By Joe Pantorno, Assistant Sports Editor
The 4-3 Hofstra University men's basketball team travelled up to Binghamton University on Wednesday, December 8 to extend its three game winning streak against the Bearcats.
Trying to score against yet another 2-3 zone, Hofstra started the game early trying to establish its long-range shooting game. Sophomore guard Mike Moore sank two of his first three attempts from behind the arc and senior guard Charles Jenkins started one of two from three-point land, however the Bearcats were able to keep a narrow lead throughout the half.
Binghamton was able to extend its lead to seven with two consecutive three pointers in the final minutes of the half, but a late fast break lay in by Jenkins cut the deficit to five going into the half with the Pride trailing 33-28. Moore had 15 points in the first half and Jenkins added seven.
"We weren't shooting any free throws, we weren't attacking the basket and we were complacent shooting a lot of jump shots," said Hofstra head coach Mo Cassara.
Binghamton opened the second half on a 7-0 run to re-open its lead to 10 with just under 15 minutes remaining in the game.
Whenever the Pride was able to get the game close, the Bearcats found their offensive stroke as they held a 53-43 lead with 12 and a half minutes left.
The Pride hung tough and Jenkins' lay up brought the game within three points at 61-58 with 7:13 remaining.
Hofstra was finally able to take a lead with Jenkins hitting another long three with three minutes remaining with the score at 71-70.
By hitting one of two, Binghamton tied the game at 71-71 and after defensive stops by both sides a simple fast break lay up gave the Bearcats the lead once again.
Two free throws by Charles Jenkins tied the game up at 73-73, but Binghamton was able to penetrate the Pride defense yet again for an easy lay-in. The inbounds pass just caused more problems for Hofstra as Wright came up big yet again and stole the inbound by freshman guard Shemiye McLendon and possibly the game.
Wright missed both foul shots, the ball was rebounded by Hofstra and but Jenkins drove past the Binghamton defense, tied the game at 75-75 and forced overtime with a smooth lay up.
"We tried to put the ball in Charles' hands," said Cassara. "That's what senior captain All-American type kids do, they make plays down the stretch."
Sophomore guard Yves Jules' long two pointer opened up an 82-79 lead for the Pride in overtime. Hofstra's defense began to bear down, forcing a shot clock violation on BU's next offensive series.
"It was a terrific effort by him [Jules]," said Cassara. "He came in and gave us a great lift, he steps in and makes a big shot."
With Jenkins' huge game, it was Moore that seemed put the game away with a three-pointer with 53 seconds left. With an 85-79 advantage, Hofstra was able to repel a very threatening Bearcat attack, grab its rebounds and put the game away at the line.
The final buzzer sounded and the Pride came away victorious in a nail-biter 89-85. Jenkins finished with a career high 40 points and Moore with a Hofstra career high of 28. The Pride is next in action Saturday when it hosts Florida Atlantic.