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Military Appreciation Night
Courtesy: Hofstra Athletic Communications
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MBB: Hofstra's Second Half Rally Downs UNCW

Courtesy: Hofstra Athletic Communications
Release: 02/08/2014
Hempstead, NY – Sophomore Jordan Allen sparked a second-half Pride rally from a 15-point deficit and graduate Zeke Upshaw tallied a game-high 16 points to lead the Hofstra Men's Basketball team to a 61-52 victory over the UNCW Seahawks in a CAA contest at the Mack Sports Complex Saturday night.

The game occured on Hofstra's Military Appreciation Night. 

Allen scored 14 of his 15 points in the final 12 minutes of the second stanza to erase a 35-21 halftime deficit. Allen was four of seven from the field and hit seven of 11 free throw attempts. He also grabbed a game-high nine rebounds in 37 minutes of action. Upshaw was 4-for-13 from the field including 2-for-4 from the three-point line, and hit six of 10 free throws. Dion Nesmith joined Allen and Upshaw in double-figures with 13 points and game-highs of five assists and four steals. The Pride snapped a five-game losing streak to improve to 8-17 overall and 4-6 in the CAA.

UNCW, which had its longest losing skid in program history extended to 14 games, was led by junior Freddie Jackson with 15 points while senior Shane Reybold tallied seven points and graduate Ben Eblen, senior Tanner Milson and sophomore Luke Hager each added six. After shooting 65 percent from the field in the first half, the Seahawks hit on just five of 20 shots (25%) in the second half. UNCW is now 6-19 on the season and 0-10 in the CAA.

On a Military Appreciation Night that raised more than $2,000 for Operation Homefront Tri-State, Hofstra went on attack in the second half. After trailing by 14 at the break, the second half started as a period of runs. The Pride opened the period with five unanswered points – all on free throws - which brought them back to with nine at 35-26 after two by Nesmith at the 17:22 mark. The Seahawks responded with six straight points including a dunk by junior Cedrick Williams at the 14:36 mark that gave UNCW their biggest lead of the contest at 41-26.

But a Stephen Nwaukoni’s three-point play at the 14:05 mark started a 19-3 run that gave the Pride their first lead of the game at 45-44, after a lay-up from Allen at the 6:03 mark. Allen had seven of the Pride’s 19 points in the spurt. Allen then hit one of two free throws before Jackson sank two from the charity stripe for UNCW to tie the contest at 46 with 4:55 to play.

Upshaw’s three-pointer at the 4:17 mark started a 7-2 Pride spurt. Allen’s three-point play at the 2:53 mark ended the run and gave Hofstra a 53-48 lead. Jackson hit two free throws eight seconds later before Moussa Kone’s jumper at the 2:31 mark started another 8-2 Pride run to close out the game.

The first 5:30 of the contest were fairly even with the Pride closing to within one at 8-7 after a Nesmith three-pointer. But the Seahawks, behind a three from Jackson and a lay-up by Reybold, scored the next five to open up a 13-7 lead just two minutes later. After Nesmith sank two free throws for the Pride, UNCW went on a 12-5 run, behind two three-pointers from Milson, to open their biggest lead of the game at 25-14 after a Reybold jumper with 8:50 to play in the half.

Nwaukoni's three-point play 18 seconds later started a 5-0 run that brought the Pride back to within six after a Robinson jumper at the 7:30 mark. Hager and Jackson hit lay-ups for the Seahawks to boost the lead back to double-digits at 29-19 with 5:37 to play, After Allen hit one of two free throws 47 seconds later, UNCW closed out the half on a 6-1 run to build its biggest lead of the game at 35-21 at the break.

The Seahawks shot 65 percent (15-23) from the field including four of nine from the three-point line, and outrebounded Hofstra 15-9 in the first 20 minutes. UNCW had balanced scoring with five players posting five points or more led by Milson and Hager with six each. Hofstra, which shot 37 percent (7-19) in the first half, was led by Upshaw with seven.

The Pride return to action on Monday, February 10 when they travel to Harrisonburg, Virginia to face the Dukes of James Madison at 7 p.m. That game will air in the New York metro area on SNY.

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