Sophomore Isaac Kante had the best game of his young career with career-bests of 23 points and 14 rebounds to lead the Hofstra men’s basketball team to a dominating 78-64 win over UNCW on Saturday afternoon at the David S. Mack Sports and Exhibition Complex. The win was the 400th in the head coaching career of Joe Mihalich, who becomes the 52nd active NCAA Division I coach to reach that milestone.
Senior Eli Pemberton posted a team-high tying 23 points in the game and now has 1,823 in his incredible career. He passed David Taylor (1,818 from 1979-83) for ninth all-time in program history.
The win was the Pride’s sixth straight as Hofstra upped its record to 20-7 overall and 11-3 in the Colonial Athletic Association. It is Hofstra’s 23rd all-time 20-win season in program history and the 14th time at the NCAA Division I level (since 1966-67). In addition, it marks the second straight year Hofstra has won 20 games after capturing 27 victories a season ago. The Pride is alone in first place in the conference standings. UNCW fell to 8-20 and 3-12 in league play.
After UNCW got on the board first, a three-pointer from junior Tareq Coburn ignited an early Hofstra scoring spurt that eventually saw the Pride take a 15-7 lead after a layup from Kante. In total, the run was 15-5 with Hofstra getting three-pointers during the run from Coburn and junior Jalen Ray. The Seahawks managed to close the gap to three, 17-14, with 13:29 left in the half before the Pride took complete control and scored 14 straight points to lead 31-14 after a three-pointer from senior Desure Buie with 7:44 left before intermission. The Pride held a significant lead the remainder of the half and pushed the advantage to 21, 48-27, as Buie drained a jumper with 18 seconds left in the opening half.
A basket from Marten Linssen at the 16:39 mark of the second half got the Pride lead under 20, 51-32, but Hofstra used a 15-6 run to open up a 66-38 advantage with 10:21 left in the game following a free throw from Buie. The Pride was never challenged the rest of the contest as they went on to capture the convincing victory.
Coburn finished with 12 points, eight rebounds, and a career-high-tying four assists for Hofstra. Buie had nine points and a game-high seven assists. Shykeim Phillips led UNCW with 14 points, while Ty Gadsden added 11 points and four rebounds.
Hofstra returns to action next Thursday when it travels to Drexel for a 7 p.m. contest.
– Today was the 44th all-time meeting between Hofstra and UNCW and the series is all knotted up at 22 each. The Pride swept the two regular season meetings this year.
– The six-game win streak is Hofstra’s longest since a 16-game win streak last season.
– Today marked the first time all season that Kante has led Hofstra in scoring. His previous career-high in points was 19 last done against Elon on January 4 and his previous best in rebounds was 12 at Northeastern on January 9.
– This marks the sixth time in program history that Hofstra has won at least 20 games in at least two consecutive seasons. It is the second time under Mihalich (since 2013-14) as the 2014-15 team won 20 games and the 2015-16 squad captured 24 victories.
For more information on the Hofstra University Men’s Basketball team fans are encouraged to click on the link seen here: