Nov. 29, 2013
Army 75, SBU 67
STONY BROOK, N.Y. – Army women’s basketball battled back after a rough start to defeat Stony Brook, 75-67, on Friday afternoon for its first road win of the season. Junior Olivia Schretzman sparked the second-half surge, scoring a season-high 19, all in the second half, to lead the Black Knights to their fifth win in a row.
Army (5-1) shot above 40 percent (45.9) for the fourth consecutive game but was hamstrung in the first half by attempting just 13 field goals, the lowest single-half total under the direction of eighth-year head coach Dave Magarity. The Black Knights were without leading scorer sophomore Kelsey Minato for much of the first, as Minato picked up a quick two fouls.
Senior Jen Hazlett set the tone early in the second, however, scoring five straight points for Army as the Black Knights cut their six-point first-half deficit (31-25) to a single-possession game less than a minute into the stanza. Hazlett would finish with a season-high 21, her highest total since scoring 22 at Colgate on Feb. 20, 2013.
Army took its first lead since the 9:30 mark of the first when sophomore Kelsey Minato drained one from deep with 8:09 remaining in the contest. Classmate Brianna Johnson single-handedly stretched the lead to five, sinking a pair of free-throws and a layup immediately out of the eight-minute media timeout. Minato would finish with 17, including 12 in the decisive second half, to stretch her Patriot League-best double-digit scoring streak to 22 games.
SBU (4-3) would not go away, however, as the game was played within two possessions until under onea minute to play when Army was in the midst of its record-setting free-throw shooting performance. Schretzman kept the Seawolves at bay, however, scoring 13 of her 19 points in the final four minutes.
Despite going just 10-of-19 in the first half from the free-throw line, Army relied on success from the charity stripe in the second to put the game away. The Black Knights finished by shooting 35-of-49 from the line, as Hazlett’s free-throw with 14 seconds left snapped a single-game program record which stood for nearly 32 years of 34 free-throws made in one game (Jan. 23, 1982, vs. Fordham).
Schretzman, who went an astonishing 13-of-13 from the line herself, tied the individual Academy standard which Minato established at Air Force last season (Nov. 23, 2012). The Dayton, Ohio, native’s 19 points are her most since matching her career best of 20 against Columbia last season (Nov. 28, 2012). Schretzman also grabbed a team-high six rebounds.
“I think we overcame a lot of adversity from the first half,” said Magarity. “In the first, we didn’t play real smart. They are an aggressive and fast team, similar to what we saw in Weber State. They’re a good team with terrific guards and a great front line.
“I can’t say enough about Olivia though,” Magarity continued. “Her poise in the second half really carried us. Hazlett had a good second half, so did Minato, and with those two in foul trouble in the first, we’re just not the same team without them on the court.
“We had 11 turnovers in the first which were huge, but we didn’t have one in the second, which is a big deal. We had to throw some kids in the mix – Jordan Elliott did a wonderful job, we wouldn’t have been in it at all in the first if it wasn’t for her. It was tough to see her go down.
“I was really concerned at t he half with our free-throw shooting, but it was sort of a self-fulfilled prophecy tat we were flawless down the stretch. We did what we had to do, I’m really proud of ht way we stuck together and didn’t let the things that weren’t going our way sidetrack us.”
Army will look to make it six wins in a row and maintain its flawless record on its home court at Christl Arena when the Black Knights host Morgan State on Tuesday night. Tipoff against the 1-3 Bears is set for 7 p.m. Army defeated MSU last season in Baltimore, Md., 63-59.
NOTES: Army had three players in double figures for the fifth time in six games this season … the Black Knights are 5-1 through their first six games for the third consecutive season … the win over Stony Brook evened the all-time series at 2-2 … junior Jordan Elliott totaled career highs in points (eight), free-throw attempts (nine) and free-throws made (six) before exiting with an injury late in the first … senior Jen Hazlett was assessed a technical foul at 5:50 in the first half and remained on the bench for the remainder of the stanza … Army’s 49 free-throw attempts were one shy of tying the program record set in 1982 … Army played an entire half (second) without committing a turnover for the first time since Jan. 22, 2011, against Navy.