Justin Wright-Foreman scored a Hofstra single game-tying record 48 points, also a career-high, as the Pride rallied in the second half for a 93-87 Colonial Athletic Association victory over William & Mary Saturday evening at a sold-out David S. Mack Sports and Exhibition Complex. The senior guard scored 37 in the second half, including the 2,000th point of his career. Wright-Foreman now has 2,029 points and is just the eighth player in program history to crack the 2,000-point mark. It was also the 18th 30-plus point game of his career and second 40-point performance.
Hofstra, which rallied from a 10-point deficit in the second half, improved to 21-4 on the season and 11-1 in the CAA. The Pride also extended their homecourt win streak to 17 games. William & Mary fell to 9-16 on the season and 5-8 in league play.
Wright-Foreman matched Hofstra Athletics Hall of Famer and former NBA player Bill Thieben’s 48-point effort, set against Wilkes during the 1954-55 season. The 48 points was also a Mack Sports Complex record, bettering the 42 Wright-Foreman scored against Northeastern on January 5, 2019. He shot 16-24 from the field, 7-12 from three-point range, and 9-11 from the line in his record performance. The Queens, New York, native moved past current Hofstra Assistant Coach Craig “Speedy” Claxton (1996-00) into seventh place on the Hofstra career scoring list.
Hofstra also got 16 points and six assists from Desure Buie, who played all 40 minutes. Eli Pemberton had 12 points and five assists and was 8-8 from the free throw line. Jacquil Taylor added his third double-double of the season with 11 points and 15 rebounds.
Hofstra trailed William & Mary, 44-40, at halftime. William & Mary shot 58-percent from the field in the opening 20 minutes Trailing 6-4 early in the first half, the Pride scored five quick points to take a 9-6 lead. Taylor had a layup and after William & Mary turned the ball over on the inbounds, Buie had an old-fashioned three-point play to put the Pride up by three. The Tribe responded with a 9-2 spurt to go up by four, 15-11 with 13:10 to go on Nathan Knight’s three-point play. William & Mary would go up by nine, 24-15, with 10:48 to play on Justin Pierce’s three-point play. Back-to-back baskets from Taylor and Stafford Trueheart made it a five-point game, but another three-point play from Knight bumped the Tribe’s advantage back to eight, 27-19, with 9:15 to play. Hofstra would get as close as three, 29-26, with 7:46 to play after a three-point play from Buie. But the Tribe was able to answer each Hofstra basket until Wright-Foreman scored five consecutive points to get the Pride within two at 36-34 with 3:44 to play.
The Tribe opened the second half with five consecutive points to go up by nine, 49-40, with 18:28 on the clock. Wright-Foreman stopped the spurt with a three-pointer, but Knight scored four unanswered points to put the Tribe up, 53-43. Wright-Foreman had another three-pointer before Knight answered with a three-point play to keep the double-digit lead for the Tribe. The Pride would hang around and used a 10-3 run to get within three, 63-60, with 12:01 on the clock after Buie’s three-pointer. Wright-Foreman’s three-pointer with 9:11 to play made it a one-point game, 67-66. After a free throw from William & Mary, Wright-Foreman tied the game at 68 with a baseline jumper. Paul Rowley answered for the Tribe with a three, before Wright-Foreman struck again from deep to tie the score at 71 with 7:48 to play. The Pride would take their first lead since 11-10 on a pair of free throws from Wright-Foreman with 7:10 remaining that gave Hofstra a 73-71 advantage. The free throws capped a string of 10 consecutive points for the reigning CAA Player of the Year.
The Hofstra lead would hover between two and four points for the next 4:00 as William & Mary kept things close, answering every Hofstra basket. The Tribe would make it a one-point game, 82-81, on Knight’s layup with 3:24 to go but turned it over with a change to take the lead with 2:42 to play. Wright-Foreman would go on a 7-2 scoring run to push the Pride lead to 89-83 with 1:14 to play. The Tribe would get to within four, 89-85, with 36 seconds left before the Pride would hit all four of its free throws in the final 35 seconds to secure the victory.
Knight had a career-best 39 points for William & Mary and finished one shy of his career-best with 14 rebounds. The junior forward was 16-24 from the floor and added four assists. Pierce had 13 points, nine rebounds and eight assists for the Tribe as well.
Hofstra returns to action Thursday when it plays at Charleston with tip scheduled for 7 p.m.
-Hofstra leads the all-time series with William & Mary, 22-13, and swept the season series this year.
-Justin Wright-Foreman extended his double-figure scoring streak to 78 consecutive games, which is a CAA record and tied for 11th all-time in NCAA Division I history.
-Jacquil Taylor had 10 rebounds in the first half.
-The Pride was 27-33 from the line, setting a season-high in makes and attempts.
-Eli Pemberton now has 1,234 career points and he moved into 20th place on the Hofstra career scoring list, passing Carlos Rivera (2003-07).
-The 48 points by Wright-Foreman are the fourth-most by an individual in NCAA Division I this season.
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