Hempstead, N.Y. - Senior guard Mike Moore scored 30 points-including 16 in the second half-and Hofstra went on a game-ending 10-0 run over the last 3:25 to post an 81-69 win over Siena in a Sears/ESPN BracketBuster matchup on Saturday at the Mack Sports Complex.
Junior guard Stevie Mejia set a career high with 16 points and senior forward Nathaniel Lester finished with 15 points to help Hofstra snap a four-game losing streak in improving to 9-20. OD Anosike paced Siena with 22 points and 12 rebounds, going 10-for-12 from the field in 39 minutes, but the Saints fell to 12-15.
Hofstra tied a season-high by hitting 11 three-pointers, led by Moore's 6-for-11 effort from beyond the arc. The Pride last connected on 11 three-pointers against Binghamton on Dec. 17. Moore finished one short of tying a team mark for the most three-pointers in a single game (he also hit seven treys against the Bearcats).
The Pride won the turnover battle, 21-10, with Mejia finished with four steals and six assists. Mejia's only turnover in the game came in the final seconds when he was instructed by the coaching staff to hold the ball until the shot clock expired with less than four seconds remaining in the contest.
Siena shot 58.5 percent from the field as Kyle Downey added 17 points on 8-of-11 shooting. Siena benefited from the high-percentage nights from Anosike in the post and Downey in the backcourt and a 36-23 advantage in rebounding.
But Hofstra scored 22 points off turnovers (compared to
Binghamton's eight) to improve to 7-6 in non-conference play this season. In
beating the MAAC-member Saints, Hofstra saw Moore, Lester and Mejia all score
in double figures for the second straight game.
Hofstra ended the game on a run, nearly copying its fast start to the period. Just like in the first half, Hofstra utilized a strong run coming out of the break. The Pride scored nine of the first 11 points, capped by Lester's three-point play for a 49-39 edge and the largest lead of the game with 17:24 left.
Siena went on a 8-0 to get within two before Moore took
Mejia's bounce pass and drew a three-point play on the low right blocks for a
52-47 advantage. The Saints once again responded, going ahead, 61-60, on Anoskie's
layup before Hofstra scored 11 of the next 17 points to take a 71-67 lead with
The Pride then distanced itself thanks to a solid play from Shemiye McLendon's second field goal of the half gave Hofstra much-needed breathing room. Facing a defender on the low-right block, the sophomore drove and hit a reverse layup to put Hofstra ahead, 76-69. The Pride then generated a turnover at midcourt and drew a Siena foul. Moore hit both free throws, helping the Pride secure their second home win in the last four games.
Hofstra surged to a game opening 8-0, capitalizing on seven Siena turnovers before the first media timeout. The Saints called two timeouts in the first 4:03, getting back in the game thanks to Anoskie's 12 points on 5-of-5 shooting from the field.
After falling down as much as seven points, Hofstra went on a 9-0 run in a 1:12 span, going 34-32 on Moore's third three-pointer of the half. Moore paced Hofstra's offense in the opening half, netting 14 points to tie the score at 37 entering halftime. That marked the 17th time this season Hofstra has either led or tied at the break.
Before the game, Moore was honored for scoring his 1,000th career point for the Hofstra program against Drexel on Feb. 11. Moore became the 31st player to accomplish the feat and the second this season. Lester became the 30th member against Towson on Feb. 1.
Hofstra will return to Colonial Athletic Association play on Wednesday with its final regular season road game of the season at William and Mary. Tipoff from Williamsburg, Va. is set for 7 p.m.