Junior Tareq Coburn had a double-double with 18 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Hofstra men’s basketball team to a 64-57 victory over Canisius in the championship game of the Naismith bracket at the Boca Raton Beach Classic at FAU Arena at Florida Atlantic. The double-double was Coburn’s second of the season and fourth of his career.
The Pride, which played the majority of the game without the services of junior Jalen Ray, got 16 points and eight rebounds from senior Eli Pemberton and 19 points, six assists, and four steals from senior Desure Buie. Pemberton and Buie were named to the all-tournament team for their outstanding play.
The win was Hofstra’s fifth in its last six games and improves the Pride’s record to 6-3. Canisius saw its four-game win streak come to an end as they fell to 4-3 this season.
Hofstra took an early 12-7 lead after nearly six minutes on a jumper from Pemberton. Canisius would battle back and a layup from Majesty Brandon would even the score at 17 with 8:48 left before intermission. The Pride would respond, though, and Hofstra used an 11-2 run to take a 28-19 advantage with 2:41 showing on the clock after eight straight points, including four from Pemberton. The Golden Griffins closed the gap at halftime as they scored the final seven points of the half to make it a two-point contest.
A three-pointer from Canisius just 40 seconds into the second stanza would put the Golden Griffins in front at 29-28. Sophomore Isaac Kante put the Pride back ahead but Canisius scored four straight to open up a 33-30 lead with 17:24 showing on the clock. Canisius would open up its largest lead of the game up to that point with a 6-0 spurt to make it 41-34. Canisius still had the lead at seven at the 15:12 mark but Hofstra would gradually fight back and eventually even the score at 48 as the Pride made four straight free throws, including two from Pemberton with 9:30 left. An old-fashioned three-point play from Coburn with 7:03 remaining would put the lead back in the Pride’s column and Hofstra would hold Canisius without a field goal for more than seven minutes as they extended the lead to five, 55-50, on a pair of free throws from Pemberton with 4:15 left. The Pride would take that lead into the final media timeout before the Pride went 5-5 (all from Buie) over the final three minutes to capture the seven-point victory.
Hofstra is back in action when it travels to St. Bonaventure on Saturday for a 2:30 p.m. contest. It will be the Pride’s first game back in the state of New York since November 15.
– Hofstra leads the all-time series with Canisius, 5-0. The Pride won the last meeting, 96-85, in Hempstead during the 2015-16 campaign.
– Hofstra won its first in-season tournament title since capturing the Hempstead Subregional of the 2K Sports Classic benefiting Wounded Warrior Project in 2012-13.
– Hofstra has won four straight games in the state of Florida.
– Sophomore Omar Silverio made the first start of his Hofstra career.
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