Boston, MA – Senior forward David Imes fell one point shy of a career-high with 19 points, including five-three pointers, to lead Hofstra but Northeastern held the Pride off late as the Huskies escaped with a 65-60 win on Wednesday evening at Matthews Arena.
The five three-pointers easily marked a new career-high for Imes, who also added five rebounds, three assists and three blocks in the game.
The loss drops Hofstra’s record to 5-12 overall and evens its CAA mark at 2-2. Northeastern improves to 10-7 and 5-0 in league action.
Junior forward Stephen Nwaukoni continues to be a solid contributor for Hofstra as he had 11 points and eight rebounds, while senior guard Stevie Mejia added 12 points, four assists, three rebounds and three steals.
Quincy Ford led Northeastern with 24 points on 11-17 shooting from the field.
An excellent first half by Imes helped the Pride stay close in the opening twenty minutes as Hofstra trails 30-24 at the break. Imes led all scorers with 11 points, including three three-pointers to pace the Pride.
A very clean first half saw a total of only nine fouls called in the first 20 minutes with the first foul called at the 7:55 mark of the opening stanza.
Back-to-back three pointers from Joel Smith and Demetrius Pollard with under three minutes to play in the opening half pushed the Northeastern lead to 30-19 with 2:02 to play before Hofstra the gap to end the half. Hofstra would score the final five points of the half as sophomore guard Taran Buie hit a free throw and then Mejia and Nwaukoni followed with layups in the final 1:28 to account for the halftime score.
Hofstra would grab the momentum in the second half as three-pointers from Mejia and Buie, sandwiched around a free throw from Northeastern cut the Pride deficit to 36-32 with 14:46 left on the second half clock.
The Huskies were able to extend the advantage up to 12, 44-32, as Quincy Ford scored eight straight points for Northeastern before Hofstra once again fought back.
A three-point play from sophomore forward Moussa Kone, followed by a free throw from Mejia closed the Pride to within 44-36 with 12:21 remaining in regulation.
Northeastern created some breathing room with a Pollard three-pointer and a Ford dunk before Nwaukoni ended the short Huskie run and made the score 49-38 in favor of the home squad with 11:05 to play in the second stanza.
Buie would make it a 5-0 run for the Pride in response to the Huskies similar run with a three-pointer just under the 10-minute mark of the game.
A basket from Northeastern’s Pollard with 8:35 showing on the clock ended the quick Hofstra spurt and put the Huskies back up 10, 53-43.
Hofstra kept battling as the game went on and a three-pointer from Imes at the 6:22 mark closed the gap to six once again as the Huskies led 55-49.
An entertaining final few minutes of regulation would see Hofstra finally get the deficit under six points and a Mejia driving layup off a feed from Buie with 3:01 to play closed the score to 63-58. Redshirt freshman forward Jordan Allen would get Hofstra even closer with a offensive rebound and putback to make it 63-60 with just over a minute to play; setting the stage for the final minute of regulation.
With 14.8 seconds left in regulation Hofstra would have one final possession to knot the score, but Hofstra was unable to sink a game-tying three-pointer as senior guard Matt Grogan and Mejia each missed from long-range. Northeastern hit two free throws late to account for the final margin.
Buie was also in double figures for Hofstra with 11 points, while chipping in with five rebounds. Hofstra drained a season-high eight three-pointers in the game with Buie (2) and Mejia (1) accounting for the other three.
Hofstra also out-rebounded the Huskies, 30-26.
Hofstra returns to action on Saturday when it travels to George Mason for a 5 p.m. contest. That game will air on the NBC Sports Network.