Upper Marlboro, MD - Junior guard Nicole Capurso scored a game-high 22 points to lead the Hofstra Women's Basketball team to an 89-67 victory over William & Mary in the first round of the 2011 Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) Championship on Thursday afternoon at The Show Place Arena.
Sophomore forward Shante Evans picked up her 16th double-double of the season with 16 points and 12 rebounds, while also tallying the 1,000th point of her career.
With the win Hofstra advances to the quarterfinals where it will face Virginia Commonwealth on Friday at 2:30 p.m. The Rams defeated Hofstra, 85-76, back on February 13 in the only matchup this season between the teams.
It was the Capurso and Evans show throughout the contest as the duo combined for 38 points and 14 rebounds in the dominating victory over the Tribe.
Hofstra improves to 19-11 this season with the victory, while William & Mary sees its season end with a record of 3-26. The Pride took all three meetings this season from the Tribe, including last week's regular season finale in Williamsburg.
Evans would reach the 1,000-point plateau with 18:56 left in the second stanza as her three-point play gave her 1,001 points at the time and put the Pride ahead 46-39 at the time. Heading into the quarterfinals, Evans now has 1,007 career points.
Junior guard Candice Bellocchio drained a three-pointer from the top of the key as time expired in the first half to give Hofstra a 40-35 advantage. Evans would come into the game needing nine points to reach 1,000 for her career, but Capurso would be the star of the opening 20 minutes. Hofstra would fall behind 16-9 early in the opening half as a jumper from Taysha Pye gave the Tribe a seven-point advantage with 13:53 left in the half.
The Pride gradually chipped away at the deficit and after a three-pointer from sophomore forward Candace Bond with 11:28 remaining, Capurso would tally 13 straight Pride points during a 13-2 Hofstra run that gave them a 29-22 lead with 7:01 to play.
William & Mary rallied to eventually go ahead 31-29 on a basket from Kaitlyn Mathieu with 3:16 left, but Hofstra scored the final five points of the half to take the momentum into the break.
The second half would see Hofstra begin to pull away as the Pride turned a narrow 54-52 lead with 14:41 left into a 73-52 advantage with an 19-0 that culminated with a layup from Capurso at the 9:01 mark.
That would prove to be more than enough of a margin for Hofstra as the Pride would go on to dominate down the stretch and win by 22 points.
Freshman forward Anma Onyeuku had one of the best games of her career as she added 15 points and eight rebounds in 17 minutes of action. Bellocchio added 11 points and five assists for the Pride, while Evans extended her free throw streak to 22 straight over the last two games.