New Orleans, LA – Graduate forward Zeke Upshaw poured in a game-high 31 points, but a late Tulane run allowed the Green Wave to escape with a 61-58 victory over the Pride on Thursday afternoon at Devlin Fieldhouse.
It marked the second 30-point game of Upshaw’s season as he scored 37 against Richmond earlier this season.
Tulane improved to 8-7 with the win, while Hofstra saw its record fall to 4-9.
Hofstra’s stifling defense early on would hold Tulane without a field goal over the first 7:33 of the contest as the Pride would lead 9-3 following a free throw from Upshaw at the 13:14 mark of the initial half.
A basket from Kevin Thomas of Tulane ended the field goal drought for the Green Wave and Tulane would use a 12-0 scoring run to take a 15-9 lead after another Thomas bucket with 9:22 showing on the clock.
Hofstra responded though and the Pride rallied with a 14-3 run of their own to lead 23-16 with 3:26 left before intermission. Upshaw had 12 points during the run that would eventually allow the Pride to take a narrow three-point lead, 28-25, into the halftime break.
Jay Hook would sink to three-pointers to open the second half scoring, allowing the Green Wave to lead 31-28 just over a minute into the second stanza.
Hofstra answered once again, as the Pride used an 11-3 run spanning 4:17 to open up a 39-31 lead after a free throw from sophomore guard/forward Jordan Allen. It would be the Pride’s largest lead of the game to that point. The run was done in part by the scoring of freshman guard Jamall Robinson and Upshaw, who each scored five points during the spurt.
Tulane would table back and a 15-5 run would allow the home squad to lead 52-49 with 6:13 to play in regulation. The Green Wave had a six-point possession during the run as they had several offensive rebounds and there was a flagrant foul assessed to the Pride.
Upshaw would continue to carry the Pride and he would drain a pair of free throws with 5:02 to play that allowed Hofstra to regain the lead at 53-52.
Late in the contest an old-fashioned three-point play from Upshaw would catapult the Pride back in the lead at 56-54 with 2:37 remaining.
In a game of runs and responses, Tulane would have the final answer as a three-pointer from Cameron Reynolds with 1:18 left would make the score 59-58. The Green Wave would not relinquish the lead the rest of the way and added a pair of insurance free throws with a second remaining.
Graduate guard Dion Nesmith finished with five points, five assists and four rebounds for the Pride, while Robinson added seven points.
Hook led Tulane with 15 points, with Jonathan Stark adding 12 and Kevin Thomas chipping in with 10.
Hofstra will next be in action on Sunday when it travels to Fairleigh Dickinson for a 4 p.m. contest.