Hempstead, NY – The Hofstra Men’s Basketball, fresh off a week that saw them win two out of their first three conference games, will look to continue its solid play as they head to Boston to face Northeastern on Wednesday. Tip-off from Matthews Arena is scheduled for 7 p.m.
Hofstra (5-11, 2-1 CAA) earned wins over Georgia State and William & Mary sandwiched around a road loss at Delaware last week to start Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) play with a 2-1 record. A wide-open conference race shows five teams with one loss or less, led by Northeastern’s 4-0 CAA mark.
The calendar changing to 2013 has allowed Hofstra to “turn the page” as well as the Pride put its eight-game losing skid behind them with wins in two of their last three games.
In its last game on Saturday, Hofstra defeated William & Mary, 70-59, behind a 24-point effort from sophomore guard Taran Buie. That outstanding effort came on the heels of Buie scoring just two points in the loss at Delaware on Wednesday. Buie drained three three-pointers among his eight field goals against the Tribe, while also adding a pair of assists. Senior guard Stevie Mejia was outstanding in leading the Pride as he contributed 14 points and a career-high nine assists in 39 minutes of action. He made a living at the free throw line, hitting on 10 of 13 attempts from the charity stripe.
Mejia had a great week for Hofstra in leading the Pride to the 2-1 week. He averaged a team-best 13.3 games over the last three, with 15 assists. He shot 44% (11-25) from the field and 14-18 (78%) from the free throw line.
The duo of Buie and Mejia have become the Pride’s leaders in every sense of the word as both are playing significant minutes in every contest, while making their marks in various statistical categories as well.
Buie leads Hofstra with 14.6 points per game, while also adding in 3.6 rebounds and 1.9 assists per outing. Mejia, who has not played less than 34 minutes in any of Hofstra’s last six games, is second on the team with 10.7 points per game. He leads the Pride with 4.3 assists per game, a total that ranks second in the CAA. In addition, Mejia also has a team-high 27 steals.
Junior forward Stephen Nwaukoni is the Pride’s top rebounder this season as he pulls down an average of 7.6 per game, while also chipping in with 6.3 points per game.
Northeastern currently holds the top spot in the conference standings with its 4-0 CAA mark. Overall, the Huskies are 9-7 and have won five of their last six games. In its last game, Northeastern defeated Towson, 70-59, down in Maryland. Joel Smith led the way for Northeastern against the Tigers with 21 points, six assists, four rebounds and two steals.
Smith is the Huskies top scorer with 16.2 points per game, while Johnathan Lee (13.0 ppg), Quincy Ford (12.5 ppg) and Reggie Spencer (11.4 ppg) all average in double digits. Ford pulls down a team-best 6.4 rebounds per game, with Spencer close behind with 6.3 caroms per outing. Smith has 47 assists to lead the way.
In a series that dates back to the 1949-50 campaign, Hofstra leads the series with Northeastern, 17-14. Northeastern won both contests a season ago, one by two points (at Hofstra) and by seven points in Boston. Hofstra swept the series in 2010-11, while the 2009-10 season saw the two teams each win on the opponent’s home court before Northeastern won the memorable 74-71 double overtime game in the CAA Tournament. The Huskies won the first-ever meeting 55-53.
The game against Northeastern can be heard on WLIB (1190 AM). Links to live stats and PRIDE ZONE live audio can be found on GoHofstra.com.