By Joe Pantorno, Sports Editor
Down 19 points with a minute and a half gone in the second half, a furious comeback by the Hofstra women's basketball team fell just short on Super Sunday afternoon as the Pride fell to Old Dominion 81-79.
After junior forward Deven Green made one of two free throws to tie the game at 79, Old Dominion's Jackie Cook hit a lay-up with 2.7 seconds remaining to hand the Pride its third conference loss of the season.
"Nothing easy to make this pain go away. It was tough," said Head Coach Krista Kilburn-Steveskey. "They [Old Dominion} came in and played harder than us and smarter than us."
Shante Evans had one of her best games of the season, recording 31 points and 10 rebounds on 11-16 shooting.
Without sophomore Katelyn Loper, Hofstra's three-point shooting extraordinaire, who missed Sunday's game with a concussion, it seemed that Evans and senior guard Nicole Capurso, who scored eight of her 19 points in the first half, were the only two Hofstra players that showed up in the first half. Hofstra shot 10-33 from the field as the Pride was down 16 going into halftime.
"I was confused with our performance in the first half," said Kilburn-Steveskey. "It's just a tough one to swallow. You have to bring it every night."
Old Dominion forward Mairi Buchan, who had made nine three-pointers all season, hit four in the game's first four and a half minutes as Hofstra was in an early hole.
Teams traded baskets to start the second half with Hofstra trailing by 16 with 10 minutes left in the game when the Pride sparked an incredible 19-4 run to cut the deficit to one with 1:49 left in the game.
"We're always going to be fighting. We don't give up," said Evans. "First half isn't how we usually played and it showed and we had to fight back until the last minute."
After the Green free throws and the Cook lay-up, Hofstra had a chance for a prayer, but a half-court heave by Thomas fell short. She was pushed from behind while in the act of shooting. A referee's whistle seemed to acknowledge the foul, but a short conference by the officials deemed that the game was over.
"I thought she [the official] blew the whistle. I might have been confused but I thought she blew the whistle," said Kilburn Steveskey. "Maybe she did and then waived herself off I don't know."
Hofstra (16-6, 8-3 CAA) is next in action Thursday night when it takes on VCU in Richmond, VA.