Norfolk, VA. -- Senior guard Mike Moore scored 19 of his game-high 21 points in the first half, but ODU pulled away in the last 10 minutes as the Pride fell, 69-61, to the Monarchs at the Constant Center in a Colonial Athletic Association meeting at the Constant Center on Saturday afternoon.
Hofstra, which built a 13-point lead in the first half, lost for the fifth straight time to fall to 6-12 and 0-6 in league play. ODU’s Trian Iliadis scored 19 points off the bench as one of three Monarchs in double figures to help the defending CAA champions improve to 10-8 and 5-1.
“They were able to capitalize off our turnovers in the second half,” Hofstra head coach Mo Cassara said as ODU won the turnover battle, 20-14. “It was a good effort by us but not enough to beat a good team in a very tough environment.”
Senior forward Nathaniel Lester added 16 points, but it wasn’t
enough as Hofstra lost for the fifth straight time against ODU. Senior swingman
Kent Bazemore added 16 points and three rebounds and Chris Cooper tallied 13
points and eight rebounds. The Monarchs have not lost at home to the Pride
since the 2005-06 season.
Moore, who saw his 10-game double-figure scoring streak end last game against Northeastern, shot 7-of-18 from the field in registering a 20-point effort for the ninth time in the last 12 games. Hofstra out-rebounded the Monarchs, 37-32.
Hofstra finished 18-of-21 from the free throw line, but ODU’s 7-0 run late in the second half proved to be the difference. With the score tied at 54 at the 10-minute mark, the Monarchs went ahead for good on Iliadis’ jumper.
Moore missed a three-pointer going the other way and ODU gained the momentum when, after an offensive, rebound, Bazemore drilled a left-wing three-pointer to galvanize the announced crowd of 7,235.
Nick Wright scored five points and grabbed five rebounds,
hitting his most important basket by connecting on a leaning jump shot to cap
"We had some good looks that didn't go down," Cassara said. "Their zone bothered us. I thought if we out-rebounded them, we'd win the game. I give a lot of credit to our young, big kids. I also give our players a lot of credit; they played hard."
Down 61-55, Hofstra got a defensive stop but turned it over against ODU’s full-court pressure with 3:39 left. Bazemore then scored two baskets with the shot clock winding down, putting the Monarchs up, 65-57, with 2:01 left
Lester hit a right-angle three-pointer to make it a two-possession game with 1:53 left, though that would be as close as Hofstra would get. Five of Hofstra’s conference losses have come by a combined 19 points.
Junior forward David Imes added six points and 10 rebounds for Hofstra.
Moore almost cracked the 20-point mark in the opening half, helping Hofstra to a 38-33 halftime lead against a ODU squad that was a top-10 seed in last year’s NCAA Tournament.
Hofstra surged to a 16-3 game-opening run in which the Pride scored in a variety of ways of ways. One game after starting on a 9-0 run against Northeastern, the Pride kept up that intensity from the opening tip, going up by 13 points a little more than 6:30 minutes in.
Sophomore forward Stephen Nwaukoni showed the explosiveness Hofstra has been looking for down low, slamming a two-handed put-back one possession before Lester hit a mid-range jumper. ODU responded with a 9-0 run in which Iliadis scored seven consecutive points to cut Hofstra’s lead to 16-12.
Bazemore’s steal and coast-to-coast rush that ended with a dunk gave ODU a one-point lead with 3:26 left in the half, marking ODU’s first lead of the period. Moore showed the quick-scoring ability that made him the CAA’s leading scorer entering the contest, scoring seven of the Pride’s last 10 points to give the visitors a five-point edge heading into the locker room.
Hofstra will return home to continue its CAA slate on Wednesday with a 7 p.m. contest versus Drexel at the Mack Sports Complex.