Richmond, VA (March 5) - Junior forward Greg Washington (Centereach, NY) buried the go-ahead jump shot with 16 seconds left and came up with the game-clinching steal on the last possession to push Hofstra to a 68-67 win over Georgia State in the first round of the CAA Tournament on Friday night at Richmond Coliseum.
Junior guard Charles Jenkins (Queens, NY) scored a game-high 24 points and assisted on Hofstra's winning basket. The seventh-seeded Pride advances to face second-seeded Northeastern in a quarterfinal matchup on Saturday at 6 p.m. The winner of that game will move on to the semifinals on Sunday at 5:30 against either third-seeded William & Mary, sixth-seeded Drexel or 11th-seeded James Madison. Hofstra's win was its seventh in a row and 10th in its last 11 games as it improves to 19-13 on the season.
Down by a single point and the shot clock turned off, Washington set up near the top of the key and connected on a soft jumper off a Jenkins' crisp pass for the lead. Joe Dukes, who scored 15 points for the Panthers, tried to drive on the last possession before the 6-10 Washington knocked the ball free and grabbed possession at the buzzer.
Washington scored all 11 of his points in the second half as one of four Pride players to finish in double-figures. Freshman guard Chaz Williams (Brooklyn, NY) also added 11 points, to go along with eight assists, while senior forward Miklos Szabo (Szeghalom, Hungary) contributed 11 points.
Ousman Krubally netted a Georgia State-best 19 points and teamed with Dukes to give the 10th-seeded Panthers a late lead. Dukes used a cross-over dribble to beat Williams on the perimeter and finished with a left-block layup for a 67-66 edge with 30.5 seconds left before Washington's end-to-end game-winning plays.
The Pride needed to overcome a four-point first-half deficit and led by just three before building a cushion with an up-tempo offense. Williams buried a right wing jump shot off a quick transition, capping a 10-2 run midway through the second half in propelling Hofstra to a 50-39 edge.
Georgia State (12-20) roared right back, gaining momentum off Trae Goldston's top-of-the key three pointer. Jenkins had a layup attempt on the other end blocked, springing James Fields for a dunk and foul. Georgia State collective the offensive rebound off the missed free throw and Trey Hampton capitalized on a three-point play to tie it at 53 at the 6:30 mark.
Jenkins, who was named CAA Player of the Year the previous night, carried the Hofstra offense by scoring seven straight Pride points to put Hofstra ahead, 62-60 with 3:10 left.
Georgia State stayed within striking distance and briefly surged ahead when Krubally drew freshman Halil Kanacevic's (Staten Island, NY) fifth foul off a low-post power move at 2:03. Krubally made both free throws for the 65-64 lead. Szabo responded with a basket the next trip down off a feed from Washington to give the Pride back the lead.
Hofstra advanced to the quarterfinal round for the eighth time in its nine all-time appearances in the CAA Tournament. The Pride also improved to 7-1 in the all-time series against Georgia State and beat the Panthers for the second time in seven days after posting a home win in the regular season finale.
Jenkins formed an effective inside-outside duo with Szabo in lifting Hofstra to a 31-26 halftime lead. Szabo established a presence in the key and developed an early shooting rhythm just outside the blocks in scoring 10 points before the break. Jenkins drilled a right-wing three-pointer with 20 seconds left for the five-point lead, as he teamed with Szabo for 23 of Hofstra's 31 first half points.