“There was just not the vibe that we needed to have today,” Mihalich said. “We have to learn how precious game day is and I don’t think our guys understand that…You get 31 games a year, 62 hours, that’s it. It’s precious, it’s sacred time and our guys didn’t understand that. I’m disappointed.”
The Pride (2-6) had trouble shooting free throws and played spotty defense that led to too many open three-point shots for Sacred Heart. The Pioneers (2-6) made 12 shots from behind the arc including six by Steve Glowiak who had a game-high 18 points as Hofstra fell 73-59 at the Mack Sports Complex. Zeke Upshaw (Chicago, IL) led the Pride with 16 points while Jamall Robinson (Cheltenham, MD) added 14.
The first half was a struggle. Sacred Heart had too many open shots from outside and they took full advantage of their chances. The Pioneers shot 55 percent from the field in the first half. The key was a 12-0 run that erased an early 15-6 Hofstra lead. Evan Kelley completed a four-point-play that keyed Sacred Heart’s run.
Hofstra’s offense lacked flow without injured point guard Dion Nesmith (Union, NJ). The Pride’s passing was not smooth and they had trouble scoring with consistency after a quick start.
“We’ve got to make some more adjustments,” Coach Mihalich admitted. “We’re not going to make excuses but facts are facts, when Dion went down, we lost not just a player but a position. We don’t have a point guard. We’re trying to stick a band-aid on there…We’ve got to find a way to score some points.”
By halftime, Hofstra trailed 42-31.
In the second half, the Pride got better penetration on offense, which set up more shots from inside the paint. By the end of the game, Hofstra outscored Sacred Heart 32-20 inside the paint and outrebounded the Pioneers 36-33.
Hofstra gradually whittled away at the deficit but couldn’t quite pull even. A key moment came with 6:33 left in the game. Robinson made a basket to make the score 60-55 and drew a foul. Unfortunately, he missed the free throw and Sacred Heart went on a 13-4 run for the rest of the game.
The Pride struggled all game from the charity stripe, shooting just 10-of-23 from the free throw line for the game. Hofstra was particularly futile in the second half, shooting just 5-of-15.
After the game, Upshaw admitted the Pride has some work to do before their next game. “We just have to get a better sense of urgency, across the board, the whole team” he said.
Hofstra returns to action Saturday afternoon when they travel to Texas to take on Southern Methodist. They will return to the Mack on December 15 as they take on Central Connecticut State University, with tip-off time scheduled for 1:00 p.m.