Written By: Edwards Kemedijo
Photos By: Robert Simmons
The No. 1 seeded Stony Brook Seawolves won their conference semifinal match up against the No. 4 seed Binghamton Bearcats by a score of 57-42. This is their fifth straight win against Binghamton. The Seawolves came into the game Sunday coming off a quarterfinal match up in which they narrowly escaped being upset by the eight-seeded UAlbany Great Danes in overtime. The Bearcats punched their ticket to the semifinals with a 51-42 victory over New Hampshire on Wednesday. Sunday’s match up featured the return of India Pagan, the All-Conference forward who had missed the previous 3 game because of injury. Pagan had 14 points off the bench on 5-7shooting from the field.
“They got away from doubling teaming me,” said Pagan. “I was able to make my moves go to the basket more.” When asked if she felt like she was 100% Pagan said “I’m ready for any game. It’s the end of the season I’m gonna give it all I have.” Along with the play of Pagan was the Annie Warren, who had her second straight game in the tournament. She finished with 18 points and six rebounds and led Stony Brook with 17 shot attempts. “My teammates kept telling me don’t wait until the end to get started,” said Warren.“Start from the beginning, I came in with that mindset.” A major factor in the Stony Brook win was their defensive effort, especially when it came the containing American East Player of the Year Kai Moon. Moon was held to 11 points on 4-13 shooting and couldn’t seem to get going during the game. “I saw more of an intensity on defense,” said Moon. “I get face-guarded pretty consistently during conference play, but every time I touched the ball, I saw help side immediately. Every shot I wanted to get I had to work hard for.”
Coming into the match up Moon was 14th in the nation in scoring with 19.9 points per game. In the two regular season games against the Seawolves Moon averaged 20.5 points per game,though in losing efforts. “We tried to limit her touches, limit her opportunities” said Stony Brook coach Caroline McCombs. “Hailey [Zeise] guarded her the whole second half and did a really good job.”The Seawolves as a team limited the Binghamton to 32% shooting from the field and only 42points. “It was a tough one. Things just weren’t falling” said Binghamton coach Bethann Shapiro Ord.“It’s hard going in that locker room.” Another player who played a major part in Stony Brook’s performance was the play of senior guard Kaela Hilaire. Hilaire was all over the court, tallying eleven points, nine rebounds, and six assists along with 4 steals. Her defensive pressure was a thorn in the Binghamton’s side all game.
It is the end of the road for Binghamton, as their losing streak in conference semifinals extends to seven games. Kai Moon spoke about her time playing with the team, saying “These last four years have been amazing. I know I have no regrets I gave everything I had on the court.” Stony Brook will play Maine on Friday in the American East Conference Championship.
Written By: Edwards Kemedijo