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Hofstra Men’s Basketball Edges UNCW 63-61

Junior Tareq Coburn had 15 points and nine rebounds and sophomore Isaac Kante posted 12 points and eight rebounds, including the game-winner with 6.5 seconds left, to lift the Hofstra men’s basketball team to a 63-61 win over UNCW on Thursday evening at Trask Coliseum.

Seniors Eli Pemberton (14 points) and Desure Buie (12 points) joined Coburn and Kante in double figures for the Pride.

Hofstra won its third straight game and improved to 14-5 overall and 5-1 in league play. UNCW falls to 5-15 and 0-7 in conference play.

An early 4-1 deficit was quickly erased by Hofstra as the Pride got back-to-back three-pointers from Coburn and Buie to lead 7-4 at the 16:20 mark of the first half. Leading 9-6, Hofstra would then put together a quick 7-0 run including five points from Pemberton, to open up a 16-6 advantage with 13:36 left before intermission. UNCW responded, though, and the Seahawks put together a 14-3 run that culminated with a basket from Imajae Dodd to open up a 20-19 lead with 7:59 left before halftime. A 6-0 run later in the half gave UNCW a seven-point lead, 30-23, following a Jake Boggs layup but Hofstra was able to close the gap to four at the break as junior Jalen Ray hit a three-pointer and Buie added a basket in the final minute.

Kante was on fire to start the second half as he scored the Pride’s first three baskets and evened the score at 34 with 18:04 left. The third bucket would start a 7-0 scoring run for Hofstra that pushed the Pride lead to 39-34 with 16:14 left in regulation following a three-pointer from Coburn. It would be a back and forth affair over the next few minutes with the Pride scoring four straight to open a 47-43 lead with 11:01 left. The home squad would retake a three-point advantage with six minutes and change left but Coburn answered and knotted the score at 57 with 4:22 left in the second stanza. The teams would alternate baskets down the stretch with Ray putting Hofstra back in front with a basket late in the shot clock with 1:46 left before Mike Okauru tied the score at 61 with 35 ticks remaining. On the Pride’s next possession, Buie would find Kante under the basket giving the Pride a 63-61 lead and eventually the huge road win.

Hofstra is back in action on Saturday when it travels to Charleston for a 4 p.m. contest.

– Thursday marked the 43rd all-time meeting between Hofstra and UNCW with a very close series seeing the Seahawks holding a narrow 22-21 lead. The series got underway when the Pride joined the CAA in 2001-02. The teams split the two meetings a year ago, with both winning on their respective home courts. Hofstra had lost three straight in Wilmington prior to this game.
– Hofstra is 4-0 in road games in Colonial Athletic Association play this season.
– Buie now has 1,047 career points to move into 35th place all-time at Hofstra. He passed Percy Johnson, who had 1,045 points from 1950-53. Tonight was also the 126th game in Buie’s career, two shy of the school record.
– Hofstra improved to 10-1 this season when winning the opening tip and 10-2 when scoring first.

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