STONY BROOK, N.Y. — Embracing a Stony Brook University culture that is uniquely diverse with many influences from around the world, the Stony Brook men’s basketball program will welcome them all for International Student Appreciation Night at Island Federal Arena on Saturday at 6:31 p.m.
The game the students and Seawolves community will see is a good one, again pitting two preseason conference favorites as the top-picked Seawolves out of the America East take on Wagner, who were selected first in the Northeast Conference preseason poll. Stony Brook is coming off its second home win in as many tries, an 80-57 defeat of American on Wednesday night, while Wagner played its first game in 18 days, an 85-63 loss to No. 25 Seton Hall on Wednesday.
SCOUTING THE BULLDOGS
- Wagner has only been able to play three games due to COVID-19 difficulties within the program. Most recently, they fell to No. 25 Seton Hall 85-63 on Wednesday night. They were without their top two scorers and head coach Bashir Mason, though he is scheduled to return Saturday.
- The Seahawks lead the Northeast Conference in scoring defense, holding teams to 62.7 points per game.
- Before its pause, Wagner started the season with back to back wins against America East foe Hartford (77-59) and VCU (58-44).
- Wagner has taken advantage of its free points in the early-going, sitting fifth in the nation in free-throw percentage at 80.6.
- Saturday night will be the ninth all-time meeting between the two schools with Wagner leading the series 5-3 in a series that dates back to 1974.
- Stony Brook won a memorable contest in 2019, as a Mo Gueye floater with 1.2 seconds left in overtime gave the Seawolves an 85-84 lead en route to the victory.
- Wagner has won the last two games at Stony Brook by a combined seven points.
LEAGUE OF HIS OWN
Jahlil Jenkins was one of the three high-profile guard transfers the Seawolves brought in this season and his career pedigree has proven just that. Through his recent performances, he has climbed into the Top 20 among active NCAA Division I players in points (1759), assists (489) and steals (192).
He is the only active player in the Top 20 in all three categories sitting 18th in points and steals and 20th
FINDING A GROOVE
The continuously improving Seawolves attack has reached new heights in each of the last two games, both wins over Yale and American. Those two contests are responsible for each of the top two single-game performances in:
Points (85, 80), FG% (.537, .459), 3-pointers made (11, 10), Free Throws made (16, 14), Free Throws attempted (24, 19), Rebounds (34, 41) and Assists (18, 13).
The Stony Brook offense has also climbed 145 spots in points per game in the last 10 days, currently averaging 71.5 points a contest.
In an offense that is starting to draw more comparisons to the one that won a title in 2015-16, Stony Brook has reached a landmark that hasn’t been achieved since then.
The Seawolves have scored 75 points or more in each of the last four contests, something not done since January 9 through 18, 2016 when the Seawolves hung 86 on UMass Lowell and UMBC, 80 on New Hampshire and 77 on Hartford during its 18-game winning streak.
CLEANING THE DISHES
Stony Brook opened the campaign with 11 assists to 24 turnovers and sat 348th in the nation in A/TO ratio but has since roared back and its a big reason for the offense’s recent surge in production.
The Seawolves have 52 assists to 33 turnovers in their last four games, a ratio of 1.58. Going into Friday’s action, they rank 137th nationally with a 1.07 ratio and have recorded single-digit turnovers in three of their last four contests.
Starting with a buzzer-beating three that was featured on SportsCenter Top 10 and Scott Van Pelt’s Campus Tour, Anthony Roberts has flown into the Seawolves spotlight and has not shown many signs of slowing down.
The St. Bonaventure transfer has recorded double-figure scoring in four straight, including back to back 19-point outings in his last two games. He’s shot 49.2 percent from the field, 41.2 percent from deep and shown increased rebounding and assist totals, averaging 6.3 boards and 3.3 assists during that span.