MBB: Hofstra Picks Up First Win Of Mihalich Era
Courtesy: Hofstra Athletic Communications
Hempstead, NY - Freshman Jamall Robinson scored 15 points to lead four players in double-figures and junior Moussa Kone registered his second consecutive double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds as Hofstra cruised to a 80-58 win over Fairleigh Dickinson Sunday evening at the Mack Sports Complex.
The win evens Hofstra’s record at 1-1 on the young season and was the first for Head Coach Joe Mihalich, who recorded 265 wins in 15 years at Niagara before taking over the Pride in April. FDU slips to 1-1 on the year.
The Pride used a 14-4 run in the first half to turn a 9-8 deficit into a 22-13 lead with 10:25 left in the half on graduate student Dion Nesmith’s three-pointer from the top of the key. Robinson had five points in the run to lead the Pride. The Knights would get within seven at 22-15 on a pair of free throws from Scooter Gillette a minute later, but the Pride would close the half with a 28-12 spurt to take a 50-27 lead at the break. Sophomore Darren Payen scored all 12 of his points in the run including three dunks.
The Pride battled foul trouble in the second half as Nesmith and graduate student Zeke Upshaw picked up their fourth fouls and senior Stephen Nwaukoni fouled out early in the stanza. But Hofstra was able to build a 25-point lead on three occasions, the last on Upshaw’s jumper with 18:16 to go that made the score 56-31. FDU cut the deficit to 15, 68-53, on a Gillette dunk with 5:16 to play, but the Pride cut off any hopes of a comeback by scoring seven consecutive points. Robinson scored four points in the run, while Upshaw added a three-point play.
Nesmith and Payen joined Robinson and Kone in double-digit points with 14 and 12, respectively. Payen also added six rebounds on the night and was 6-6 from the field. Upshaw finished with seven points.
Hofstra, which shot 66 percent from the field in the first half, cooled off in the second, but still finished at 53 percent for the game, marking the first time since December 8, 2012 against LIU Brooklyn that the Pride shot 50 percent from the field. The Pride limited FDU to 30 percent shooting in the game.
The Pride scored nearly half of their points in the paint, holding a 38-24 advantage down low.
The Knights were led by Sidney Sanders, Jr., who had 13 points. Gillette finished with 12 points and Malachi Nix chipped in with 10 points. Gillette led FDU with seven rebounds.
Hofstra completes a season-opening three games in five days stretch Tuesday when it travels to defending national champion Louisville. The game tips at 7 p.m. and will air on ESPN3.