By Jerome Bailey, Staff Writer
Despite the snowy weather, the Mack Sports Complex drew a crowd of nearly a thousand people to see the Hofstra men's basketball team (13-13,6-8 CAA) take on the Drexel Dragons. Led by junior Charles Jenkins and freshman Chaz William's offensive fire power, the Pride defeated the Dragons 75-64 Wednesday night. The Pride have now won four of its last five games, and look to extend the streak.
"Tonight was a great turnout, the students were loud, and it was a big win for us, against a team that's ahead of us in the conference," said Hofstra head coach Tom Pecora.
Junior Greg Washington had a monstrous game on defense. Washington had five blocks, and broke the school record for career blocks(180) and season blocks(69). However, despite, his individual accolades Washington was all about winning.
"It does not mean much until I leave here; tonight I got it at home. I'm happy about that. However, I'm just pleased we won. It does not mean anything, if we don't win," said Washington regarding his record setting night.
The Pride raced out to a 10-2 start, but the Dragons stormed back and went on a 14-2 run. The Pride answered back when Williams nailed a three-pointer to extend the Pride's lead to four. Minutes later the first half took a major turn for the Dragons. Star player Chris Fouch injured his shoulder and did not return to the game. Fouch had a career high 29 points against the Pride on January, 23 in Philadelphia. The Pride took advantage of the Dragons struggles and Williams converted on a break-away-layup at the buzzer to give the Pride a 34-27 lead at halftime.
Williams nearly had a triple-double with 20 points, eight rebounds, and nine assists. While only having one turnover.
"Chaz is a little guy, but he is getting it done. He's a little dynamo. He's always trying to do the right thing," said Pecora.
Jenkins and Williams combined for 52 of the team's 75 points, and led the team's second half surge to extend the lead to 20. The Dragons trimmed the deficit to nine, but did not come any closer.
The CAA number one, the Northeastern Huskies, proved they deserve their ranking on Saturday night against the Hofstra Pride. The Pride raced out to a 15-3 start but could not sustain it, and fell short 75-55 at the Mack Sports Complex. With the loss, the Pride (12-13, 5-8 CAA) again missed an opportunity to defeat a top-ranked team in the conference.
"It bothers me, when teams come into our building and beat us by 20. Tonight they were a more physical team. We played sloppy, had 19 turnovers, and that's not going to get it done against elite teams." said head coach Tom Pecora.
The Huskies (16-8,11-2 CAA) went on a 16-0 run in the first half, but the Pride recovered with a 30-32 lead at halftime. However the Huskies started the second half on a 20-3 run to extend their lead. Led by Matt Janning's 17 points, the Huskies quickly pulled away from the Pride. The Pride was 0 for 11 to start the half. Meanwhile, the Huskies shot 79 percent in the second half.
As for the Pride, the offense was led by junior Charles Jenkins, who had 14 points, on 3 for 11 shooting.
"Jenkins needs to get at least 20 field goal attempts. He has to rise to the occasion and tonight he did not do that. He's the catalyst to our offense, and he needs to show it. He has to work harder at freeing himself from defenders," said Pecora.
The Pride will next be on the road at UNC- Wilmington on Saturday night. The Pride then returns home on February 20th to face Rider University in an ESPN Bracketbuster match-up. Last time the two team met Hofstra won by 39. The Pride held UNCW's star guard Chad Tomko to not a single point and only one Seahawk, Johnny Wolf with 14, reached double figures.
UNCW fired its head coach Benny Moss immediately after the loss. Assistant coach Brooks Lee took over as interim head coach.
Following the matchup in North Carolina, the Pride will travel to the University of Delaware to face the Blue Hens.
The last time the two teams met the Pride defeated the Blue Hens, 77-67 at the Mack Sports Complex.