Some quick thoughts on Saturday’s action, including a road win for the Hofstra Pride. (More updates to come.)
Hofstra 65, UNCW 56 - Trailing by 10 at halftime Hofstra showed a ton of resolve and hustle in coming back for the nine-point victory over the Seahawks. It was the Pride’s first road win of the season. The Steves played especially well for Mo Cassara’s team. Stevie Mejia scored 18 in 37 minutes, including 3-4 shooting from three. Stephen Nwaukoni’s quickness really bothered UNCW in the paint and he finished with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
I didn’t know if the Pride would have the firepower to make the comeback after trailing by 10 at half. They’ve really been gutting out offensive possessions, but thanks to extra ball pressure things got more strung out and that helter-skelter rhythm appeared to favor Hofstra. UNCW finished with 16 turnovers. Hofstra had 17, but 10 of them came in the first half. The Pride also played with great effort in the second half. As UNCW beat writer Brian Mull pointed out on Twitter, Hofstra grabbed 11 of its 17 offensive rebounds in the second half and UNCW had just nine defensive boards during the final 20 points.
The 65 points were the most Hofstra has scored since scoring 84 in a loss at LIU on December 8. The two teams have now split the season series and Hofstra is a half game behind UNCW for eighth in the CAA.
Iona 78, Rider 71 - Sean Armand scored his 1,000th point and Momo Jones scored 32 as the Gaels broke a three-game losing streak with a seven-point win over Rider. Armand scored his 1,00th point on a layup late in the second half and finished with 24 points in the game. No other Gael scored more than six points in the game.
The defense again wasn’t great. Rider shot 50% from the field and scored 1.09 points per possession, but Iona got the stops it needed down the stretch. The Broncs made just one shot from the field and scored only four points during the final 5:25 of the game as Iona pulled out the win.
The victory helps separate the Gaels from a logjam in third place in the MAAC standings. Iona is now 9-5 and a half game behind Loyola (MD) for second, while Rider falls to fifth, behind Canisius, at 8-6.
La Salle 89, Fordham 53 - The road has been the ultimate struggle for Fordham this season and Saturday at La Salle was no different. The Rams were down 31 at halftime and down 41 four minutes into the second half. Branden Frazier shot 1-10 from the field and scored two points. Travion Leonard started and scored 10 points in 16 minutes. The defense struggled, allowing 1.24 points per possession. The Explorers shot 18-33 (55%) from three. There’s more about the game on City of Basketball Love.