A disappointing week for Hofstra continued Thursday night with a flat-footed 62-54 loss to James Madison University, dropping the Pride to 1-2 in Colonial Athletic Association play.
The 54 points mark the lowest total for Hofstra since a 59-53 loss – also to JMU – in a road contest on February 10, 2014, Joe Mihalich’s first year as head coach of the Pride.
“Just incredibly disappointed with our lack of toughness tonight,” Mihalich said. “We talked about it for a couple of days. This game honors toughness, and if you don’t have it, don’t play with it, or lack it, you won’t be successful.”
Thursday’s loss comes on the heels of a disheartening overtime loss to CAA foe William & Mary Monday night. In contrast to that contest, Hofstra’s high-flying offense was slowed to a halt against the Dukes. While Hofstra put together 81 possessions Monday night against the Tribe, they were held to just 66 possessions against James Madison.
“That game should have made us want to play harder, be tougher, and play angry that we didn’t win that game the other night,” Mihalich added, reflecting on the loss to William & Mary. “We didn’t do that. It’s disappointing, and I’m embarrassed by that.”
Sophomore guard Justin Wright-Foreman continued to be a bright spot for the Pride, but Thursday night he was the lone such positive. After notching a career-high 30 points Monday night, Wright-Foreman accounted for nearly half of the Pride’s points with another 25 against the Dukes.
It marked the sixth consecutive game Wright-Foreman has finished in double figures, and the fifth time this season he has led the Pride in scoring.
Despite his personal success, Wright-Foreman was the lone Hofstra player to finish Thursday night in double figures and accounted for all four of the Pride’s field goals in the final 15:28. The normally high-powered Pride see four players averaging double figures for the season, but Thursday marked the first time this year just one player eclipsed ten points.
With just 42 more points this season, Wright-Foreman would own the most points for a sophomore who scored fewer than 100 in his freshman campaign since Hofstra joined the CAA in the 2001-02 season. He scored just 44 all of last season, and has tallied 210 through 16 games this year.
James Madison, which swept Hofstra in the regular season last year in a pair of overtime contests, was led by 13 points from senior Paulius Satkus, who knocked down eight of the Dukes’ first 12 points. Fellow senior Jackson Kent notched 11 while junior Joey McLean added 10.
The Dukes held Hofstra to just 6-24 shooting from 3-point range, dropping the Pride to 0-5 this season when shooting under 30% from behind the arc. After beginning the season 1-11, first year head coach Louis Rowe has his team on a four-game winning streak including a perfect 3-0 start to CAA play.
After a disappointing home stand, Hofstra now heads on the road for their next three, starting with a quick turnaround and a trip to Charleston this Saturday.
Vincent Simone covers the MAAC, Hofstra, and more for NYC Buckets. You can follow him on Twitter @VTSimone.