Flat Second Half Plagues Columbia in Loss to Stony Brook

After shooting a season-high 55 percent on Monday in their home opener loss to Quinnipiac on Monday. They could at least say they played well throughout.

That wasn’t exactly the case in their 76-66 loss to Stony Brook on Thursday night.

Ultimately, it became a traditional tale of two halves. The Lions controlled the first half by starting the game on a 9-0 run. Columbia shot 52 percent from the field in the first half, where sophomore guard Mike Smith scored 15 of his 18 points. The team shot 9-for-15 from three, including four from Smith. Lukas Misner was in double figures with 10 points at halftime.

Meanwhile, Stony Brook shot 32 percent in the first half with only their leading scorer Akwasi Yeboah in any kind of rhythm. Yeboah scored 17 of his game-high 30 points in the first half. He added eight rebounds and shot a perfect 11-for-11 from the foul line for the game. The rest of his teammates shot a combined 4-of-20 from the field in the first half.

The momentum shifted to Stony Brook immediately on a designed play for Yeboah to get a seal and layup to start the second half. They came out on an 8-0 run with a heightened energy and confidence.

Offensively, Columbia became flat and was unable to put together stops and a forceful response. The Lions only made eight field goals in the second half, shot 25 percent from the field, 2-for-12 from three.

Stony Brook upped their ante to 55 percent shooting in the second half, where they scored 26 of their 40 points in the paint. Columbia finished with 19 points in the paint, missing 12 of their 19 attempted layups.

More missed opportunities came in the form of 22 turnovers for the Lions, which was matched by Stony Brook. It was turnovers that gave Columbia some life late in the game. Yeboah gave Stony Brook a nine-point lead after hitting a three-pointer with 5:21 left in regulation. Columbia forced several turnovers that brought it back to a two-possession game with 2:30 left.

Turnovers, scoring droughts and missed free throws concluded an overall struggling second half for Columbia as Stony Brook capitalized. Senior forward Tyrell Sturdivant finished with 17 points, six rebounds, three steals and two blocks. Junior guard Jaron Cornish scored all 11 of his points in the second half.

Lukas Meisner finished with 15 points for Columbia.

The Lions move to 1-8 and face Navy at home on Sunday.

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