Hempstead, N.Y. - Junior Stephen Nwaukoni logged his first double-double of the season and freshman Jordan Allen set career highs in points and rebounds, but Wright State hit eight three-pointers as Hofstra fell to the Raiders, 63-57, in a non-conference matchup on Saturday afternoon at the Mack Sports Complex.
The Pride got a 14-point deficit down to just one in the second half with Nwaukoni adding 12 points and 11 rebounds. Despite his output and Allen's 13 points and seven rebounds, Hofstra fell to 3-8. Cole Darling paced the Raiders with 25 points on 8-of-11 shooting to help Wright State improve to 7-3.
Sophomore Taran Buie scored eight of his 13 points in the second half. The Pride went 16-for-22 at the line, allowing the Pride to climb back into the game.
Wright State's Reggie Arceneaux complemented Darling with 13 points and six rebounds. Darling finished one rebound shy of a double-double in a rematch of a ESPN BracketBusters meeting from the 2010-11 campaign.
Senior Stevie Mejia notched a career-high eight assists, turning the ball over just twice while scoring six points in running Hofstra's offense.
The Pride got within 42-41 with 8:45 remaining when David Imes buried a far left-wing three-pointer to cap a 12-2 run that spanned almost seven minutes. Hofstra's staunch defense fueled the comeback bid, as the Pride held Wright State scoreless over four minutes during that stretch, forcing the Raiders to miss six consecutive field goal attempts at one juncture.
Out of a timeout, Wright State created some breathing room when Darling hit a layup. The Raiders then generated a turnover and Arceneaux hit a second-chance jump shot for a 46-41 edge.
The Raiders again used the offensive glass to extend the lead when Darling grabbed a rebound off a missed three-pointer and drew a three-point play for a seven-point lead just inside of six minutes.
Allen, who showed aggressiveness all game long, drew contact underneath as Hofstra answered with its own three-point play to cut it to 49-45.
Hofstra would not get closer than two possessions as Matt Vest then hit a three-pointer in front of Wright State's bench with 3:21 left. Vest added two free throws less than a minute later. David Imes hit the second of his two three-pointers in the last half on the next trip down but Tavares Sledge and Darling made back-to-back jumpers. Imes finished with six points.
Allen played a career-high 29 minutes and shattered his previous high of five points set against George Washington last month and his previous high of five rebounds set against Wagner on Dec. 4. Nwaukoni notched the third double-double of his career and the first of the current season. Buie scored in double figures for the eighth time in 11 games.
Hofstra, which was down as much as 14 in the opening half, went on a 9-0 run to get to within six points before heading into the locker room. During a nearly five minute stretch, the Pride held the Raiders to just two points total to slice the deficit.
But Wright State hit seven three pointers in the opening half to take a 36-27 lead into the break. Darling scored 12 points in 13 minutes while Nwaukoni added six points by hitting all three of his field goal attempts at the intermission.
Hofstra will next be in action on Saturday when its final game of the calendar year when Hofstra takes on Tulane at 3 p.m. from the Barclays Center as part of the Brooklyn Hoops Holiday Invitational.