The Pride were led by senior forward Shante Evans (West Chester, Pa.) with 24 points, followed by junior forward Anma Onyeuku (Fayetteville, GA) who had 12 points and 13 rebounds. Victoria Lippert was high scorer for Harvard with 21 points.
In the end, it was three point shooting that hurt Hofstra. The Pride shot just 2-for-14 from behind the arc, while Harvard was a more respectable 7-for-20.
“We are getting better and better each game,” Hofstra Coach Krista Kilburn-Steveskey said. “I just wish we had a ‘W’ so they [the players] can believe that.”
Harvard had a late run in the first half to take a 36-29 lead at halftime, but Hofstra came out strong after the break and held the visitors scoreless for nearly five minutes while going on a 7-0 run to even the score at 36-36.
The game remained a see-saw affair in the second half with neither team taking a lead larger than six points the rest of the way.
Hofstra’s defense came up big down the stretch. With the Pride trailing by two points, Hofstra kept Harvard at bay three straight times up the court which kept it a one possession game. It also gave the home team one final chance to tie the score.
It all came down to two clutch free throws with 13 seconds left when Elise Gordon fouled Evans who had to make two shots with her team trailing 59-57. The senior All-American came through, hitting both to even the score and force overtime.
“Making free throws is all mental,” Evans explained. “At that point, I just focused more on the rim and how my elbow is. I needed those two free throws to get us to overtime so it was very important.”
The Pride got off to a good start in overtime with Onyeuku scoring the first two baskets of the extra session, but in the end, it was Lippert who scored seven of her club’s 11 points in overtime including a three-pointer that cut Hofstra’s four point lead down to one and started the momentum shift in Harvard’s favor.
Hofstra’s last chance to tie the game ended when Evans was called for an offensive foul with 4.8 seconds left in the game and the Pride trailing by one point. Harvard’s Christine Clark hit both free throws to provide Harvard with their final margin of victory at 70-67.
The loss was the fifth straight for Hofstra and the Pride is now 1-5 on the season. They return to action Wednesday when they visit Princeton.
Prior to the game, Evans was honored for becoming Hofstra’s all-time rebounder. Former record holder Kate Gordon was on hand for the ceremony.
Hofstra’s freshman guard Asia Jackson left the game due to injury with just under nine minutes remaining in regulation and did not return. Her injury was not believed to be serious.
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