Hempstead, NY - Jonathan Lee's jumper in the paint with 10 seconds left snapped a 62-62 tie and gave Northeastern a 64-62 win over Hofstra Wednesday night in a Colonial Athletic Association contest at the Mack Sports Complex. Senior forward Nathaniel Lester had tied the back-and-forth game at 62 with a layup at the 41-second mark, his 14th point of the second half.
The game was close throughout and featured nine tie scores and seven lead changes.
Northeastern (7-8, 3-2 CAA) had erased a seven-point Hofstra lead in the final nine minutes, tying the score at 56 with 2:45 to play on a Lee jumper. Hofstra would take another three-point lead with 2:00 to play before the Huskies came back and took a two-point edge, 62-60, with 48 seconds left on a pair of Quincy Ford free throws.
Hofstra (6-11, 0-5), which dropped its fourth consecutive contest, looked like it would pull away early in the second half using a 20-10 run to take a 47-40 lead with 9:37 on the clock. Lester scored 11 of his team-high 19 points in the run. But Northeastern chipped away behind Lee, who scored 19 of his game-high 21 points in the final 20 minutes. The Huskies would score 16 of the next 25 points with Lee netting seven of the points and Ford contributing six to tie the score at 56. The Pride went up by three after a pair of free throws and a Lester jumper sandwiched around a Joel Smith free throw. But Smith converted three-point play to tie the game at 60 and Ford's free throws gave the Huskies a two-point edge to set the stage for the final 41 seconds. After Lee's jumper, Hofstra turned the ball over on the ensuing possession and following a missed free throw by the Huskies a Pride desperation three-pointer at the horn was off the mark.
The first half started with a run by each team, and ended tied at 24. Hofstra opened the game with a 9-0 run over the first 5:08 before surrendering a 12-0 run to the Huskies over the next 3:30 to trail 12-9 at the 11:18 mark. Hofstra came back to tie the game at 12 on a three-point play by Lester and then both teams basically traded baskets the rest of the half. Northeastern did go ahead 24-21 on a Kauri Black layup with 51 seconds to play before sophomore guard Shemiye McLendon answered with a three-pointer that tied the score with 31 seconds remaining.
In addition to Lester's 19 points, the Pride received 11 points from junior forward David Imes and 10 points and nine rebounds from sophomore forward Stephen Nwaukoni. Senior point guard Dwan McMillan added eight points and seven assists. Senior guard Mike Moore, Hofstra's leading scorer at 21.1 points per game, was held to just nine points, though he did have a season-high tying five assists.
Northeastern received 19 points from Smith and 11 points and six rebounds from Reggie Spencer.
Hofstra is back in action Saturday afternoon at Old Dominion. Game time in Norfolk, VA, is set for Noon and will be televised locally on MSG+.