Senior Eli Pemberton led five players in double figures with 19 points as the Hofstra men’s basketball team continued its strong west coast road trip with a convincing 79-57 victory over Cal State Fullerton on Sunday evening at Titan Gym.
Joining Pemberton was junior Jalen Ray (18), senior Desure Buie (14), and sophomores Omar Silverio and Isaac Kante with 10 points each.
The win was Hofstra’s third straight and improved the Pride’s record to 4-2 this season. Cal State Fullerton saw its two-game win streak come to an end as they fall to 2-3.
A pair of early three-pointers from Pemberton and a jumper from Buie in the game’s opening minutes gave the Pride an early 8-0 advantage. After Cal State Fullerton got on the board, the Pride would add a 7-0 scoring run to push the lead to 15-2 following a basket from Buie with around four minutes left in the opening stanza. The Titans got the deficit under 10 at 27-19 but Hofstra had every answer for Fullerton as the Pride scored the final nine points of the half over the last 4:01 to take a commanding 20-point lead at the break.
After Cal State Fullerton opened the second half scoring, the Pride would score 10 of the next 14 points in the game to open up a 58-34 lead following a Silverio three-pointer with 14:37 left in regulation. With the Hofstra lead at 21, 62-41, the Titans slowly chipped away and used a 6-0 run to make it 62-47 at the under-eight media timeout. A driving layup from Buie with seven and a half minutes left would end the run and give the Pride back a 17-point lead. The Pride was never seriously challenged the rest of the way as they would go on to cruise to the commanding victory.
Pemberton and Kante each posted eight rebounds to lead Hofstra, while Buie led the team with five assists and four steals. Wayne Arnold led Cal State Fullerton with 15 points, while Austen Awosika added 13 points for the Titans.
Hofstra returns to action on Wednesday for the final game of its three-game west coast road trip when it faces San Diego at 7 p.m. (PST) / 10 p.m. (EST).
– Today was the second all-time meeting between Hofstra and Cal State Fullerton and Hofstra leads the all-time series, 2-0. The Pride earned an 80-71 victory a season ago.
– Pemberton led Hofstra in scoring for the third time this season, tying him with Buie for the team-lead in that category.
– The Pride shot 50.8% from the field in the contest, the third time this season they have crossed the 50% threshold.
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