By Joe Pantorno, Assistant Sports Editor
Junior guard Mike Moore dropped 21 points as the Hofstra men's basketball team rounded up its two game road trip with a 74-60 win over Towson University on Wednesday night, remaining in first place in the CAA with a 5-0 record.
Towson was careless with the ball to start the game as Hofstra's 2-3 defense gave the Tigers a fit on offense. The stifling defense enabled the Pride to race out of the gates on a 7-0 run. If it was not for the less than impressive shooting, Hofstra's run should have been much more severe.
Hofstra was able to gain some big rebounds early, as frequent offensive rebounds by senior center Greg Washington and junior forward David Imes created second chance points for the Pride extend its lead.
Towson's largest threat, junior forward Braxton Dupree, committed three personal fouls in the first six and a half minutes, seating him on the bench for a majority of the first half.
An early nine points from senior guard Charles Jenkins had the Pride up 17-10 with 12 minutes left in the opening 20.
The sweet shooting continued from Jenkins and Moore, who each had 12 points in the first half, allowing Hofstra to take a 24-15 lead with eight and a half minutes left in the first half. Sloppy play, turnovers and bad shot selections haunted the Tigers all night.
Hofstra's defense showed signs of bending throughout the first half though, but were able to keep a healthy advantage at 33-25 with three and a half minutes left after Dupree committed his fourth foul.
The Pride's dominance under the boards, especially on the offensive side was the reason why the Hofstra lead was as big as it was going into halftime with the score at 39-30. Hofstra out-rebounded the Tigers 38-27 for the game.
It was still evident that Hofstra moved the ball around much better than Towson at the beginning of the second half; the shooting however, was not as impressive. Towson went on a 9-4 run, cutting the Hofstra lead to four points with three minutes gone in the second half.
Moore came up big once again as a three-pointer settled Hofstra down a bit, ending the Tiger run and beginning one for the Pride that would put the game away. Some great ball movement created fantastic looks which fueled a 15-3 run for Hofstra, opening up a 56-42 lead with 11:28 left in the game.
The Pride defense continued to make things difficult for Towson as Hofstra's lead continued to grow. Washington grabbed eight points early in the second half as a part of Hofstra's run, keeping a healthy 16 point lead at 60-44 with nine minutes remaining.
A 6-0 run brought Towson back into contention as the Tigers seemed to take advantage of Hofstra when senior guard Brad Kelleher, who did not have his best game, was on the floor.
Jenkins, who had an uncharacteristically impressive first half, had an uncharacteristically unimpressive second half, being held scoreless for the first 15 and a half minutes of the second frame.
With Jenkins stifled and Moore cooling off, the duo of Washington and Imes scored thirteen straight points, bringing Hofstra's lead back up to 65-50 with 4:15 left.
Jenkins came to life in the last four minutes, scoring seven quick points and all but putting the icing on the cake as Towson became desperate to try and cut the Hofstra lead in the last moments, throwing up prayers and abandoning their defensive duties as the clock wound down to the inevitable.
Along with Moore, the Pride had three other scorers in double figures as Jenkins put up 19 points, Washington with 16 and Imes with 11 of his own as the Hofstra improves to 11-5 overall this season.
The blue and gold will return to the Mack on January 15 when preseason conference favorites Old Dominion come to town.