Aaron Estrada scored 33 points to lead three Hofstra players in double-figures as the Pride improved to 3-0 on the season for the first time since 2017-18 with an 85-80 victory over George Washington Monday night at the David S. Mack Sports and Exhibition Complex. The Pride withstood a George Washington rally and was able to pull away late in the game to earn the victory.
Estrada, nicknamed “Mr. Mid-Range”, did the majority of his damage from beyond the arc as he matched his career-high with six three-pointers to finish two points shy of his career-best total. He also added five rebounds, four assists and three steals. Joining him in double-figures for the Pride was Tyler Thomas with 17 points and Darlinston Dubar with 13 points. Dubar also had a team-high eight rebounds.
Hofstra led 48-37 following a masterful performance from Estrada, who scored 23 points on 9-11 shooting (4-5 3FG) and added five rebounds, two assists and two steals in the half. Leading 4-3, Hofstra went on an 11-0 run to take a 15-3 advantage on a free throw from Estrada with 14:47 on the clock. The Colonials would get within two, 19-17, with 10:31 remaining in the half before German Plotnikov hit a three-pointer and Estrada drained a jumper following a turnover to push the lead back up to seven, 24-17, with 7:33. The Pride would extend the lead to 11 twice including with one second left on Jaquan Carlos’ three-pointer just before the horn to make it a 48-37 lead at the half.
George Washington (2-1) made a run in the second half and took its first lead of the game, 54-53, with 13:06 on the clock following a three-pointer from James Bishop to cap a 17-5 run to start the final 20 minutes. Wth the Colonials up by two, 55-53, Hofstra got back-to-back three-pointers from Thomas and Estrada to retake the lead, 59-55, with 10:34 to play. Dean Hunter scored four straight points for George Washington to tie the game at 59 with 9:46 to go. The teams would be tied again at 68 with 6:16 remaining. After trading the lead, Hofstra scored four unanswered to take a 74-71 lead with 4:36 to go on a pull-up jumper from Thomas.
The Colonials called timeout following Thomas’ basket but Hofstra came out of the break energized, forcing back-to-back turnovers. Each turnover led to Hofstra baskets as Estrada hit a jumper and Amare Marshall a three-pointer to give the Pride a 79-71 lead with 3:26 to play. Bishop hit three free throws and Hunter added a dunk to bring the Colonials within three, 79-76, but Dubar answered with a three-pointer to put Hofstra back up by six with 1:03 remaining. The Pride then hit 3 of 4 free throws over the final 22 seconds to secure the win.
Bishop had a game-high 44 points to lead the Colonials. Brendan Adams added 15 points, while Hunter chipped in with 10. Rick Lindo Jr. grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds.
Hofstra returns to action Thursday night at San Jose State. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. Pacific time.
-Hofstra is 2-3 all-time versus George Washington.
-The last time the Pride opened the season with three straight wins was in November 2017 with wins over Army West Point, Kennesaw State, and Dayton.
-Hofstra is 55-14 at home over the past six seasons.
-Estrada recorded his fifth 30-point game in a Hofstra uniform.
-Carlos had a team-high six assists.
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