Five Hofstra players finished with double figures for the second consecutive game, but it wasn’t enough as the Pride suffered an 81-78 overtime defeat to Northeastern from inside the David S. Mack Sports and Exhibition Complex on Thursday.
Junior Isaac Kante finished the day with his fifth straight double-digit performance with 19 points on 7-10 shooting and a perfect 5-5 from the free throw line. Senior Jalen Ray and sophomore Caleb Burgess both scored 15 points in the contest, while senior Tareq Coburn recorded 13 points. Freshman Kvonn Cramer led the team with 10 rebounds in addition to adding 10 points for his second career double-double.
Hofstra (6-4, 2-1 CAA) started off the game with a 10-2 run over Northeastern (4-5, 2-1 CAA) before building their lead to 16-6. Northeastern came back with seven consecutive points to narrow the score to 16-13. The teams traded baskets throughout the middle of the half before the Huskies chipped away at the Pride lead with an 11-4 run, and Northeastern briefly took a one-point lead with 7:35 left in the first half on a lay-up and subsequent free throw. The lead for the Huskies wouldn’t last long as the Pride jumped ahead through an 8-0 run that lasted 2:43 with baskets by Kante, Burgess and Ray. The Pride scored the final five points of the first half to storm into halftime with a 46-29 lead. The Pride shot 57.6% from the floor in the first half and 40% from three-point range.
Both teams found success shooting at the start of the second half as Hofstra looked to maintain their big lead. After Hofstra’s lead grew to 19 points, Northeastern slowly chipped away at the double-digit Hofstra lead throughout the second half as their shooting improved and Hofstra went cold from the floor. A 12-3 Northeastern run reduced Hofstra’s lead to three before a driving lay-up from Burgess brought the Pride advantage back to five. However, seven unanswered points put the Huskies ahead 67-62 with 5:09 to go for their second lead of the contest. Going without a field goal since 8:31 of the half, the Pride scored four straight points off a pair of Ray free throws and a Burgess short-range jumper, cutting the deficit to one with less than two minutes remaining.
After a Northeastern free throw made it a two-points game, Burgess rolled a lay-up into the basket to tie the game at 68 with 1:04. Hofstra had an opportunity to take the lead in the waning moments of the game when Kante stole the ball underneath the Pride basket, but they were unable to convert and gave the Huskies the ball with 5.4 seconds on the clock. After a Northeastern timeout, the Huskies took a long-range three-pointer with 1.5 seconds left that clanged off the iron, sending the game into overtime.
Northeastern scored the first five points of the overtime period, but Hofstra responded with four consecutive free throws from Kante and Ray to cut the lead to one point. The Huskies hit two consecutive three-pointers, negating a Cramer lay-up to lead by three. After a timeout with 2.8 seconds left, Ray had a chance to tie the game with a three-pointer, but his shot sailed wide.
Shaquille Walters led Northeastern in scoring with 20 points, including nine points scored in overtime, as he finished as one of three players in double figures for the visitors. Jason Strong finished with 18 points and six rebounds, and Tyson Walker chipped in 11 points and a team-high nine assists.
Hofstra returns to the court on Saturday, January 10, when it travels to Massachusetts for the second leg of the home-and-home series with Northeastern at 12 p.m.
-Ray’s 15 points moves him into 35th on the Hofstra all-time scoring list with 1,065 points, passing Darius Burton (1993-97, 1,060 points).
-Ray talled three three-pointers in the game to give him 182 in his career. He moved into eighth place all-time in program history, passing Charles Jenkins (180 from 2007-11).
-Hofstra moves to 26-24 all-time against Northeastern in the 50th meeting between the two schools.
-Cramer’s 10 rebounds ties his career-high set against Fairleigh Dickinson, and Burgess’ nine assists set a new career-high.
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