Hempstead, NY – A quartet of Hofstra women’s basketball players finished in double-figures for scoring as the Pride put in a gutsy performance from the David S. Mack Sports and Exhibition Complex in a 74-71 win over LIU Saturday afternoon.
The Pride moves to 3-4 overall with today’s win, and LIU slips to 2-6 on the year.
Graduate student Brandy Thomas and junior Zyheima Swint led the way for the hosts with 19 points, while Thomas pulled down a season-high 14 rebounds for her third double-double of 2022-23. Swint added nine rebounds in the win over the Sharks, while freshman Emma Von Essen scored 17 points on 5-11 shooting from the floor and 4-8 shooting from three-point range in her first career start, and graduate student Rosi Nicholson posted 11 points and a team-leading three steals. Junior Ally Knights dished out six assists and tallied six points in today’s win.
Hofstra raced out to a 24-8 first quarter lead on 52.6-percent shooting. The Pride scored the first nine points of the frame before LIU could sink its first basket at 6:21. Hofstra continued the offensive onslaught with another run of eight unanswered points, with Nicholson and Von Essen draining three-pointers and Nicholson scoring a driving layup. A second-chance layup from Swint gave Hofstra a 16-point lead over the Sharks to end the first quarter.
Another Swint layup at 9:48 gave Hofstra an 18-point lead, its biggest over LIU in the afternoon, early in the second quarter before the Sharks went on a run of their own to eventually even up the score. A 20-3 LIU run lasting nearly eight minutes put the score at 28-28 before a fast-break layup from freshman Kayley Joseph-Bernard put the Pride ahead by two. A Von Essen free throw and a pair of Knights free throws gave Hofstra a 33-28 lead inside the final minute of the quarter, but LIU scored a pair of two-pointers to put the score at 33-32 for Hofstra at the halftime buzzer.
LIU took its first lead of the game with a two-pointer at 9:34 of the third quarter, but Hofstra responded with a Von Essen three and two-pointers from Thomas and Nicholson to lead by four early in the quarter. Hofstra and LIU went shot-for-shot until LIU hit consecutive threes to lead by two with 3:55 on the clock, and they built their lead to five following a Knights layup to tie the score, putting the Pride behind 51-46 with 2:37 remaining in the quarter. A tough Swint jumper in the paint and a clutch three-pointer from Essen tied the score at 51-51 going into the final 15 minutes of the game.
Hofstra raced out to a five-point lead to start the fourth quarter, but LIU responded with five points of their own to tie the score at 56-56 with 6:08 still to play. It would be the closest the Sharks came to retaking the lead, as Hofstra rattled off seven unanswered points for its largest lead of the second half. Clutch shooting and terrific rebounding down the stretch helped Hofstra hold off an LIU comeback attempt to pull out the home win.
Mariah Elohim led LIU with 16 points, and De’Asia Thomas posted a team-best eight rebounds to go with her 11 points in the loss.
Hofstra returns to action on Wednesday, December 7, with a home game against Army West Point. Tip-off between the Pride and the Black Knights is scheduled for 7 p.m. For ticket information, visit HofstraTickets.com, call (516) HOF-TIXX, or visit the Hofstra Athletic Ticket Office in the lobby of the Mack Sports Complex during normal business hours.
-Hofstra improves its all-time record over LIU to 16-6.
-Hofstra’s 3-0 home record is the best start at home since going 3-0 at the Mack Sports Complex to start the 2016-17 season.
-Hofstra finished with 49.5-percent from the floor while holding LIU to 41.3-percent shooting.
-The Pride held a 43-29 rebounding advantage over the Sharks.
-Hofstra finished with 36 points in the paint and 17 second-chance points.
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