By Joe Pantorno, Sports Editor
Hofstra men's basketball coach Mo Cassara preached to his team that February would be the start of a new season for the Pride.
Apparently the offense didn't get the message.
The Pride (8-17, 2-11 CAA) was stifled by Georgia State on Saturday at the Mack Sports Complex, as the Panthers left Hofstra with a 59-43 victory.
"We did some really good things on defense," said Head Coach Mo Cassara. "We have to work on our offense."
The loss marked the third time this season that the Pride have been held to under 50 points this season.
Georgia State (16-8, 8-5 CAA) is no. 13 in the nation in opponent's points per game and proved their ranking was no fluke by holding Mike Moore, the conference's leading scorer to 13 points, 6.9 points below his per game average.
"Georgia State is a great defensive team," said Moore. "They throw a lot of defensive schemes out there. It was hard to get an open look."
Senior forward, Nathaniel Lester, led the Pride with 14 points and 10 rebounds on the afternoon.
Shot efficiency proved to be the Achilles heel for Hofstra as Georgia State was sublime from the field, shooting 51.2 percent for the entire game (21-41).
While Georgia State was swishing, Hofstra was missing. The Pride took 17 more shots than the Panthers, but made four less baskets (17-58), for a measly 29.3 percent from the field.
"It's one of those days where the ball didn't go in the basket," said Cassara. "It's kind of been the story of our season that way. It becomes a very fine line between one or two possessions here or there that really dictates what happens to us."
With the offense not being able to penetrate the active Georgia State defense, Hofstra had to settle many times for long-range shots with limited success. From three-point range, Hofstra shot 3-22, only 13.6 percent.
"It's tough to win any games at home this time of the year against a team in the top part of the league when we shoot three for 22 and six for 12 from the foul line," said Cassara. "Georgia State is the best field goal defensive percentage team in the league and they proved that tonight."
Georgia State's Devonta White led all scorersnm with 15 points. He was one of three double-digit scorers for the Panthers.
But Cassara is not taking Saturday's loss as a sign of trouble, citing the Pride's victory over Towson earlier in the week.
"We're through week one of our new season and we split," said Cassara. "We would like to win two games, but we split and now we have another challenging week ahead of us next week. We have to keep building and heading towards that CAA tournament in March."