STONY BROOK, N.Y. – Redshirt sophomore Jahad Thomas (Williamsport, Pa.) registered a game-high 19 points, as well as a team-best six rebounds to pace the UMass Lowell River Hawks (5-10, 1-1 AE) in an 86-59 loss at America East conference opponent Stony Brook (11-4, 2-0 AE) on Saturday afternoon.
“I think that Stony Brook is the best team in our league across the board,” said UMass Lowell Head Coach Pat Duquette. “They’ve got the best big guy in the league and returning Player of the Year in Jameel Warney, and then they shot the ball 7-for-9 from three-point range in the first half. We certainly did some good things today, but we still have a lot to improve on. We have to get ready for Maine next week and hopefully take care of business at home.”
Thomas, who went 8-for-14 from the floor, added three assists in the decision. Redshirt freshman Josh Gantz (Grove City, Ohio) finished with eight points on the day, while freshman Keith Hayes II (Little Rock, Ark.) totaled seven points.
The Seawolves’ offense attacked quickly in the outing, building a 7-2 advantage in the opening minutes of play. Senior Mark Cornelius (Westford, Mass.) and sophomore Matt Harris (Erie, Pa.) gained momentum for the River Hawks, scoring back-to-back threes and cutting the difference to just one, but Stony Brook followed with an 11-2 run to pull ahead, 20-10, with 11:36 remaining in the first half.
Harris was able to dish a strong pass to junior Tyler Livingston (Hudson, N.H.) for a good jump shot before SBU drained two more buckets from beyond the arc to create a 26-12 buffer at 10:11 in the first. Hayes and Thomas pulled UMass Lowell within 10 once again, but the home squad led by as many as 17 on two occasions in the half, including at 42-25 with 2:50 left to play.
Redshirt freshman Dontavious Smith (Cullen, La.) would bank in a basket from down low, sparking six straight points for the River Hawks. Although the visitors outscored Stony Brook, 8-5, in the waning minutes of the period, the Seawolves took a 47-33 margin into the break.
The River Hawks logged the first points coming out of halftime, as Thomas found the net while getting knocked off balance. However, SBU responded with nine points to pull away, 56-35, with 17:22 left in the contest. Thomas then setup Harris with a no-look pass before taking one to the hoop on his own, but the home team registered the next 11 points, making the score 67-39 at 11:55.
The teams traded baskets over the next four minutes before Lucas Woodhouse drained a three and Jameel Warney followed with a layup that extended the difference to 78-46 with 7:36 still to go. Gantz completed a three-point play, as his team scored 11 of the final 17 points, but Stony Brook sealed the 86-59 decision.
Carson Puriefoy paced four double-digit scorers for the Seawolves with 18 points. Warney turned in a double-double performance with 13 points and a game-high 10 rebounds. As a team, SBU shot 59.6 percent (34-57) from the field, including 56.3 percent (9-16) from long range.
Saturday’s contest marked the 13th meeting between UMass Lowell and Stony Brook in the sport of men’s basketball. The Seawolves now lead the all-time series, 9-4. The River Hawks will return to action on Wednesday, January 13 when they host league opponent Maine beginning at 11 a.m.