The Hofstra offense came alive in the second half with 45 points as the Pride rallied to defeat Northeastern in a Colonial Athletic Association game, 75-71, Saturday evening at a raucous David S. Mack Sports and Exhibition Complex. The Pride, which was down by 14 in the second half, had to survive a late Northeastern run before coming away with the win and moving into first place in the CAA. The announced crowd was 3,835 at the Mack Sports Complex.
Hofstra extended its winning streak to four and improved to 18-7 overall and 9-3 in the CAA. Northeastern lost for the fourth consecutive game and fell to 11-13, 5-7 in league play.
Desure Buie and Jalen Ray led Hofstra with 22 points each. Buie scored 19 of his points after halftime while Ray had 17 second-half points. Eli Pemberton joined the pair in double-figures with 12 points. Kevin Schutte tied a career-high with eight rebounds, while Stafford Trueheart added seven points and seven rebounds.
Hofstra started slowly, falling behind 8-0 in the first 2:05. The Huskies built a 13-1 lead before the Pride’s first field goal, a three-pointer from Tareq Coburn, with 14:46 on the clock. The Huskies kept up their hot hand on the offensive end and ran off seven straight points to go up by 16, 20-4, with 12:52 to go following a hook shot from Jason Strong. Hofstra responded with an 11-4 run to get within nine, 24-15, with 7:53 to go after a steal and layup from Pemberton.
Northeastern would use a 10-5 run of its own to go back up by 14, 34-20, with 5:31 to play in the opening 20 minutes. The Pride went on an 8-0 run to make it a 34-28 game following a fast break layup from Ray with 2:05 to go. That would be as close as the Pride would get in the half as the Huskies scored six of the final eight points of the half to lead by 10 at the break, 40-30.
The Huskies would use a 6-2 spurt to start the second half to go up by 14, 46-32, with 16:46 to play. The Pride came back with a 20-4 run highlighted by a steal and dunk from Trueheart that made it a two-point game, 50-48, with 11:22 remaining. Buie would cap the run and tie the score with a pair of free throws with 10:23 to go. Following a Northeastern basket, Ray would put the Pride on top for the first time, 53-52, with a three-pointer with 9:01 to go. A Husky basket made it 54-53 in favor of the visitors but back-to-back three’s from Buie bumped the Pride’s lead to 59-54 with 7:40 on the clock.
The lead would grow to as many as seven, 61-54, before four straight Northeastern points made it a three-point game. However, Isaac Kante’s three-point play with 4:10 remaining gave the Pride some breathing room. Leading 66-60 with under three minutes to play, the Pride worked the shot clock and Buie hit a driving layup through traffic to put the Pride up by eight, 68-60, with 2:14 on the clock. An offensive foul and a turnover on the Pride on successive possessions led to five Northeastern points as the Huskies made it a three-point game with 33 seconds to go after a Strong three-pointer. Ray would make it a two-possession game with one free throw with 31.4 ticks on the clock. Jordan Roland hit a one-handed three-point heave with nine seconds remaining to make it a one-point game. Buie hit a pair of free throws with 8.5 seconds left to push the lead back to three.
The Pride fouled Roland with five seconds to go to prevent a tying three-pointer and the Northeastern senior hit both shots to make it a one-point game again, 71-70. Ray was fouled on the Pride’s possession and hit both with three seconds left. Hofstra fouled again and Strong hit the first and tried to intentionally miss the second but a lane violation nullified the attempt and gave the ball to Hofstra with a two-point lead, 73-71. Ray added two more free throws with 1.3 seconds on the clock to seal the win.
Roland, the fifth leading scorer in the nation, led all scorers with 32 points. Strong added 14 points. Shaquille Walters pulled down a game-high nine rebounds for the Huskies.
Hofstra is back in action Thursday, February 13 versus Charleston in a game that will air nationally on the CBS Sports Network. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. Tickets can be purchased by visiting HofstraTickets.com, calling (516) HOF-TIXX or stopping by the Hofstra Athletics Ticket Office in the lobby of the Mack Sports Complex during normal business hours.
-Hofstra leads the all-time series with Northeastern, 25-23, and swept the season series.
-Buie moved into 28th place on the Pride’s scoring list with 1,159 points, passing Nathaniel Lester who had 1,139 points from 2007-12.
-Pemberton’s two three-pointers moved him into a sixth-place tie with Rick Apodaca (1999-03) on the Hofstra career list with 190.
-Ray eclipsed the 20-point mark for the second time this season.
-The Pride shot 83-percent from the line (24-29).
-Ray set career highs with 11 free throws made and 14 attempts.
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