By Max Sass, Sports Editor
Hofstra won its first Colonial Athletic Association game of the season and the first of head coach Mo Cassara's career on Saturday afternoon at the Mack Sports Complex. Senior guard Charles Jenkins led the Pride to victory with 26 points, including 19 in the second half. The Pride won 74-62, against Towson, a team Hofstra has not lost to since 2007-08.
"We are starting to learn how to win and I think we took another step forward tonight in learning to win games," said Cassara.
Hofstra rattled off seven straight points after Towson hit the first basket of the game to open a 7-2 lead early. Towson would cut that to 7-5 on a three-pointer by senior guard Brian Morris.
After trading buckets, a three pointer by Jenkins extended the Pride's lead to 12-7. Towson took a lead, 15-12, off four quick points by sophomore forward Isaiah Philmore, but Jenkins answered with a three-pointer to tie the game.
The teams would trade baskets again, including a full court run by Jenkins where he faked out two Towson defenders to get himself a layup to tie the score at 19-19.
With six minutes to play in the first half, Hofstra held a slim 23-22 lead, which would turn into a 24-23 Towson lead on a dunk by Philmore. A three-pointer by Towson forced Cassara to call a time out down 27-23 with less than five minutes to play in the half. An old fashioned three-point play by Philmore extended the lead to 30-23.
Hofstra went into the half trailing 34-29 after Towson junior guard Troy Franklin heaved up a deep three pointer that was rebounded and dropped in by junior forward Braxton Dupree as time expired. Philmore led all scorers with 13 points at half while Jenkins and Moore each had seven for the Pride.
Jenkins hit two free throws to open the second stanza and cut the lead to one possession, 34-31. He would soon after hit from long range to eliminate the three point deficit.
The teams remained neck and neck for the next five-minute stretch, with the game tied, 41-41, with 13:51 to play. Franklin hit a three – point field goal to give Towson a 44-41 lead, which Jenkins promptly answered with a two – point jumper.
A Towson dunk followed by a three-pointer by Moore for the Pride tied the game once again, this time at 46-46. Senior forward Greg Washington, who struggled to stay out of foul trouble in the first half, missed a layup and the chance to put the Pride up four after two Jenkins foul shots. Sophomore forward would do what Washington could not, hitting a transition layup to put Hofstra up 50-46.
The teams would be tied again 52-52 after two Towson three – pointers sandwiched around a Jenkins layup. Imes broke a 57-57 tie with a basket as he was being pushed down plus the free throw to give Hofstra a 60-57 lead.
Washington's fifth block of the game preserved a 62-57 lead for the Pride, which was extended to 64-57 on a reverse layup by McMillan.
"Greg doesn't show up big in the box score as far as scoring but he really was a big key to us winning the game tonight," Cassara said.
Jenkins nailed a three with two minutes to play to extend the pride's lead to 71-58. The three points gave Jenkins 26 for the game.
"I can't limit my self to just shooting," Jenkins said. "I've got to get to the basket and that's something I did [in the second half]."
Hofstra led 74-62 with one minute to play in the game. A steal by Jenkins sealed the game and the Pride had its first win of the conference season.