Senior Jalen Ray added to his incredible career as he poured in a career-high 34 points to lead the Hofstra Men’s Basketball team to an 83-75 victory over Delaware in the Colonial Athletic Association quarterfinals on Sunday afternoon at the Atlantic Union Bank Center. The 34 points by Ray are the fifth-most in a tournament game in CAA history. He scored 22 of his 34 points in the second half.
Sophomore Caleb Burgess nearly had a triple-double for Hofstra with 11 points, nine rebounds, and eight assists, while junior Isaac Kante tallied 14 points and 13 rebounds for his seventh double-double of the season and the 15th of his career.
The win puts Hofstra in the CAA semifinals for the third consecutive year. It marks the first time since joining the CAA in 2001-02 that the Pride has made three straight semifinal appearances.
Hofstra improves to 13-9 this year, while Delaware falls to 7-8 with the loss. This is the third straight year these teams have met in the CAA Championship with the Pride winning all three contests. The two previous meetings occurred in the semifinals.
An incredibly tight first half would feature nine tie scores and 17 lead changes as neither team took a lead larger than four points in the opening 20 minutes. Ray opened the scoring in the contest with two of his 12 first half points and it would go back and forth from there. With Delaware ahead, 15-13, with 12 minutes left in the opening stanza, Hofstra used a quick 6-1 run to take a 19-16 lead. The three-point advantage came courtesy of junior Kevin Schutte, who grabbed an offensive rebound and put it back in for two. Kante would give Hofstra a narrow four-point lead, its largest of the half, with a jumper at the 9:28 mark that made it 21-17 in favor of the Pride. Another Ray basket with 46 seconds left would knot the score at 36 before Andrew Carr gave Delaware the leading heading into the break with a basket with 32 ticks left on the clock.
Delaware pushed its advantage to seven points quickly in the second half as a Ebby Asamoah three-pointer made it 43-36 just 1:10 into the second stanza. Hofstra immediately responded, though, and would score the game’s next nine points to retake the lead at 45-43 with 16:23 left in regulation. Ray, Kante, and senior Tareq Coburn all had three points during the run. A basket from Johnny McCoy gave the Blue Hens a 46-45 lead, but once again Hofstra had an answer. The Pride used a 9-1 run to earn a 54-47 lead following a Ray three-pointer with 12:41 on the clock. These two longtime rivals put together a quite a show with neither giving up any ground. The game would once again be tied, this time at 61, with 7:50 left before Hofstra took control. A Ray basket would start an 11-2 game-changing run that made it 72-63 with just 4:41 left to play. Ray keyed the run with six points as Hofstra took its largest lead of the game. That proved to be enough breathing room for the Pride, as Delaware was only able to close the gap to six the rest of the way before Hofstra earned the eight-point win.
Coburn added 12 points for Hofstra, which also got five points and nine rebounds from freshman Kvonn Cramer.
Kevin Anderson led Delaware with 22 points and five assists, while Dylan Painter had 15 points and nine rebounds for the Blue Hens.
Hofstra advances to face either James Madison or Elon in the semifinals on Monday at 6 p.m. That game will air on the CBS Sports Network and WRHU will have an audio-only broadcast available as well.
– Hofstra leads the all-time series with Delaware, 63-34. The teams split the two regular season meetings in Newark this season with Delaware winning the first one and Hofstra capturing the Sunday contest. The Pride has won nine of the last 11 meetings and 15 of the last 18 meetings dating back to the 2014-15 season.
– Ray had five three-pointers in the game to give him 216 in his career. He moved into fourth place all-time at Hofstra, passing Eli Pemberton (215 from 2016-20).
– Ray now has 1,314 career points to move into 18th place all-time at Hofstra. Today he passed Mike Tilley (1,286 from 1963-66), Kenny Adeleke (1,296 from 2001-04), and Desure Buie (1,310 from 2015-20).
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