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Hofstra MBB to Host Vermont in First Round of College Basketball Invitational

Ameen Tanksley. Photo by: Stacy Podelski/1495 Sports

Ameen Tanksley. Photo by: Stacy Podelski/1495 Sports

The Hofstra Men’s Basketball team will open play in the College Basketball Invitational on Wednesday at 7 p.m. with a first round match-up against Vermont.

For ticket information visit HofstraTickets.com, call the Hofstra Athletics Box Office at (516) HOF-TIXX or visit the box office in the lobby of the David S. Mack Sports and Exhibition Complex.

Pride Productions will have live video and audio of the contest. The broadcast can also be heard on WRHU (88.7 FM), with Dan Savarino, Chris Buckley and Andrew Fertitta on the call, beginning with the pregame show at 6:45 p.m.

Hofstra (20-13) advanced to the semifinals of the Colonial Athletic Association Championship before dropping a heartbreaking double overtime contest on a last second three-pointer by William & Mary.

The Pride is led in scoring by junior guard Juan’ya Green, who averages 17.1 points per game and also leads the team with 6.5 assists per outing and 48 steals. Junior forward Ameen Tanksley is second on the squad in scoring (16.3 ppg), rebounding (5.6 rpg) and tied for the team lead with 48 steals. Sophomore guard Brian Bernardi and graduate guard Dion Nesmith are also in double figures for the Pride with 11.8 and 10.9 points, respectively.

The postseason berth is the 11th in the Division I history (since 1972-73) for the Pride and the program’s third appearance in the CBI (2009-10 and 2010-11).

This season marks the 10th time in the program’s Division I history that Hofstra has won at least 20 games.

Vermont will bring an 18-13 record into Wednesday’s meeting with the Pride. The Catamounts advanced to the semifinals of the America East Basketball Playoffs where they dropped a 79-77 decision to Stony Brook.

Vermont is in the postseason for the seventh consecutive year as the Catamounts have made two NCAA Tournament appearances, two NIT appearances and three CBI appearances during that time.

Ethan O’Day leads the Catamounts in scoring at 12 points per game, while also grabbing 4.5 rebounds per outing. Dre Wills is first on the team with 4.7 rebounds per game, ranks second with 9.1 points per contest and has a team-high 60 steals. Trae Bell-Haynes has dished out a team-best 108 assists to go along with his 8.5 points per game.

The teams have two common opponents this season in Stony Brook and Wagner. Hofstra went 2-0 vs. the Seawolves and Seahawks, while Vermont went 3-1 (2-1 vs. Stony Brook and 1-0 vs. Wagner).

Former rivals in the America East Conference, Hofstra and Vermont have faced each other 19 times prior to this week. The Pride own a narrow 10-9 lead in the series and Hofstra earned a 68-55 win over Vermont in the last meeting between the schools during the 2000-01 campaign.

The winner of the Hofstra/Vermont first round game will face the winner of the Radford/Delaware State game on Monday, March 23 at a to be determined site.

The 2015 CBI Tournament will utilize a 30-second shot clock in an effort to assist the NCAA in its research on pace of play and scoring.

For more information on the Hofstra Men’s Basketball team fans are encouraged to click on the link seen here:

http://www.gohofstra.com

For more information on the College Basketball Invitational fans are encouraged to click on the link seen here:

http://www.gazellegroup.com/events/cbi/index_main.htm

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