Staten Island, N.Y. - Hofstra battled back early in the second half but couldn't overcome a collective cold-shooting night as the Pride fell, 58-43, to Wagner College in a non-conference matchup at the Spiro Sports Center on Tuesday night.
Senior guard Mike Moore led Hofstra in scoring for the eighth time in nine games, finishing with 15 points. But Hofstra did not make a single three-pointer and Wagner's Chris Martin (15 points) and Orlando Parker (11 points) pushed the Seahawks to a win over Hofstra for the first time in five meetings.
Kenneth Ortiz scored all but two of his total 12 points in the second half and Tyler Murray scored 10 for Wagner (7-2) as Hofstra (3-6) lost its third straight and for the fifth time in six games. Both teams finished shooting less than 35 percent from the field in Hofstra's lowest-combined scoring game of the season.
Senior forward Nathaniel Lester scored in double figures for the first time in three games, pouring in 12 points. Yet Hofstra could only muster 20 second-half points to propel Wagner its sixth win in the last seven games.
Hofstra held a good-shooting Wagner team to 33. percent from the field, which was almost 100 points lower than its season average entering the contest (.447). The Pride couldn't parlay that effort into points the other way, finishing 0-for-9 from beyond the arc. Hofstra was held below 50 points for the first time since a 62-47 defeat to Nebraska last season.
Martin hit an open left-wing three-pointer capping a 10-4 run to give Wagner a 42-29 edge with 13:24 left in the second half. Hofstra got as close as nine points on a Moore free throw, but Ortiz put the game out of reach with a driving layup on the low-right block while drawing a foul on Shemiye McLendon for three-point play and a 49-37 edge to end any comeback hopes.
A short-handed Pride team dressed only nine players. Matt Grogan provided valuable minutes off the bench, logging a season-high 19 minutes and hauling in an offensive rebound to help fortify the frontcourt.
Starting for the second straight game, senior guard Dwan McMillan scored eight points and had three of Hofstra's five assists in 36 minutes. McMillan again picked up minutes in place of Stevie Mejia, who dressed but did not play as he works his way back from a hamstring injury.
Hofstra's long-range shooting went cold in the first half, with the Pride misfiring on all four of its three-point attempts. But Wagner struggled to convert on multiple layup opportunities as Cassara's team limited the Seahawks to just 28.6 percent shooting from the floor in the opening 20 minutes.
Martin scored 10 and Parker scored nine before the break. But Moore scored eight straight Hofstra points during a 5:06 stretch, helping Hofstra turn an eight-point deficit into a manageable 26-23 hole heading into the locker room.
Hofstra will start a five-game homestand on Saturday with a matchup against Manhattan. Tipoff at the Mack Sports Complex is scheduled for 4 p.m.