By Joe Pantorno, Assistant Sports Editor
The Hofstra University men's basketball team fell flat in its ESPN BracketBuster game against Wright State in Dayton, Ohio on Saturday morning, 82-56.
A closely contested first four minutes that was plagued by sloppy play had both teams trying to settle into their rhythms. Each team does not excel when it comes to rebounding so whoever could control the boards would have a big advantage.
Wright State did a great job limiting Jenkins early, having 2-3 defenders on him at one time. The gaining of some big offensive boards had the Raiders up 10-7 with six and a half minutes gone.
Senior center Greg Washington picked up two early fouls, so the Pride was without their big man under the basket for a portion of the opening frame.
Hofstra's sloppy played continued, while Wright State stabilized, using some great ball movement to get around Hofstra's zone defense to spark a 13-2 run, grabbing a 17-9 lead. Hofstra was finding open looks from deep, but unable to hit its shots, starting the game 0-6 from three-point land.
The Pride could not spark a run to cut down the Wright State lead, but merely traded baskets and with just under five minutes left in the half, Hofstra still trailed 25-19.
The only way Hofstra was able to stay in the game was by Jenkins driving to the basket, drawing charges, and going to the line. The senior went 7-8 from the line in the first half and the team sank 11 free throws overall, but the Pride made only seven field goals, one from three-point range.
At the halftime buzzer, Hofstra trailed 33-26 with Jenkins leading the Pride with 11 points.
Hofstra's deficit grew to 11 in the first minute of the second half as Wright State continued to carve up the defense.
The referees were busy, not allowing the game to flow and sending both teams to the free throw line regularly.
Wright State's lead expanded to 16 at 48-32 after a Raider offensive flurry with 4:23 gone in the second half with Hofstra's offense looking as stagnant as ever.
The ball could not get into the hands of Jenkins in the second half with the senior not being able to attempt a shot in the half's first eight minutes. It was no mystery then why Wright State went up 21 at 56-35 as the offense and Jenkins was completely stifled.
Jenkins did not get his first points of the second half until the 11:30 mark after a steal gave him an uncontested lay-up, but the deficit was large and the Pride needed a miracle.
Sophomore guard Yves Jules fouled out with 11 minutes remaining as one of Hofstra's best defenders was gone for the remainder of the game.
Wright State's shooting stayed red hot as Hofstra tried to press and speed up the pace of the game. With 8:16 remaining, the Pride's deficit was 65-45. Senior guard Vaughn Duggins was unstoppable on both ends of the court in both guarding Jenkins and hitting some tough shots.
The Pride could not do a thing to get back in the game with just under five minutes remaining. The Raiders still led big 72-54, content to pour it on while running the clock out.
Jenkins finished with 18 points on 3-8 shooting from the field. Duggins had a career high 31 points in the rout.
Hofstra falls to 18-10 on the season as the loss was the first of the CAA's in BracketBuster play.