The Hofstra University Women’s Basketball team played strong defense and got clutch performances from Anjie White, Krystal Luciano and Kelly Loftus to lead them to a 52-46 win over William & Mary at the Mack Sports Center on Sunday.
White led the Pride with a career-high 17 points and also had 12 rebounds to tie Elo Edeferioka for the team lead in that category. Loftus hit 8-of-10 free throws and finished with 13 points while Luciano added 11 points and did a great job of directing the Hofstra attack at key moments in the game.
“This was an extremely hard-fought game against a really good William & Mary team that was on the rise,” Hofstra Head Coach Krista Kilburn-Steveskey said. “I’m proud of these guys really digging in not giving in down the stretch.”
Alexandra Masaquel led William & Mary with 14 points while Abby Rendle added 10 for the Tribe.
Hofstra’s defense was tough throughout the game. They limited the Tribe to a mere 29.4 percent shooting from the floor for the game and caused numerous shot-clock violations by keeping pressure on the ball and taking away both passing and shooting options.
The first half was a back and forth affair, with neither team taking a lead of larger than six points. The highlight of the half was a 10-0 Hofstra run that lasted more than six minutes and turned a 16-12 deficit into a 22-16 lead for the home team.
William & Mary also played strong defense and the Pride had to remain patient offensively in this game. They managed to create a balanced attack and came up with important baskets in clutch situations.
The game remained close in the second half. There were 10 lead changes throughout the game and the score was even at 42-42 with 4:35 left on the clock.
Hofstra finally took the lead for good with 2:47 left in the game on a clutch jump shot by Dee Thomas-Painter. Then, Luciano made a great effort to steal the ball from Latrice Hunter. White hit a jumper to close out that possession and the Pride went on a 9-0 run to take control of the game.
Coach Kilburn-Steveskey called Luciano’s defense down the stretch, “dynamic” and “heady,” adding, “She did a great job of running things down the stretch. I’m proud of her as a sophomore. It’s pretty exciting as a coach to have another coach on the floor.”
Luciano was also one of several players who helped the Pride overcome William & Mary’s frequent use of the press defense.
Meanwhile, White hit 8-of-13 shots from the floor and was often able to get open for quality shots.
For the Hofstra players, it was more about the overall team game than any individual accolades. “I’m a little excited [with my personal bests], but I’m just happy that we won,” White said. “I don’t try to score too many points a game or anything like that, I’m just doing what my team needs in order to win. What we needed was points today.”
The win improved Hofstra’s record on the season to 14-9 including a 7-5 mark in the CAA. The Pride returns to action Friday when they visit Charleston for an 11:30 am tip-off.
Hofstra was again without Ashunae Durant who is out with an ankle injury.
The loss ended William & Mary’s four-game winning streak. Hofstra now leads the all-time series against the Tribe 24-9-1.
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