Hempstead, NY - Hofstra junior All-American Shante Evans scored a game-high 21 points and grabbed 13 rebounds to lead Hofstra to a 72-66 win over visiting Northeastern Sunday afternoon. The win was the 100th career victory for sixth-year Pride Coach Krista Kilburn-Steveskey, whose career mark stands at 100-77.
Hofstra improves to 14-4, 6-1 in the CAA with the win, while Northeastern slips to 3-15, 1-6 in conference. The Pride needed a 13-7 run in the final five minutes of the second half to pull away from the Huskies.
Evans' double-double was her 11th of the season and her ninth in Hofstra's last 10 games. She was joined in double-figure scoring by sophomore guard Katelyn Loper, who had 18 points. Deanna Kerkhof led the Huskies with 18 points, while Jamie Conroy posted 17 points and six rebounds.
Northeastern opened the second half on a 10-4 run to erase a 39-33 deficit and tie the score at 43 on Conroy's layup at the 17:02 mark. A'lece Mark had two three-pointers in the spurt as well. After trading baskets, the Pride used a 10-0 run in second snapped 45-45 tie. Evans started the run with a three-point play at the 15:20 mark and Loper scored five points, including a three-pointer at the 12:56 mark that capped the run and gave the Pride their largest lead of the game at 55-45.
But the Huskies would not go down without a fight and used a 14-4 run to tie the score at 59 with 5:38 to play. Conroy scored eight points in the outburst, while Christine Huber had a three-point play. Loper snapped the tie with a three-pointer from the wing at 5:04. That would give the Pride the lead for good at 62-59. The lead would grow to five points, 66-61, before Northeastern again trimmed it to three on a pair of free throws from Kerkhof with 59 seconds left. Evans scored on a tough reverse layup to put the Pride up 68-63 before Dani Iervolino came down and drained a three-pointer from the top of the arc to make it a 68-66 game with 21 seconds left. Senior guard Candice Bellocchio (eight assists) and Evans both hit two free throws in the final 15 seconds to account for the final score.
The first half was closely contested as Hofstra jumped out to a six-point lead, 13-7, at the 14:54 mark behind five points from senior guard Nicole Capurso and four points from senior center Marie Malone. But the Huskies would tie the score at 13 at 13:53 behind three-pointers from Mark and Iervolino. The teams would battle back and forth with neither team going ahead by more than three for the next eight minutes with three tie scores in that time. The last tie score came at 25-25 thanks to the first of two free throws by Pride freshman Andreana Thomas at 5:46. Thomas' second free throw gave Hofstra a 26-25 lead that the team would not relinquish. Hofstra closed the half on a 15-8 run to lead 39-33 at halftime. Evans had six points during the run and finished the opening 20 minutes with a nine. Loper had a team-high 10 first half points, while Northeastern's Deanna Kerkhof led all scorers in the first 20 minutes with 11 points.
The Pride return to action this coming Thursday when they travel to Delaware for a 7 p.m. matchup with the league-leading Blue Hens.