Hempstead, N.Y.- Mike Moore scored 20 points and Nathaniel Lester netted all 11 of his points in the last nine minutes, but it wasn't enough as the Hofstra men's basketball team lost, 68-59, to Manhattan in a non-conference matchup on Saturday at the Mack Sports Complex.
Senior guard Dwan McMillan scored nine points and added five assists and sophomore guard Shemiye McLendon poured in nine points off the bench, though the Pride lost their fourth straight in falling to 3-7. Four Manhattan players scored in double figures to help the Jaspers improve to 7-4 and snap a four-game losing streak in the series.
Eleven players saw action for Manhattan as the Jaspers played 10 men or more in every game this season. George Beamon and Rhamel Brown paced the visitors with 14 points apiece. Liam McCabe-Moran (11 points) and Emmy Andujar (10) also finished in double figures.
Hofstra went down by as much as 17 midway through the opening half as Manhattan employed a full-court press from the outset. The Pride also struggled to find seams against the trap as the Jaspers used double-coverage near midcourt to pressure the Hofstra guards.
But the Pride also utilized pressure, forcing 22 turnovers and scoring 29 points off those miscues. Moore recorded three steals and cracked the 20-point plateau for the seventh time in 10 games this season. The senior guard also led Hofstra in scoring for the ninth time.
After facing a deficit as high as 17 points in the second half, the Pride twice cut Manhattan's lead to seven in the final quarter of the game, thanks mostly to Lester's resurgence. The senior forward missed his first three shots of the game but went 4-for-6 in the final 8:03.
When sophomore guard Shemiye McLendon's three-pointer hit the back of the rim, Lester gained position on the low left-block, grabbed the rebound and went straight up for layup, cutting Manhattan's edge to 53-46.
The Pride called timeout after that second-chance lay-in, though Manhattan regained momentum when Beamon hit a three-pointer near the Manhattan bench to reestablish a four-possession lead.
Lester did his best to keep Hofstra in it, scoring five points in 11 seconds to make it 62-55. Down by 12, Lester drove near the baseline, drawing a foul on Andujar for a three-point play. On the in-bounds play, Lester stole the ball from Michael Alvarado in the backcourt and hit a layup to bring Hofstra within seven.
The next trip down the court, Brown rushed to the rim and pumped faked. Moussa Kone jumped at the ball fake, colliding into Brown as he went up for the shot. He hit the basket and converted the free throw attempt for the three-point play, putting the Jaspers ahead, 65-55, with 2:52 left to help secure the win.
Kone showed flashes in his 10th straight start. The freshman forward blocked three shots, gtrbbed three rebounds and scored four points, including a one-handed slam early in the second half to galvanize an announced crowd of 2,852.
McMillan produced five assists against just two turnovers in 35 minutes. In making his third straight start for the injured Stevie Mejia, McMillan went 3-of-7 from the field and also grabbed two defensive rebounds. In the last three contests, McMillan has been a workhorse, logging 109 out of a possible 120 minutes.
Hofstra will continue a five-game homestand next Saturday, Dec. 17 when the Pride will host Binghamton with a 4 p.m. game at the Mack Sports Complex.