Akwasi Yeboah scored a game-high 24 points, and four teammates followed in double figures as Stony Brook upset host South Carolina, 83-81, on Friday night in Columbia, S.C.
Stony Brook’s Jeff Otchere blocked a 3-point attempt by Justin Minaya at the buzzer to preserve the victory for the Seawolves, who improved to 2-0 while defeating a Southeastern Conference opponent for the first time.
Elijah Olaniyi (16 points), Anthony Ochefu (12), Miles Latimer (11) and Andrew Garcia (11) rounded out a balanced scoring attack, helping the Seawolves shoot 38.6 percent overall and 47.6 percent from 3-point range. Yeboah added 11 rebounds and Olayini nine.
A.J. Lawson led three Gamecocks in double figures, finishing with 23 points. Tre Campbell had 15 points and Minaya had 11. The Gamecocks (1-1) shot 46.0 percent from the field but were just 14 for 26 at the free-throw line.
South Carolina took a 16-10 lead on a Hassani Gravett 3-pointer with 9:16 remaining in the first half. Garcia answered with a trey of his own on the next possession, helping Stony Brook trim the early deficit while establishing itself as a steady challenger that wouldn’t retreat.
Resiliency has been an early-season strength for Stony Brook to date. In Tuesday’s season opener, the Seawolves rebounded from a 22-0 deficit at George Washington to defeat the Colonials, 77-74, in overtime, earning the biggest comeback victory in program history.
On Friday, the Seawolves grabbed a 33-32 lead against the Gamecocks on a Yeboah layup just before halftime, then hardly looked back. Lawson hit a jumper on South Carolina’s opening possession of the second half, but Yeboah responded with three free throws and Stony Brook never trailed after that, rallying in spurts whenever South Carolina came closer.
The Gamecocks pulled to within 49-48 with 14:38 remaining before the Seawolves seemingly seized control with a 17-9 run over the next 7:09.
South Carolina came within four points with 4:18 to go, but Stony Brook answered yet again, swelling the lead on an Olaniyi layup and a 3-pointer from Latimer, a freshman.
A Campbell 3-pointer with 34 seconds left and a stop on the next possession gave the Gamecocks hope before Otchere stuffed Minaya at the buzzer.
—Field Level Media