Jalen Ray scored 20 points in his season debut to lead four Hofstra players in double-figures as Hofstra rallied in the second half, but Iona pulled away in an 82-74 victory at the Hynes Center Tuesday night.
Hofstra fell to 1-2 on the season with the loss while Iona moved to 3-0.
Ray, who missed the Pride’s first two games, shot 6-8 from three-point range and grabbed two rebounds in 27 minutes of action. Darlinstone Dubar scored 14 points, grabbed six rebounds, and picked up three steals. Zach Cooks and Aaron Estrada each added 11 points. Abayomi Iyiola had six points and pulled down a team-best 10 rebounds.
Hofstra trailed, 39-32, at the half as the Gaels shot nearly 50-percent from the field (14-29). Iona led by as many as 12 points on two occasions, the last at 19-7 with 13:08 to play in the period. Hofstra responded with a 12-3 run to pull within three, 22-19, with 9:29 on the clock following a fast break layup from Cooks. The Gaels would pull ahead by as many as nine before the Pride cut their deficit to three again, 35-32, with 1:57 remaining on a three-pointer from Ray. Iona would score the final four points on a pair of dunks to go into the locker room with a seven-point advantage.
Iona extended its lead to 11, 49-38, 3:50 into the second half before a 17-6 run by the Pride tied the score at 55 on Dubar’s jumper in the paint with 10:45 to play. Ray had 11 points in the spurt, sinking three three-pointers and two free throws. Iona would retake the lead twice with Hofstra tying the score each time, the last at 62-62 with 7:21 to play on a pair of free throws from Cooks. The Gaels then went on a 13-4 run to pull ahead 75-66 with 2:12 on the clock.
Hofstra came out of a timeout and scored five consecutive points on a Ray three and a Dubar layup to make it 75-71 with 1:40 to go. Iona would outscore the Pride, 7-3 the rest of the way to post the eight-point victory.
Tyson Jolly had a game-high 21 points for the Gaels, while Nelly Joseph contributed 12 points. Elijah Joiner had a team-high 10 rebounds.
Hofstra returns to action in a nationally televised contest at #20 Maryland on Friday. That game will tip-off at 6:30 p.m. and air on FS1.
– Iona leads the series 22-20.
-Ray moved into a tie for fifth place all-time in games played at Hofstra with 124.
-Ray also moved into 16th place on Hofstra’s career scoring list with 1,354 points.
-Dubar matched his career-high with 14 points.
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