Hempstead, N.Y. – Annie Payton scored 12 points and Anma Onyeuku added 11 to lead the Hofstra Pride to a 63-58 CAA victory over the Northeastern Huskies at the Mack Sports Complex Thursday night.
Hofstra improved to 11-12 on the season and 6-6 in the Colonial Athletic Association. Northeastern, which saw its two-game winning streak snapped, slipped to 10-15 overall and 4-8 in conference play.
Payton tallied eight of her 12 points in the second half as the Pride pulled away from their guests. Onyeuku was five for nine from the field for her 11 points. Alexis Carter added eight points and a team high nine rebounds while Asia Jackson posted eight points, four assists and a game-high four steals. Krystal Luciano chipped in with seven points and a game-high seven assists. The Pride shot 42 percent (27-for-65) from the field for the game but hit on 17-of-35 shots (49 percent) in the second half. Hofstra outrebounded Northeastern, 46-31 in the game.
Jewell Tunstull tallied game-highs of 22 points, including 10 of 11 from the charity stripe, and 15 rebounds for Northeastern. Tiffany Montagne joined Tunstull in double-figures with 15 poiints as did Amencie Mercier with 12 points
The first half saw five lead changes and two tied scores but it was Hofstra that opened the big early lead in the opening minutes. After the Huskies opened with a three-pointer by Mercier, the Pride scored seven unanswered points, including a lay-up and a three-pointer by Onyeuku to take a 7-3 lead after a Carter jumper at the 14:35 mark. But Northeastern responded by scoring 15 of the next 19 points over the next 8:14, including five points by Montagne and four from Tunstull, to build an 18-11 lead after Tunstull’s lay-up at the 5:58 mark.
The Pride then went on a 13-3 run, including nine consecutive points to end the spurt, to regain the lead at 24-21 after a Jackson lay-up with 2:05 to play in the half. Tunstull hit a lay-up for Northeastern 30 seconds later to close out the scoring in the period with the Pride holding a 24-23 lead at the break. Tunstull finished with nine in the half to lead all scorers while Onyeuku and Luciano each tallied five for Hofstra.
In the second half, after Mark tied the game at 24-all with a free throw 36 seconds in, Hofstra went on a 7-2 spurt with Onyeuku’s jumper giving the Pride their biggest lead to that point at 31-26 at the 17:30 mark. But Tunstull scored the next five points to tie the game at 31 before Epps and Mark exchanged three-pointers to know the score at 34-all at 15:21.
Hofstra then went on a 10-2 run, behind bookend three-pointers by Payton and Jackson, to open up a 44-36 lead with 11:07 to play. After a Montagne three-pointer 30 seconds later, the Pride went on a 13-6 run, behind five points from Payton and four from Onyeuku and Edeferioka, to take the biggest lead of the game at 57-45 after a Payton lay-up with 5:30 to play.
The Huskies would then score seven of the next nine points to close to within seven at 59-52 after a Mark lay-up with 2:24 to play. After Carter hit a lay-up for Hofstra 14 seconds later, Northeastern made one last run scoring six of the final eight points, including four by Mercier, to close out the scoring in the 63-58 decision.
The Pride return to action on Sunday, Feb. 23 when they travel to Harrisonburg, Virginia to face the Dukes of James Madison. Game time is 2 p.m.