By Jake Nussbaum, Special To The Chronicle
Down one point with 13 seconds left, Hofstra had a chance to put Hartford away and make the Pride's 23 turnovers seem like background noise; instead, senior guard Nicole Capurso gave the ball back to the Hawks to seal Hofstra's fate last night.
"We knew they were going to double on Nicole and I told her they would," said head coach Krista Kilburn-Steveskey. "She just bobbled the ball."
Last night, Hofstra lost to the University of Hartford 61-59 at the Chase Arena in Hartford in a sloppy back-and-forth game in which Hofstra and Hartford had a combined 39 turnovers. The Pride had a chance to win late in the game, but came up short as Hartford hit two clutch shots as the clock was winding down.
"We need to be better than that," said Kilburn-Steveskey. "We're going to have bite the bullet on this one. The amount of turnovers were horrible."
Junior forward Shante Evans continued her strong season with a team leading 16 points and seven rebounds, but like the rest of the team struggled with turnovers. Junior guard Candace Bond also had a strong game, hitting four of five field goals and hitting her one three-point attempt, yet neither performance proved strong enough to propel Hofstra to its seventh straight win.
Hofstra managed to jump out to an early 24-8 lead, but the sloppy play was able to allow Hartford to come back into the game.
"We had a pretty big drop off," said Kilburn-Steveskey. "We just didn't handle them well."
After a few good performances, junior forward Deven Green logged only six minutes as she quickly received two personal fouls and proved ineffective in this game. Hofstra's second best scorer, sophomore guard Katelyn Loper also struggled in this game only scoring two points and missing all four of her three point attempts. Hofstra used its entire bench in this game as they tried to squeeze out a win, yet Hartford's late shooting proved to be too much for the Pride.
"They played great on defense," said Kilburn-Steveskey. "They would leave us driving lanes open for us and then would shut down everyone else immediately."
Junior forward Ruthanne Doherty led Hartford with 17 points and seven rebounds, but also had five turnovers.
Hofstra had its chances in this game as Hartford also struggled from three-point range, shooting 37 percent of their field goals as opposed to Hofstra's 43 percent.
Hofstra falls to 6-2 on the season, its first loss since the season opener at Gonzaga.