Hempstead, NY – The Hofstra Men’s Basketball team will look to continue its winning ways this week as the Pride head to Manhattan on Wednesday to face the Jaspers at 7 p.m.
The Pride will head into Wednesday’s encounter in Riverdale, NY sporting a 3-2 overall record after winning all three games of the 2K Sports Classic benefiting Wounded Warrior Project this past weekend. It was a remarkable turnaround for the Pride, which entered the weekend 0-2 after two early season losses at Monmouth and Purdue.
Boosted by the debut of sophomore guard Taran Buie and the play of senior guard Stevie Mejia, sophomore guard Shaquille Stokes and freshman forward Jimmy Hall, Hofstra beat a trio of squads that qualified for postseason play last season. All three wins for Hofstra this week came over teams that advanced to postseason play last season as South Dakota State and District of Columbia advanced to their respective NCAA Tournaments, while Marshall made its way to the NIT.
Hofstra (3-2) started the weekend off with a 66-63 win over South Dakota State before adding victories over District of Columbia (74-59) and Marshall (103-100 in double overtime) to complete the weekend sweep.
The Pride scored 100 points against a Division I opponent for the first time in almost 21 years and the first since scoring 103 against UMBC on Feb. 28, 1992.
Stokes played a huge role all weekend as the Hawaii transfer hit the game-winning three-pointer with three seconds left to give the Pride the narrow win over the Jackrabbits on Friday before pouring in 26 points, including 10 in the second overtime, to allow Hofstra to earn a huge 103-100 win over Marshall.
Overall it was a very balanced scoring attack for the Pride in the three games as Mejia led the way with 15.7 points per game during the week but was followed closely by Stokes (15.3), Hall (12.0) and Buie (11.7).
Mejia earned MVP honors for his play during the Hempstead Subregional of the 2K Sports Classic benefiting Wounded Warrior Project and was joined on the all-tournament team by sophomore forward/center Moussa Kone, who averaged 7.3 points and 8.0 rebounds per outing.
Hall and Stokes are tied for the team-lead in scoring through five games this season as both are averaging 12.8 points per contest. Hall also leads the Pride with 9.6 rebounds per game, while Stokes is second with 3.0 assists per outing.
Manhattan (0-2) will be playing only its third game of the season, and first home contest, on Wednesday when it hosts the Pride. The Jaspers have dropped road decisions to Louisville (79-51 on 11/11) and Harvard (79-45 on 11/16) to begin the 2012-13 campaign. Manhattan has three players averaging at least nine points per game as Michael Alvarado leads the way with 11 points per game and is followed by Rhamel Brown (10.5) and RaShawn Stores (9.5 ppg).
Hofstra and Manhattan have met a total of 60 teams with the Jaspers holding a 38-22 lead in the series. The two squads first met in 1937-38, Hofstra’s second season of basketball, with the Jaspers earning a narrow 40-35 win in that game. They have met in each of the last six seasons, including last season when Manhattan won by the score of 68-59 in Hempstead.
Live video, audio and statistics will be available for the game at GoHofstra.com.