Hempstead, NY - Taran Buie scored 24 points and Stevie Mejia added 14 points and nine assists to lead Hofstra to a wire-to-wire 70-59 victory over William & Mary Saturday evening at the Mack Sports Complex.
Hofstra improves to 5-11 overall and 2-1 in the Colonial Athletic Association. William & Mary, which lost for the fifth consecutive time, falls to 7-8, 1-3 in the CAA.
The first half was controlled by the Pride as Hofstra scored the first nine points of the game, holding the Tribe scoreless for more than four minutes. The Pride led 11-2 at the first media timeout behind four points from Stephen Nwaukoni and three points from Buie. The Pride built the lead to 16-2 on a Nwaukoni free throw with 10:49 remaining in the half. A jumper by Brandon Britt and a layup by Tim Rusthoven cut the William & Mary deficit to 10, 16-6, with 10:07 on the clock. But Mejia put the Pride back up by 12 with a jumper 10 seconds later.
After William & Mary cut the lead to 10, 20-10, Hofstra came back with back-to-back baskets from Buie to take a 24-10 lead with 4:21 left in the half. The Tribe used a 7-1 run to pull within eight at 25-17 with 34 seconds to go, but Buie sent the Pride into the locker room at halftime with a 10-point lead with a layup off his own missed shot as time expired.
William and Mary could not get untracked offensively in the first 20 minutes, shooting just 27 percent from the floor (6-22) and 40 percent from the free throw line (4-10). The Tribe was also just 1-for-11 from three-point range in the half. Hofstra shot 43 percent from the floor (12-28) in the half. The 17 points allowed in the half was a season-best for Hofstra, topping the 19 allowed in the opening half against Wagner on December 4.
The Tribe would start the second half much better, cutting Hofstra's lead to four, 32-28, with 15:49 left on a Terry Tarpey layup. But Buie scored five straight points with a three-pointer and a pair of free throws to put the Pride back up by nine, 37-28, with 14:55 left. Britt then scored five straight for the Tribe to again cut the deficit to four before Buie answered with another three-ball to give Hofstra a 40-33 lead with just over 12 minutes to play.
William & Mary cut the Hofstra lead to four twice more in the next six minutes, but Hofstra answered each time. After Britt made it a 48-44 contest, Hofstra scored seven straight points, including five from Moussa Kone to go up 55-44 with 4:24 to play following Kone's three-point play.
Hofstra would not let the Tribe get closer than seven the rest of the way as it won for the second time in its last three games.
Buie was 8-17 from the floor with three three-pointers, while Mejia did most of his damage from the free throw line (10-13). In addition to Buie and Mejia, David Imes added 10 points and eight rebounds and Nwaukoni finished with seven points and a game-high nine rebounds.
Britt led William & Mary with 21 points, while Marcus Thornton added 17 points.
Hofstra is back in action Wednesday at Northeastern. Game time in Boston is set for 7 p.m.