Redshirt freshman Amar’e Marshall had a season-best 16 points, and also added new season-highs of seven rebounds and four assists, but the Hofstra men’s basketball team could not overcome a 14-point halftime deficit and fell to Middle Tennessee, 64-54, on Friday evening in the Northern Classic at Place Bell in Laval, Quebec, Canada.
The deficit stretched to as many as 18 early in the second half before the Pride mounted a rally that closed the gap to seven later in the second stanza.
The loss drops the Pride’s record to 4-2 on the season, while the Blue Raiders improved to 3-2.
Redshirt senior Aaron Estrada added 15 points and five rebounds for Hofstra.
Down 14 at the break, the lead stretched to 18 nearly three minutes into the second half. The Blue Raiders would still lead by 17, 50-33, with 11:29 remaining before Hofstra mounted a rally. Over the next 7:32, the Pride would outscore Middle Tennessee, 17-7, to close to within seven points (57-50) with 3:57 showing on the clock. Estrada and Marshall keyed the run as each tallied five points during the spurt.
Hofstra still was trailing by only seven with 2:23 left after a pair of free throws from Estrada, but the Blue Raiders were able to hold on for the victory.
Graduate student Warren Williams saw the first action of his Hofstra career and contributed six points and two rebounds in nearly 16 minutes of action.
DeAndre Dishman had 19 points for Middle Tennessee, while Elias King posted 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Red Raiders.
Hofstra returns for day two of the Northern Classic on Saturday when it takes on UNC Greensboro at 2 p.m. Links to watch, listen, and follow the live statistics can be found on the men’s basketball schedule page at GoHofstra.com.
– Today marked the first-ever meeting between Hofstra and Middle Tennessee in men’s basketball.
– With his 15 points in the game, Estrada moved closer to 1,000 in his collegiate career as he now has 976 (227 at Saint Peter’s, 28 at Oregon, and 721 at Hofstra).
– Graduate student Nelson Boachie-Yiadom had a career-high six blocked shots in the game. It marked the most for a Pride player since Jacquil Taylor had seven versus Towson on February 21, 2019.
– Marshall’s previous career-high of 15 points came at Princeton on November 7, his previous high of four rebounds came at San Jose State on November 17, and he tallied one assist in the game against Princeton as well for his previous high in that category.
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