Philadelphia, PA – Sophomore guard Katelyn Loper had 21 points and seven rebounds, while junior forward Shante Evans added nine points and 12 rebounds to lead the Hofstra Women’s Basketball team to a 68-61 victory over Drexel on Sunday afternoon at the Daskalakis Athletic Center.
The Pride’s strong defense to open the second half was the difference as Hofstra didn’t allow Drexel to reach double figures in the second half until 8:32 remained in the contest. At that point Hofstra had outscored the Dragons, 23-8, to open the second stanza.
With just nine points in the contest, Evans saw her streak of 31 straight games with at least 10 points come to an end. That streak was the fifth-longest in the nation coming into today.
Hofstra improves to 15-5 overall and 7-2 in Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) play with the victory. Drexel falls to 10-9 and 6-3 in conference action.
Hofstra would trail by eight at the break, 37-29, as Kamile Nacickaite poured in 19 first half points and the Dragons shot 46.2% from the field.
The Pride led early on as a layup from senior guard Nicole Capurso gave Hofstra a 19-15 advantage with 9:06 left in the stanza. Drexel would immediately rebound, though, as the Dragons used a 14-0 scoring run to take a 29-19 lead following a three-pointer from Fiona Flanagan.
An old-fashioned three-point play from Nacickaite with 1:27 left in the half would give Drexel its largest lead of the opening 20 minutes at 35-24, but Hofstra outscored the Dragons, 5-2, over the final 87 seconds to trail by eight at the break. Capurso led Hofstra with 10 first half points as Evans played just nine minutes due to foul trouble and was held scoreless in the half.
Hofstra wasted no time closing the gap in the second half as they scored the first ten points of the stanza to take a 39-37 lead following a jumper from Evans.
The score would be tied at 41 moments later before Hofstra took control of the contest with a 11-4 run that catapulted the Pride to a 52-45 advantage with 9:32 to play courtesy of a three-pointer from Loper.
Drexel quickly closed the gap back to 52-50 with a pair of baskets, but Loper drained three free throws with 6:30 to play to push the lead back to five, 55-50.
The Dragons had one final run left in them, though, as a free throw from Taylor Wootton with 4:14 showing on the clock closed the Drexel deficit to one at 57-56. Hofstra would finish off the Dragons at that point as senior guard Candice Bellocchio hit a pair of free throws, Loper sank a layup and Evans hit a free throw to give the Pride a commanding 62-56 lead with 1:10 left on the clock.
Hofstra would hit 6-6 from the charity stripe in the final 34 seconds to seal the victory.
Bellocchio finished with 13 points, four assists and three rebounds for Hofstra, while Capurso scored all ten of her points in the opening stanza.
Junior forward Candace Bond moved into ninth place all-time at Hofstra in steals with her two in the game today. She now has 194 and trails Meg O’Brien (203 from 1992-97) for eighth place all-time, while Capurso moved into third place all-time in three-pointers today. Her two in the game today give her 187 for her career, trailing just Cigi McCollin (291 from 2002-07) and Jen Brickey (230 from 1999-2003).
Hofstra returns to action on Thursday when it hosts William & Mary at 7 p.m. The Pride will also host Old Dominion during its two-game homestand as the Lady Monarchs visit on Sunday for a 2 p.m. contest.