By Joe Pantorno, Assistant Sports Editor
The Hofstra University men's basketball team managed to hang on to a 61-58 victory over the University of Delaware on Saturday afternoon.
Hofstra started the game on a 7-0 run; with senior guard Charles Jenkins accounting for five of the points. Head coach Mo Cassara's zone was not at its best, but Delaware was unable to hit their shots and turned the ball over too many times.
When Delaware was missing shots, the Pride, especially junior forward David Imes, did a great job collecting rebounds and cutting off any second chances for the Blue Hens.
Senior center Greg Washington momentarily took the game over seven minutes in, scoring seven straight points with Hofstra leading 14-8 with 11:17 left in the first half.
Shooting was not at its best and it was most apparent in the last four minutes of the first half as neither team could take advantage of the other's shooting woes. Junior guard Mike Moore did however manage to complete a four-point play after he was fouled making a three-pointer from the corner with 1:18 left.
Those proved to be the last points of the half as the Pride hit the locker room leading 31-20. Imes had nine rebounds in the half and Washington led the Hofstra with nine points at the break.
After a 7-2 run by Delaware to start the second half closed things to 33-28, Hofstra answered right back with a 7-0 run of its own. Moore, who scored nine of Hofstra's 11 points to end the first half and begin the second, fueled the run.
Hofstra was able to keep a healthy advantage, leading 45-37 with 11:10 left in the game. The Pride however could not put Delaware away and to make things more difficult, Washington picked up his fourth foul with 10:02 left as the big man hit the bench and saw limited playing time for the rest of the game.
Without its tallest player on the floor, Hofstra was still able to control the boards and were clearly outhustling Delaware to loose balls.
Delaware however, started to crawl back into the game, cutting the Hofstra lead to 47-41 with 8:10 left, but after a series of Blue Hen fouls, Hofstra was able to re open the lead.
UD came right back though thanks to a suddenly stagnant Hofstra offense in the last five minutes. A three-pointer from Delaware guard Jawan Carter cut the Hofstra lead to 55-51 with 3:34 left in the game. The Pride's lead was down to just two 50 seconds later as Delaware was picking the defense apart.
A jumper from Jenkins put Hofstra back up 57-53 with 1:40 left. The defense came up with a stop after collecting a missed UD jumper, but Washington was fouled and sent to the line. The senior missed the first of his one and one, the rebound was collected by Delaware and guard Devon Saddler who led all scorers with 25 points hit a lay up in heavy traffic to bring the game back within two with 46.6 seconds left.
Hofstra looked to run the clock down and reopen the lead back to four, but Jenkins was fouled and sent to the line. The Pride's captain sank both with 14.4 seconds remaining for the 59-55 lead.
Delaware looked to run the court for a quick basket, but Jenkins stuffed a potential Blue Hen lay up, picked up the loose ball and was fouled with 6.3 seconds left.
Jenkins coolly hit both free throws for the 61-55 lead. Delaware did hit a three to beat the buzzer, but it was meaningless as Hofstra improves to 17-9 overall and 11-4 in CAA play. The Pride remains deadlocked with Old Dominion for third place in the conference after the Monarchs took down VCU.
Jenkins led the Pride with 23 points, Moore had 17 and Imes' 12 rebounds were the most of any player on the day.
The Pride is next in action on Tuesday when it hosts William and Mary at 7 p.m.