawolves, but you're just not quite Hartford when it comes to 3-pointers.
Hartford also forced quite a few turnovers, something unexpected, especially against this intense Stony Brook team. But to counter their defensive surge, headed by Jamie Schneck with two blocks and two steals, the Hawks got into foul trouble early. One of their best defensive players, Corban Wroe, was benched with just under 13 minutes left in the first half with two fouls.
It was the turnovers that almost did in the Seawolves. They lost the ball 20 times to Hartford's 14, with most of them being their own fault. Fans sitting court side got a little bit of the action today.
"We still turned the ball over way too many times tonight, it's been a little bit of a problem for us the last few games, so we really gotta get that straightened out," Pikiell said.
Stony Brook came alive in the second half, gaining an eight-point lead before Hartford's offense came back and brought the numbers back to something more to their liking.
Stony Brook only has three days to get ready for a match up against Binghamton while Hartford gets a nice rest before a home game against Albany next Saturday.