Newark, Del. – Hofstra senior guard Annie Payton drilled a key three-pointer with 9.9 seconds left to send the game into overtime but Delaware’s Kelsey Buchanan scored eight of her 27 total points in the extra session as the Pride fell, 71-66 to the Blue Hens in the Colonial Athletic Association opener on Sunday afternoon from the Carpenter Center.
Freshman point guard Krystal Luciano finished in double figures for the second straight game with 10 points and senior Anma Onyeuku posted 14 points and nine rebounds but Hofstra fell to 5-7 and 0-1 in league play. Delaware saw four players score at least nine points as the Blue Hens (9-3, 1-0) extended its winning streak against CAA opponents to 43 games (including regular season and tournament contests).
Payton’s three-pointers in the waning seconds of regulation knotted the score at 62 and Delaware’s Erika Brown saw her shot rim out at the buzzer as Hofstra played its second overtime game this season. But Buchanan accounted for all but one of Delaware’s points in overtime with four field goals as Hofstra dropped to 0-2 in overtime contests this season.
Payton added 11 points as a reserve to give Hofstra four players in double figures. Brown scored 10 points for the Blue Hens, as did Courtni Green. Buchanan had her third career double-double with 15 rebounds.
Junior guard Andreana Thomas registered 11 points, six rebounds and five assists off the bench and put Hofstra within 68-66 late in overtime. The Pride nearly forced a 10-second violation before Delaware called timeout with one second left to move the ball past the timeline. Buchanan then notched her fourth field of the extra session to help the defending CAA champion Blue Hens pull away.
Hofstra, which led by as much as 12 in the contest, played a Blue Hens squad that advanced to last season’s Sweet 16 to a seesaw contest in which there were five lead changes and six ties.
Delaware tied the score at 43 after Luciano was called for her fourth foul with 12:20 left. Buchanan made a pair of free throws to tie the score. Onyeuku, who scored 10 points after halftime, made a layup to give the Pride a 52-51 edge that Hofstra later extended to four.
The Pride led up until 1:04 remaining in regulation when Buchanan grabbed an offensive rebound, drew a foul and made two free throw attempts for a 60-59 lead. Green made two free throws for a three-point edge before Payton connected on the tying shot near the top of the key.
Hofstra lead by as much as 12 points in the first half as Luciano posted eight of her points before the break to help the Pride take a 30-24 advantage into the locker room. Hofstra established a halftime lead for the seventh time this season. The Pride held the Blue Hens to just 10-of-35 (28.6 percent) field goal shooting.
Hofstra came out energized and forced seven Delaware turnovers before the break. Thomas galvanized the Pride by tipping a ball at midcourt, racing down into the opposite lane to gain the steal and flipping a quick pass back to Payton that facilitated a three-point play and a double-digit lead. Sophomore Alexis Carter added bank shot for a 23-11 Hofstra lead that culminated an 11-0 run.
Hofstra will continue league play on Thursday when the Pride welcomes Towson to the Mack Sports Complex with a 7 p.m. tipoff. For ticket information call (516) HOF-TIXX or visit GoHofstra.com/tix.