Senior Justin Wright-Foreman established a new Colonial Athletic Association Championship record with 42 points to lead the Hofstra Men’s Basketball team to a 78-74 overtime victory over Delaware in semifinals of the CAA Championship on Monday evening at the North Charleston Coliseum. Wright-Foreman was the star all night, but sophomore Jalen Ray calmly drained four free throws in the final 16 seconds of overtime to give Hofstra the win.
The previous championship record of 37 points was held by Jordon Talley of UNCW (3/4/18 vs. Hofstra) and Marcus Thornton of William & Mary (3/8/15 vs. Hofstra).
The win sets a new school record for victories as the Pride improves to 27-6. Delaware falls to 17-16 with the loss.
Delaware scored the first five points of the game and still led 10-5 with 15:18 left after a layup from Kevin Anderson. The Pride responded and would use a 10-4 run to take its first lead of the contest at 15-14 after a pair of free throws from junior Tareq Coburn. Delaware regained the advantage at 16-15 with 8:59 left in the half after a basket from Ithiel Horton, but once again Hofstra had an answer and the Pride would put together a 13-2 run later in the half that gave the top-seeded squad a 13-point lead, 36-23, with just under a minute left. Four different Pride players scored during the run, that concluded with a three-point play from Wright-Foreman. Hofstra took the 13-point lead into the break as Wright-Foreman added another bucket in the waning seconds, giving him 17 first half points.
Hofstra pushed the lead to 15 just 10 seconds into the second stanza via two free throws from Wright-Foreman before Delaware started to mount a rally. The Blue Hens used a 14-2 run, including back-to-back three-pointers from Ryan Allen and Horton to close to within three, 42-39, with 13:49 left in regulation. Delaware would eventually knot the score at 51 on a layup from Collin Goss and the teams would head into the under-eight media time out knotted at 57. Hofstra got a three-pointer from Wright-Foreman with 1:29 left in regulation after trailing by one to give the Pride a late advantage, but Eric Carter sent the game to overtime with a pair of free throws with 19 ticks on the clock.
Hofstra took the early lead in the extra session and three free throws, including two from junior Eli Pemberton, gave the Pride a 70-67 lead with 3:58 left. Delaware once again had an answer, and the Blue Hens scored five straight to make it 72-70 in their favor after a three-pointer from Horton with 2:43 remaining. Delaware would still lead by two, 74-72, with 1:57 to play before Wright-Foreman knotted the score at 74 with a layup. It would then be all Ray down the stretch with the four free throws to seal the win and send Hofstra to the title game.
Coburn finished with 13 points, including three three-pointers for Hofstra, while Pemberton added 11 points and six rebounds. Wright-Foreman also added five rebounds, three assists and two steals for the Pride, which got five points, six rebounds and four blocks from graduate student Jacquil Taylor.
Horton led Delaware with 21 points and added five rebounds and four assists. Kevin Anderson posted 17 points, six rebounds, four steals and three assists for the Blue Hens.
Hofstra will face the winner of the Northeastern/Charleston game on Tuesday at 7 p.m. That game will air nationally on the CBS Sports Network. The game will also have Pride Productions live audio available on the Pride Productions portal, WRHU (88.7 FM) in the local Hempstead area and on WRHU and its website and mobile apps.
– Hofstra is now 59-32 all-time against Delaware. The Pride swept the regular season series from the Blue Hens.
– Hofstra will be making its third appearance in the CAA Championship Game after previously appearing in the title game in 2006 and 2016.
– Wright-Foreman now has 2,269 career points and is seven points behind Antoine Agudio (2,276 from 2004-08) for second all-time in school history.
– Pemberton now has 1,366 career points and is two points behind Ken Rood (1,368 from 1973-77) for 14th place all-time in school history.
– Wright-Foreman scored in double figures for the 86 consecutive game. It is the nation’s second-longest active streak and it is tied with Jeff Mullins (Duke; 1961-64) for seventh all-time in NCAA Division I history.
– Hofstra will be looking for its first NCAA Tournament appearance since making back-to-back appearances in 2000 and 2001 in the America East Conference.
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