The Hofstra Women’s Basketball team (2-3) played a strong game against visiting Virginia Tech (5-0) on Saturday night at the Mack Sports Complex. The Pride led by two with just 2.6 seconds left but a desperation bucket at the buzzer forced overtime and the Hokies controlled the game in overtime.
The Pride led by two with just 2.6 seconds when Annie Payton (Camden, NJ) drove the lane and scored on a layup off a set play, but a desperation bucket at the buzzer by Monet Tellier tied the game and forced overtime. The Hokies controlled the game in the extra five minutes and defeated Hofstra 77-72.
Payton led the Pride with 20 points while Anma Onyeuku (Fayetteville, GA) added 17 points and nine rebounds. Elo Edeferioka (Warri, Nigeria) led Hofstra with 11 rebounds for the game while Andreana Thomas (West Haven, CT) had 10 assists.
“We let one slip away in our house tonight,” Hofstra coach Krista Kilburn-Steveskey admitted. “We certainly got better in a lot of areas. There were a lot of good things that went on out there. It was just unfortunate it was not quite enough to get the ‘W.’”
The Pride came out a little anxious and was missing on lot of three-point shots in the opening few minutes. Virginia Tech jumped out to the early lead and with 11:04 left in the first half, the Hokies were up 19-10.
But Hofstra kept their composure and started to chip away at the lead. Payton drained a pair of three-point shots and that opened things up underneath for the Pride. Defensively, The Pride played a determined game and rarely let Virginia Tech have an easy trip up the court.
“Our defense was keeping us in this game all night,” Kilburn-Steveskey said.
Hofstra tied the game at 25-25 on a three-point play by Jakelle King-Gilchrist (Teaneck, NJ). She hit the layup after being fouled and made the ensuing free throw with 3:23 left in the first half. Then, King-Gilchrist nailed a three point shot a minute later that gave Hofstra the lead. At the half, the Pride was up by five, 30-25.
The teams played an even game in the second half as well. A three-point field goal by Onyeuku gave Hofstra an eight-point lead, their biggest of the game just two minutes into the second half.
But Virginia Tech slowly whittled away the lead in the second half with the help of some Uju Ugoka’s game-high 26 points and some important baskets by Tellier.
The final minute was very gut wrenching. The Pride trailed 65-62 when Onyeuku hit a three to tie it with 43 seconds left.
A steal by Onyeuku gave Hofstra the ball back and the Pride called timeout with just 12 seconds remaining. That set up a final possession for the home team and they came through with Payton’s big basket with 2.6 seconds left.
“Coach told me which play to run. It’s usually a three but Dre [Andreana Thomas] told me they would be expecting the three and I should go to the rim and get the bucket,” said Annie Payton. “I just went with the game plan and that was the result of it.”
The tying basket at the buzzer by Tellier sent the game to overtime.
Neither team shot well in the extra session and defenses remained tight for both clubs. A layup by Taijah Campbell put Virginia Tech ahead to stay.
“I’d like to hand my team that victory. We worked really hard tonight and it’s unfortunate we ended up on the short end of the stick,” coach Kilburn-Steveskey said. “We don’t take any moral victories. This game was ours, we had it and we shall learn from it and punish opponents in the future.”
Hofstra returns to action on Monday, December 2 when they host Concordia at 7:00 PM.
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Videos from the game can be seen below: