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Hofstra Men’s Basketball falls in heartbreaker to Drexel, 73-71

Hofstra Huddle. Photo by: Stacy Podelski/ 1495 Sports

Senior Jalen Ray poured in a career-high 30 points, including a school-record tying eight three-pointers, but the Pride’s comeback fell short as the Hofstra Men’s Basketball team dropped a narrow 73-71 decision to Drexel on Saturday afternoon at the David S. Mack Sports and Exhibition Complex. The loss ended Hofstra’s five-game win streak.

Ray, who scored 19 points after halftime, tied the three-pointer mark established by Brian Bernardi in 2015-16 against Canisius. The 30 points were one higher than his previous career-best of 29, set at Monmouth earlier this season. He is the first Hofstra player with 30 or more points in a game since Eli Pemberton had 35 against James Madison last February.

Hofstra falls to 11-7 overall and 7-4 in Colonial Athletic Association play. Drexel improved to 8-6 and 3-4 in the league. Junior Isaac Kante added 16 points and a game-high eight rebounds for the Pride.

A three-pointer from Ray nearly five minutes into the game would give Hofstra an early 12-9 advantage as the teams went back and forth in the first few minutes of the contest. With Hofstra leading 20-17 at the 12:17 mark, Drexel would mount a run that changed the first half as the Dragons used a 24-4 run to turn the lead into a 41-24 advantage with 53 ticks left on the first half clock. Ray would give the Pride some much-needed points in the final minute of the half with a three-pointer to cut the deficit to 14 at the break.

Drexel pushed the lead to 16 in the opening minutes of the second half before Hofstra began to mount a rally. A three-pointer from Ray started a quick 8-0 run that closed the gap to eight, 45-37, with 16:57 left in regulation. Camren Wynter would hit a three-pointer at the 11:14 mark to put the Dragons back up 13, 57-44, but once again the Pride had another run in them. Hofstra used a 19-7 run, including three three-pointers from Ray, to make it a one-point game, 64-63, with 4:28 left. Down by five with 1:42 remaining, Kane and Ray had back-to-back baskets to make it a one-point game again, setting up the exciting finish. Tim Perry Jr. would make one of two free throws with six seconds left and Ray would have one final shot in the waning seconds to send the game into overtime, but his shot didn’t fall and Drexel escaped with the win.

Sophomore Caleb Burgess tallied eight points, seven assists, and four rebounds for Hofstra, which also got nine points and five rebounds from senior Tareq Coburn. Freshman Kvonn Cramer chipped in with six points and six rebounds.

T.J. Bickerstaff had 18 points, six assists, and four rebounds for Drexel, which got 16 points, five assists, and four rebounds from Wynter. Zach Walton added 11 points for the Dragons.

Hofstra and Drexel will meet up again on Sunday at 2 p.m. The event is closed to the public.

NOTES
– Drexel now leads the all-time series 47-46. The win by the Dragons ended an eight-game win streak by the Pride in the series.
– Ray now has 1,224 career points to move into 23rd place all-time in program history. He passed Demetrius Dudley (1,220 from 1991-93) and John Mills (1,220 from 1941-43 and 46-47) in today’s game.
– Ray moved into a tie for fifth all-time in program history in three-pointers. He now has 201 and is tied with Carlos Rivera (2003-07).

For more information on the Hofstra University Athletics Department fans are encouraged to click on the link seen here:

Hofstra University Athletics – Official Athletics Website (gohofstra.com)

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