Towson, Md. – Hofstra negated what had been a 14-point Towson lead in the final two minutes, but Tanisha McTiller scored off a bank shot with 5.1 seconds left to break a deadlock as Hofstra lost, 65-63, in a Colonial Athletic Association game at the first-year SECU Arena on Thursday night.
Sophomore guard Asia Jackson tied her career high with 20 points and senior Anma Onyeuku scored eight of her 11 points in the second half, including the tying free throws in the final minute that knotted the score at 63. But McTiller scored 29 points in total, including the game-winning basket on the right side of the lane as Hofstra saw its three-game winning streak snapped in falling to 9-11 overall and 4-5 in CAA action.
Towson won for the second straight game to move to .500 at 11-11 overall and 5-4 against the league. The Pride were swept in the season series with Towson also winning, 62-56, at the Mack Sports Complex on Jan. 9.
Jackson’s three pointer at the buzzer fell short, though she led all Hofstra scorers and tied a personal best previously reached against Norfolk State on Jan. 3, 2013. Jackson shot 5-for-11 and scored in double figures for the fourth time this season.
Onyeuku made two free throws tied it at 63, capping a frantic stretch for her in which she scored six points in the final 3:07 to give Hofstra a chance to mount the comeback. Onyeuku finished in double figures for a Hofstra-best 13th time.
Freshman Elo Edeferioka scored nine points and added five rebounds for the Pride. Towson’s LaTorri Hines-Allen chipped in 13 points and 10 rebounds for a double-double.
McTiller scored 17 points in the opening half and Nyree Williams scored nine points on 4-of-5 shooting to help Towson take a 35-29 edge at the break. Jackson scored 13 points in just 10 minutes to cut what had been a 14-point Tigers lead to just six at halftime.
Williams left the game with a leg injury with 16:57 left in the contest. Hofstra then came within a single possession on sophomore Ruth Sherrill’s three-point play made it 43-40 close to the eight-minute mark.
The Pride could not get closer despite senior guard Annie Payton scoring all but two of her seven points in the second half. McTiller’s three-pointer in the corner in front of Towson’s bench made it 52-43.
Edeferioka gave Hofstra a chance to get back into it with a power move on the low left block for a three-point play that cut the score to 56-48. The Pride employed a full-court press that Jackson three-pointer and Jakelle King-Gilchrist’s steal and coast-to-coast layup put the score at 56-53.
Hines-Allen’s turnaround jumper went off the back rim and dropped in for a 63-57 Towson lead. Onyeuku buried a jumper to put Hofstra within four and scored off a fast-break layup for a 63-61 game.
Camille Alberson’s second-chance put-back reestablished Towson’s two-possession lead, but an official review negated the two points because of a shot clock violation. Onyeuku then drew a foul and hit both free throws to tie it before McTiller’s game-winner.
Towson scored 16 consecutive points early in the first half and held Hofstra scoreless through a five-plus minute stretch in which the Pride missed its first nine field goal attempts. McTiller scored 10 points in that stretch before Jackson buried a three-pointer to stem the momentum.
Jackson needed less than 14 minutes to set a season high in points as she scored 13 of Hofstra’s first 17 points. Jackson’s previous season high was 11 points set against CCSU on Dec. 30. Her scoring sparked an 8-0 run capped by freshman Kelly Loftus’ head-on three-pointer off the glass to cut Towson’s edge to 24-20.
Hofstra will return home to face William & Mary on Sunday at 2 p.m. from the Mack Sports Complex in another league clash. The contest will also mark the Pride’s Think Pink day in support of breast cancer research. For ticket information, please call (516) HOF-TIXX or visit GoHofstra.com/tix.