MBB: Hofstra Drops Low-Scoring Affair To UNCW
Courtesy: Hofstra Athletic Communications
Hempstead, NY – Sophomore guard Taran Buie led Hofstra with 13 points and added six rebounds, but UNCW drained 11 three-pointers as they earned a tight 57-51 victory over the Pride on Saturday afternoon at the Mack Sports Complex.
Senior guard Stevie Mejia and junior forward Stephen Nwaukoni joined Buie in double figures with 11 and 10 points, respectively, but the Seahawks rallied from a five-point halftime deficit to pick up the six-point road victory.
Chris Dixon led UNCW with 22 points and five assists, while Tanner Milson chipped in with 17 points and three assists. Both players drained five three-pointers.
Hofstra fell to 5-15 and 2-5 in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) with its fourth straight loss. UNCW improved to 8-11 and 3-4 in league play in picking up its third win in its last four games.
A low-scoring first half would see Hofstra take a 22-17 lead into the break as the Pride fought back from an early 11-2 deficit to eventually take the five-point halftime advantage.
The Seahawks jumped out of the gates on fire as they scored 11 of the first 13 points in the contest to hold an 11-2 lead at the 16:49 mark. Milson would have a pair of three-pointers in the game-opening run to lead UNCW to the early advantage.
It was all Hofstra from that point, though, as the Pride immediately answered with a 9-0 scoring run to knot the score at 11 with 13:45 to play before the intermission. Nwaukoni had five points during the game-tying run and led Hofstra with eight points and four rebounds in the opening twenty minutes.
After UNCW regained the lead at 14-11 courtesy of a Dixon three-pointer at the 13:07 mark, Hofstra clamped down on defense and held the Seahawks without a point over the next 8:22 as they opened up a 20-14 lead at the 5:19 mark following a three-pointer from Buie. That marked the Pride’s largest lead of the opening half and it came following another 9-0 scoring run.
Neither team was able to get on track in the first 20 minutes with UNCW shooting 27.3% (6-22) and Hofstra at 33% (8-24). In fact, the Pride held the Seahawks to just two fields over the final 16:49 of the opening stanza en route to the five-point halftime lead.
Similar to the first half, the visitors would open up the second half on a big run as they scored 11 of the first 12 points and led 28-23 with 16:26 left in regulation following a Milson three-pointer.
Hofstra would battle back and would hit its first field goal of the second stanza at the 13:26 mark when senior forward David Imes scored on a layup to cut the deficit to 29-27.
Hofstra would knot the score at 29 as a Mejia jumper concluded a 6-0 Pride scoring run with 12:26 left on the second half clock.
The score would stay close over the next few minutes with Buie tying the game at 37 on a layup with 7:47 to play. That marked the fifth time score of the contest.
UNCW broke the tie with a pair of free throws from Dixon and a Milson three-pointer pushed the advantage to five at 42-37 with under seven minutes remaining.
That quick run proved to be the difference as Hofstra could get no closer than two the rest of the way. The Seahawks gradually pulled away before settling for the six-point win.
Keith Rendleman added 11 points and six rebounds for UNCW.
Hofstra returns to action on Thursday when it travels to James Madison for a 7 p.m. contest. The Pride will next be at home on Wednesday, February 6 against Northeastern. The Seahawks host James Madison on Monday in their next tilt.