In case you missed it, the Arizona women’s basketball team is a No. 3 seed in the NCAA Tournament and will face No. 14-seed Stony Brook in the first round on Monday at 11 a.m. PT at the Alamodome in San Antonio.
Here’s a quick primer on the Seawolves. We will have more later.
Located on Long Island in New York, Stony Brook is making their first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance, but likely would have made the Big Dance last year too. The Seawolves went 28-3 that season and were set to play in the America East championship game when the season was canceled by the coronavirus pandemic.
The Seawolves aren’t quite as good this season, entering the postseason 15-5 overall and 11-3 in the America East. They finished second in the conference’s regular-season standings and won the conference tournament by beating UMass Lowell and first-place Maine, 64-60.
The Seawolves have only faced one major-conference team this season, losing at home to Syracuse 50-39.
Like Arizona, Stony Brook does their best work on defense, boasting the No. 7 defensive rating in the country, per Her Hoop Stats. They allow just 50.7 points per game, force 17.9 turnovers and hold their opponents to 35.3% shooting, including a 29.6% mark from 3.
Also like Arizona, the Seawolves struggle from 3-point land, making just 26.7% of their triples this season. That’s in the bottom 10 percentile in the country. No one on their team shoots better than 34% from that range.
Stony Brook struggles with turnovers—which could be a huge problem against Arizona’s ball pressure—but excels on the glass, ranking 36th in the country in defensive rebounding rate and 46th in offensive rebounding rate.
Fueled by a balanced offense that ranks 163rd in efficiency, the Seawolves play at one of the slowest paces in the country. Their leading scorers—guards Asiah Dingle and Anastasia Warren—are averaging around 11 points per game.
Their best post is senior India Pagan, a 6-foot-1 forward who will play for Puerto Rico in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. She averages 9.4 points and 5.2 rebounds while shooting 48% from the field. She does not shoot 3s or particularly well from the free throw line (69%).
Those three players received all-conference second- or third-team honors. The Seawolves also have the America East Sixth Player of the Year—McKenzie Bushee, a 6-foot-1 forward—and Hailey Zeise, a 5-foot-10 wing who made the conference’s all-defensive team but averages 2.7 points per game.