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Men's basketball cannot get it done in final minute against conference pre-season favorites

By Angelo Brussich, Staff Writer

 

The Hofstra University men's basketball team (6-13) dropped its fourth straight game and remains winless (0-7) in Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) play after its loss to Drexel University (13-5) (5-2) Wednesday night at the Mack Sports Complex.

Like it has in its past four games, Hofstra found itself within striking distance with less than one minute to play, but could not come up with the big shot when needed most as it allowed Drexel to go on a 6-0 run in the final minute, putting the Pride away 56-50.

The loss surpasses Hofstra's loss total for all of last season (21-12 overall, 14-4 CAA); a stat Hofstra head coach Mo Cassara attributes some to just bad luck.

"I really think this team's good enough" said Cassara. "Sometimes the ball just doesn't go in the basket."

Senior guard Mike Moore echoed his coach in a post-game speech he gave to the team.

"We've been in every game that we've lost. I came from a losing team at Fordham and I know what a losing team is," said Moore. "I don't think this is a losing team…I believe in them, the coach believes in them and they just got to believe in themselves."

"With our season so far it seems like every play has been going against us, hopefully luck will be going our way soon."

Moore has been a major factor in Hofstra's offense this season, as he leads the CAA with 20.1 ppg. He has been slightly hampered with a nagging groin injury, which has slowed down his scoring as of late. Moore was 5-13 from the field and 1-4 from three-point range, but he still tied for a game high 13 points.

Moore provided Hofstra's only three-pointer on the night as the team went 1-13 from beyond the arc and 9-19 from the free throw line.

"It comes down to little things," said Cassara. "Free throws are going to win or lose us the game, and unfortunately tonight it probably lost us the game."

"The stat line doesn't make me feel great but the fact that our guys continue to hang in there against the best team in the league, we got to try and build on that."

Coming into the game it was expected that both teams would try and play strong defense and it would be a fight from both sides. After the first half, it was apparent this would happen with Drexel holding a 29-21 lead going into the locker rooms.

Hofstra scored on its first three shots to take a 6-0 early lead, but Drexel fought back and went on a 14-1 run, forcing Hofstra to play catch up for much of the night.

The defense continued to control the game as Hofstra's barricade matched Drexel's prowess off the ball, holding the Dragons to just 3-12 shooting from three point range and below 40 percent shooting from the field.

Hofstra managed to take a 40-39 lead with just under seven minutes to play, but Drexel sank one of its three shots from beyond the arc to take the lead for good.

Hofstra was within one with one minute to play at 51-50, but could not overcome the Drexel defense.

"I don't see a losing team in that locker room. I see a team that continues to come out and fight and battle and practice hard every day," said Cassara. "We just haven't been able to make enough winning plays."

Hofstra will attempt to end its four game losing skid as well as attain its first win in CAA play as it travels to Virginia to take on James Madison University. Hofstra will look to avenge a last second loss it suffered earlier this season at the hands of JMU in the CAA opener at the Mack.

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