Hempstead, NY - Shaquille Stokes hit a long-three-pointer from the left wing with three seconds remaining as Hofstra posted a 66-63 win over South Dakota State in the 2K Sports Classic benefiting Wounded Warrior Project.
Hofstra improves to 1-2 on the season and won its ninth straight home opener. South Dakota State, which was a 2012 NCAA Tournament participant, fell to 1-2.
Stokes finished with nine points on the night and the winning three was his only long-range bucket of the game. Stevie Mejia and Taran Buie led the Pride with 14 points each. Buie, a transfer from Penn State who sat out last season, was making his playing debut for the Pride. Hofstra also got eight points and nine rebounds from Jimmy Hall.
South Dakota State was led by Nate Wolters, who had 25 points and 10 rebounds. Brayden Carlson added 12 points.
The teams played a tight first half that featured seven ties and six lead changes with South Dakota State taking a 32-31 lead on a Wolters three-pointer with five second left in the half. The Jackrabbits used a 7-0 run to take a 23-16 lead with just over seven minutes to go in the half, but Hofstra battled back and tied the score at 25 on a Buie jumper with 3:45 remaining. After a pair of free throws from Jordan Dykstra and a jumper from Wolters put SDSU up 29-25, the Pride reeled off six consecutive points to take a 31-29 lead with 33 seconds to play.
Hofstra came out in the second half and scored five straight points, two by Mejia and three by David Imes to take a 36-32 lead. The Jackrabbits retook the lead at 39-38 on a pair of free throws from Tony Fiegen with 15:26 to play. But the Pride would go on a 6-0 spurt to take a 44-39 lead on a Stokes jumper with 12:55 to play. Hall had the first four points in the run. Hofstra would maintain the lead, but could not pull away from South Dakota State. The Jackrabbits would keep the deficit between three and five points until a Wolters basket with 1:57 to play cut the Pride lead to 59-57. Hofstra went back up by four, 61-57 on a Mejia lay-in, before Wolters drained a three-pointer to make it a one-point game with 1:28 to play.
On Hofstra's next possession, Stokes scored on a baseline inbounds to give Hofstra a three-point lead. But Wolters tied the score at 63 with a three-pointer with 32 seconds left to set up Stokes' heroics.
In the first game of the night, Marshall defeated University of District of Columbia, 80-58. The Thundering Herd used an 18-0 run in the second half to take a 75-54 lead with 4:35 remaining. Dennis Tinnon led Marshall with 17 points and 12 rebounds, while Deandre Kane had 16 points and nine assists. Quasim Jones led UDC with 12 points and six assists.
Hofstra is back in action Saturday at 5 p.m. when they take on District of Columbia. Marshall will face South Dakota State at 2:30 p.m.