Hempstead, NY - Stevie Mejia had 11 points and Taran Buie added 10 points and a career-high seven rebounds, but SMU placed four players in double-figures and posted a 73-47 win over the Pride Saturday evening at the Mack Sports Complex.
Nick Russell led SMU (8-1) with 20 points and seven assists, while Jalen Jones posted 14 points and a game-high 12 rebounds. Shawn Williams had a double-double as well with 10 points and 10 rebounds, and Cannen Cunningham scored 10 points for the Larry Brown-coached Mustangs.
Mejia also added three assists in 36 minutes of action for Hofstra (3-5), while Buie had a team-high four assists. Stephen Nwaukoni led the Pride with eight rebounds off the bench.
SMU led at the half, 31-19, behind 10 points from Russell. The Mustangs raced out to a 10-0 lead over the first 4:25 as Russell and Williams had four points each. Hofstra got on the board at the 15:14 mark on a Nwaukoni jumper and the cut the SMU lead to six on a Buie jumper with 14:40 on the clock. But SMU would go on a 16-3 run to take a 26-7 lead with 8:19 left on a jumper by Cunningham.
The teams traded three-pointers before Hofstra went on a 7-0 run to its deficit to 12, 29-17, on a Mejia three-pointer with 2:57 remaining. But that was as close as the Pride would get in the half. Mejia finished the first 20 minutes with a team-high eight points.
The Pride scored three of the first five points in the second half to pull within 11, 33-22, on Moussa Kone's free throw 47 seconds into the stanza. But a jumper by Jones keyed a 9-0 SMU run that put the Mustangs up by 20 at 42-22 with 16:46 to play. The lead expanded to 27 points, 55-28, with 11:45 to go after back-to-back dunks by Jones and Ryan Manuel, and a three-point play from Jones.
But the Pride kept battling and cut the deficit to 18 points on a Buie three-pointer with 5:48 remaining in the half. But SMU scored 12 straight points to take its largest lead of the contest at 73-43 with 3:15 to play. Hofstra would score the last four points including three free throws from freshman walk-on Adam Savion, who made his playing debut for the Pride. Freshman Darren Payen also made his debut for the Pride and chipped in two points and five rebounds on the evening.
Matt Grogan had a career-high seven points for Hofstra, connecting on two three-pointers, and also added three offensive rebounds.
Hofstra returns to action Tuesday night when the Pride hosts Wagner at 7 p.m.