Aaron Estrada scored a career-high 30 points with 20 coming in the second half as Hofstra rallied from a halftime deficit and then held off Delaware in an 82-77 Colonial Athletic Association victory Saturday afternoon at the David S. Mack Sports and Exhibition Complex. Hofstra led by as many as 14 points in the second half before the Blue Hens cut the lead to one late in the game.
The Pride improved to 10-7 overall and 2-2 in the CAA with the victory. Delaware slipped to 11-6 overall and 2-2 in league play with the loss, which ended a modest two-game win streak for the Blue Hens.
Estrada shot 12-18 from the floor and was 6-6 from the free throw line, eclipsing his previous career-high of 24 points. He also added six assists and three steals. Jalen Ray had a season-high 23 points, shooting 5-7 from three-point range, and added three assists and three steals. Omar Silverio had 15 points and four rebounds. Abayomi Iyiola led the Pride with six rebounds.
Hofstra raced out to an 11-1 lead early in the first half behind eight consecutive points from Silverio. A 9-0 Delaware run made it a one-point game, 11-10, with 11:55 to play in the opening 20 minutes. The Pride would go on another big run, this one a 15-5 spurt, to take a 26-15 lead with 6:59 to go following a three-pointer from Ray. However, the Blue Hens closed the half on a 20-5 run to take a 35-31 lead at the half.
Delaware would extend the lead to nine, 42-33, 2:13 into the second half on a Dylan Painter layup. Hofstra would then start a comeback as Ray’s jumper ignited a 12-0 run that was capped off by a three from Silverio to give the Pride a 45-42 lead with 13:23 on the clock. A Delaware basket snapped the Pride’s run but Hofstra promptly started a 13-0 run to lead 58-44 with 10:52 to play. Ray had five points in the run, while Silverio and Estrada added four points each.
The Blue Hens would start to chip away and cut the Hofstra lead to one, 68-67, with 4:03 to go on a pair of free throws from Painter, which ended a 10-0 run for Delaware. The Pride would get a bucket from Jarrod Simmons and Estrada followed with two free throws to put Hofstra back up by five, 72-67, with 3:24 remaining. A Painter three-pointer made it a two-point game once again, but Ray had a huge three-pointer and the Pride converted seven free throws in the final 1:25 to seal the victory.
Painter and Andrew Carr led five Delaware players in double-figures with 15 points each. Painter pulled down a game-high 10 rebounds. Jameer Nelson Jr. had 14 points, Ryan Allen scored 13, and Ebby Asamoah chipped in with 12 points.
Hofstra returns to action Monday afternoon at home against Drexel. Tip-off is scheduled for 4 p.m. with the game televised on SNY. Tickets are available for purchase at HofstraTickets.com, by calling (516) HOF-TIXX, or by visiting the Hofstra Athletic Ticket Office in the lobby of the Mack Sports Complex one hour prior to game time.
-Hofstra is 64-34 all-time against Delaware, and has won 10 of the last 12 meetings.
-Hofstra scored 35 points off 19 Delaware turnovers.
-The Pride was 17-20 from the free throw line including 13-14 in the second half.
–Darlinstone Dubar and Caleb Burgess each had five rebounds for the Pride.
-Hofstra is 6-0 at home in 2021-22.
-Simmons returned to the court for the first time since an injury in the season-opener at Houston.
-Estrada’s 30-points were the most by a Pride player this season.
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