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Hofstra Men’s Basketball edges Northeastern, 76-73

 Zach Cooks’ layup with eight seconds to play gave Hofstra a 74-73 lead as the Pride erased an eight-point deficit in the final 1:31 and came away with a 76-73 Colonial Athletic Association victory over Northeastern Saturday afternoon at the David S. Mack Sports and Exhibition Complex. Hofstra closed the game on an 11-0 run over the final 1:12.

It was Joe Mihalich Day at the Mack Sports Complex as the former Hofstra head coach was honored throughout the game. The Pride named the locker room in his honor and a tribute video was aired at halftime as well.  

Hofstra improved to 19-9 overall and 11-4 in the CAA and the win was the Pride’s sixth consecutive victory, extending their season-best winning streak. The Huskies slipped to 7-19 overall and 1-14 in league play with their third consecutive loss.

Aaron Estrada finished with a team-high 21 points, leading four players in double-figures. Darlinstone Dubar had 13 points, while Cooks and Jalen Ray chipped in with 12 points each. Estrada also added a team-best eight rebounds and seven assists.

Hofstra jumped out to a 5-0 lead behind an alley-oop dunk by Dubar from Caleb Burgess 15 seconds into the game and a free throw and layup from Estrada. Jahmyl Telfort put Northeastern on the board at the 16:35 mark, and would score the Huskies’ first five points as the Pride led, 9-5, at the first media timeout. Northeastern would take its first lead of the game, 18-16, following a three-pointer from Jason Strong with 10:34 remaining and Shaquille Walters capped off a 9-0 run with a three of his own to extend the lead to five, 21-16, with 10 minutes to go. The run would extend to 11-0 before Burgess scored to cut the Pride’s deficit to five, 23-18, with 9:08 on the clock.

The Pride would regain the lead, 27-25, on Ray’s three-pointer with 4:48 to go and Estrada put the cap on an 8-0 run with a layup to extend the lead to 29-25 with 4:08 on the clock. Chris Doherty scored five straight points for the Huskies to give the visitors a 30-29 lead with a minute to play and Telfort followed with a layup with 18 seconds to go that sent Northeastern into the half with a 32-29 lead.

The Huskies went up by five early in the second half but Ray’s three-pointer brought the Pride back to within two, 36-34, with 18:17 to play. Jarrod Simmons would put Hofstra back on top, 41-39, with 15:15 to go following a three-point play. Northeastern answered with a 9-0 run to go back up by seven, 48-41, on Telfort’s jump hook with 13:15 remaining.

Simmons ended that spurt but Northeastern followed with six more unanswered points to go ahead by 11, 54-43, with 9:46 to go. Estrada cut the deficit to eight, 58-50, with a step-back three with just under eight minutes remaining. Hofstra would get within seven, 63-56, on a Cooks three and, following a turnover, Dubar made it a four-point deficit (63-59) with a three of his own with 5:00 on the clock. A three-point play from Ray cut the Huskies lead to three (65-62) but Telfort answered with a three-pointer to once again make it a two-possession game with 3:45 remaining.

The lead grew to eight, 73-65, with 1:31 to before the Pride scored five straight to pull within three, 73-70, with 32 seconds left on Ray’s three-pointer from the right wing. The Pride forced a turnover and got the ball back with 28.1 seconds on the clock. Estrada scored on a layup to make it 73-72 with 23 ticks remaining. Doherty was fouled with 18.2 seconds to play and missed the front end of the one-and-one. Dubar grabbed the rebound and passed to Cooks who finished with an acrobatic layup in traffic to put the Pride ahead, 74-73, with eight seconds to go. Simmons got a steal on the Huskies next possession and Estrada drained two free throws with 0.8 seconds left to close out the scoring. The Huskies did not get a potential tying shot off on the final play.  

Telfort and Doherty led all scorers with 22 points each. Doherty also had a game-high nine rebounds. Strong was also in double-figures with 17 points.

Hofstra is back in action Thursday, February 24 at 7 p.m. when it hosts Elon. 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 during normal business hours. Tickets will also be available the night of the game, beginning one hour before tip-off.

Notes:
– Hofstra is 28-25 all-time versus Northeastern and swept the regular season series.
– Simmons had a solid game off the bench for the Pride, finishing with nine points, four rebounds and the key steal at the end of the game.
– Ray moved past Norman Richardson into 11th-place on the Hofstra career scoring list with 1,682 points.
– Hofstra moved to 10-1 at home in 2021-22.
– Desure Buie and Eli Pemberton were in attendance, and received their 2020 CAA Championship rings in an on-court presentation. Tareq Coburn, who was presented with his ring at an earlier time, was also recognized with a framed jersey. 

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

https://gohofstra.com/

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