Senior Jalen Ray continued his torrid scoring streak as he scored a game-high 23 points, including the 1,000th of his career, in a return to his home state to lead the Hofstra Men’s Basketball team to a 76-71 win over #23 (USA TODAY coaches poll) Richmond on Tuesday afternoon at the Robins Center.
The program’s only previous ranked win was a 77-66 victory over #25 George Mason on February 23, 2006.
Ray needed just one point entering the game for the career milestone and reached it in the first half. He now ranks 37th all-time in program history with 1,022 points, tying him with James Shaffer (1991-95). Ray is averaging 26.7 points per game over the Pride’s last three outings.
Hofstra, which won for the third time in its last four games, improved to 4-3 with the win. Richmond, which came into the contest having defeated Vanderbilt and Loyola-Chicago in its last two games, fell to 6-2 with the loss.
Five straight points by the Pride, including a three-pointer from freshman David Green, would give Hofstra an early 7-2 lead with 17:29 showing on the clock. Trailing by one, 8-7, later in the stanza, Hofstra used an 11-0 run to open up an 18-8 lead with 11:42 left before intermission. The run was fueled by five points from senior Tareq Coburn and four from freshman Kvonn Cramer.
Ray would reach the 1,000-point plateau midway through the half as he hit a tough basket with 8:45 on the clock.
The Pride would continue to hold a 10-point advantage as the half began to wind down and a pair of free throws from junior Isaac Kante made it 27-17 with 7:56 remaining. The Spiders were able to close the gap to three at the break, though, as they outscored the Pride, 16-9, over the final seven-plus minutes.
It was a spectacular offensive showing in the second half for Hofstra as the Pride was 14-20 overall (70%) and 7-10 (70%) from three-point range in the final 20 minutes. In fact, Hofstra closed the game making 10 of its last 11 shots from the field, including five three-pointers.
Hofstra would lead 46-41 with 13:56 left in regulation before Richmond mounted its best surge of the game. The Spiders went on a 14-0 scoring run to take a 55-46 lead after a three-pointer from Blake Francis with 10:28 left. The Pride quickly recovered, though, and answered with an 11-1 run to get back in front at 57-56 at the 8:03 mark. Coburn keyed the run with a pair of three-pointers.
Richmond held a 61-60 advantage with 6:43 remaining following a basket from Jacob Gilyard, but it proved to be Hofstra’s day as Kante put the Pride back in front and was followed shortly thereafter by a three-pointer from Ray to make it 65-61 with 3:50 showing on the clock. Richmond got within one seconds later, but Hofstra scored six straight points over the next nearly two minutes to push the lead to seven and never look back before capturing the five-point victory.
Kante finished with 16 points and 11 rebounds for his second double-double of the season and 10th of his Pride career. Coburn and Cramer were both in double figures as well with 15 and 12, respectively. Green chipped in with eight points and four rebounds.
Tyler Burton posted 15 points and seven rebounds for Richmond, while Grant Golden had 15 points and five assists for the Spiders.
Today’s game marked the end of the non-conference portion of the schedule for the Pride. Hofstra returns to action when it hosts William & Mary in its Colonial Athletic Association opener on Saturday, January 2, at 2 p.m.
– Hofstra and Richmond have now met four times with today’s win being the Pride’s first in the series. Today marked the first game between the programs since November 19, 2013.
– Cramer was a perfect 6-6 from the field. He is the first Pride player to be perfect from the field with at least five attempts since Kante went 7-7 at Northeastern on January 9, 2020.
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