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Hofstra Men’s Basketball edges Drexel, 71-68

Aaron Estrada led three Hofstra players in double-figures with 26 points and hit the go-ahead basket in the final minute as the Pride came away with a 71-68 Colonial Athletic Association victory over Drexel Monday evening at the David S. Mack Sports and Exhibition Complex. Jalen Ray (18) and Darlinstone Dubar (15) joined Estrada in double-digit points.

Hofstra moved to 11-7 overall and 3-2 in the CAA with its second consecutive victory. Drexel slipped to 7-7 overall and 2-2 in league play.

Estrada led Hofstra in scoring for the eighth game this season and his jumper with 48 seconds to go gave Hofstra a lead it would not relinquish. The junior guard shot 11-24 from the floor and was 4-4 from the line. He also had five rebounds and eight assists. Ray was 8-14 from the floor including two three-pointers for his 18 points, while Dubar was 5-8 from the floor and 4-4 from the line for his 15 points. Abayomi Iyiola led the Pride with nine rebounds.

Drexel would score the first five points of the game and held the lead until Ray put Hofstra up by one, 11-10, with a three-pointer with 13:21 on the clock. The teams traded the lead twice until the Dragons used an 8-0 run to go up by seven, 20-13, with 9:59 to play on a layup from Xavier Bell. The Pride battled back and tied the score at 26 with 5:31 to go on an offensive rebound and put-back from Jarrod Simmons. The Pride would take the lead on an Estrada bucket with 3:40 to go, but Drexel answered with a three-pointer 20 seconds later to go back up by one, 29-28. After the Pride tied the score on a free throw, the teams traded baskets and went into halftime tied at 31.   

The Dragons opened the second half scoring with a three-pointer from Mate Okros before the Pride answered with four unanswered points to take a 35-34 lead. The teams would trade the lead on multiple occasions. Hofstra controlled the defensive glass in the first nine minutes of the half, limiting the Dragons to one shot possessions, and built a six-point advantage with 10:52 to play on a driving layup from Dubar.

Drexel fought back and took a 57-56 lead with 6:57 to go on a three-pointer from Camren Wynter. The Pride answered with a pull-up jumper from Ray to go back up by one before a three-point play from Bell gave Drexel a 60-58 edge with 5:39 remaining.

Following that basket, the game featured seven lead changes with the last coming with 48 seconds on the clock as Estrada’s baseline jumper gave the Pride a 67-66 lead. Dubar added two free throws with 16 ticks on the clock to extend the lead to three, 69-66. Bell would get a layup with 8.2 seconds to go to make it a one-point game. Estrada was fouled on the inbound and hit both ends of the one-and-one and the Dragons last second three-pointer went in-and-out as the Pride came away with the victory.  

Bell led all scorers with a career-high 30 points on 13-17 shooting. Wynter finished with 13 points and seven rebounds for the Dragons. Amari Williams pulled down nine rebounds.  

Hofstra is back in action Saturday, January 22, at Northeastern. Game time is scheduled for 12 p.m.

-The Pride leads the all-time series with Drexel, 48-47, and has won 10 of last 11 matchups.
-Ray is one three-pointer shy of tying Justin Wright-Foreman for second place on Hofstra’s all-time three-point field goal list.
-The game featured five tie scores and 23 lead changes.
-Hofstra matched a season-low with five turnovers.
-The Pride once again excelled at the free throw line, shooting 9-10 (90%) and was 6-6 in the second half.

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