Hempstead, N.Y. - Hofstra will look to sustain its fast start in conference play and build on a four-game winning streak overall when the Pride hosts Georgia State on Thursday at 7 p.m. from the Mack Sports Complex.
The Pride enters the contest 5-7 overall and 1-0 against the Colonial Athletic Association following a 56-53 victory over William & Mary in the league opener. Georgia State enters 8-4 and 0-1 while looking to snap a two-game losing streak, including a home defeat to Old Dominion to commence league play.
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Hofstra is 10-3 in the all-time series against Georgia State, including a sweep last season in which the Pride opened league play with a road win before posting a 13-point victory at home. The contest could also be a historic one for Hofstra senior forward Shante Evans, who needs just 21 points to tie Dia LaBella for the most in program history. Evans, who is averaging 16.8 points, will be looking to surpass LaBella's mark of 1,840 career points set in a career that spanned 1978-82. Evans set Hofstra's all-time rebounding mark at Marist on Nov. 28.
Defensively, Hofstra has held opponents to fewer than 65 points in the last four games, which have all been victories. Led by Evans' 11.3 rebounds per game, Hofstra is ranked fourth in defensive rebounding in the entire conference. The Pride has also generated turnovers with senior forward Candace Bond leading the way. The Fort Washington, Md. native is averaging a league-leading 3.3 steals per game and is also in the top-10 with one block every contest.
Hofstra is 4-0 this season when forcing teams to shoot less than 40 percent from the field. Georgia State enters the midweek game with a 41.5 field goal percentage. Conversely, the Panthers are holding teams to just 32.8 percent.
Injuries have forced Hofstra to use a shorter rotation this month, though the players have responded with five averaging more than 20 minutes. Leading the way is sophomore guard Andreana Thomas, who is logging 33.9 minutes per contest. In the last game, Thomas nearly picked up a triple-double after scoring 10 points, adding nine rebounds and finishing with eight assists and four steals in 37 minutes against the Tribe.
Freshman Asia Jackson teamed with Thomas to give Hofstra a productive backcourt. Jackson earned her second CAA Rookie of the Week honors this season after scoring a season-high 20 points in a win over Norfolk State before following that effort with a seven-point, two-rebound performance versus William & Mary.
The Pride is 4-2 at home this season and will look to sweep a season-high five-game homestand with a win against the Panthers. But Georgia State visits New York leading the CAA with a plus-6.9 rebounding margin and five blocked shots per game. Three of the conference's top-17 rebounders play for GSU with Cody Paulk leading the way (8.8 average).
Evans is second in the conference in rebounding and has double-doubles in the past four games. Among all active Division I players, Evans has the most career double-doubles with 57. With 1,128 rebounds, she is 185 away from tying the CAA record.