Four Pride players finished in double figures, but senior guard Desure Buie and junior guard Jalen Ray each notched career highs and combined for an incredible 56 points to lead the Hofstra University men’s basketball team to a thrilling 88-78 win over UCLA at the historic Pauley Pavilion on Thursday evening.
The win was Hofstra’s second straight and improves the Pride’s record to 3-2 this season. UCLA suffered its first loss of the season, falling to 4-1. The win marks the first Power-5 victory for the Pride since a win over Florida State at the Paradise Jam in 2015-16.
Buie led all scorers with a game-high 29 points (7-of-12 FG), while also nailing all 13 of his free throw attempts in addition to tallying seven assists and three steals. Ray poured in 27 points for the Pride (8-of-15) while shooting 63 percent from deep (5-of-8) and 6-of-7 from the floor. Together, the pair shot a combined 56 percent from the field, 64 percent from beyond the arc, and 95 percent from the stripe. Senior guard Eli Pemberton added 15 points for the Pride while junior guard Tareq Coburn rounded out the top-four scorers with 10 points.
The game was knotted at five early on, as Coburn evened the score just under two minutes into the contest. With the score, 13-11, in favor of the Bruins with 13:41 left before intermission, UCLA would use an extended run to push the advantage to 13, 32-19, with 8:14 to play in the opening stanza. At that point, Hofstra heated up and a three-pointer from Ray kick-started a 10-0 scoring run that closed the gap to three, 32-29, with 4:28 showing on the clock. The Pride closed the half strong as they outscored the Bruins, 8-2, over the final three minutes to trail by one after 20 minutes. Buie had five points in the last two minutes of the half and Pemberton, who tallied 13 points in the opening stanza, drained a three-pointer to get the half-closing run going.
Hofstra fell behind 59-51 about six minutes into the second frame before using an 8-0 scoring spurt to knot the score at 59 with 11:32 left in regulation. Ray had a pair of three-pointers during the run to fuel the Pride. The game would be even at 63 later in the half before Hofstra took its largest lead of the contest to that point at 67-63 after a three-pointer from Coburn with 7:19 on the clock
UCLA exchanged a three-point basket to bring the contest back within one, but an old-fashioned three-point play by Ray and a layup by Kante extended Hofstra’s lead back to six, 74-68. Coburn hit another shot from beyond at the 3:26 mark to improve Hofstra’s lead to seven before the Pride shot 9-of-9 from the charity stripe, with seven of those free throws coming off the fingertips of Buie, down the stretch to run away with the significant victory.
Hofstra is back in action on Sunday when it continues its extended west coast road trip with a 5 p.m. (PST) game against Cal State Fullerton.
– Hofstra is 1-2 all-time against UCLA. The last meeting before tonight was in the 2001 NCAA Tournament. The win was Hofstra’s first in seven chances over a current member of the Pac-12 Conference
– Hofstra committed a season-low seven turnovers.
– 86 of Hofstra’s 88 points were scored by starting players. Trueheart was the only bench player to score for Hofstra with two points.
– Hofstra sunk 24 free throws to UCLA’s 14, though both teams shot 78 percent or better from the line.
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