The youth of the Hofstra Pride men’s basketball team continued to show both good and bad in its 83-54 loss to the Purdue University Boilermakers at the Mackey Arena in West Lafayette, IN.
Freshman forward Jimmy Hall, fresh off a double-double against Monmouth, led all scorers with 17 points. and also added five rebounds Hall three steals for the Pride while sophomore forward Moussa Kone had another productive game with 12 points, four rebounds and two blocks.
But again, poor first half shooting put the Pride (0-2) in too big of a hole to overcome. The Pride shot 23.8 percent from the field and was only 1-6 from beyond the three point line while Purdue (1-1) shot 55.9 percent in the first half.
“We have a very young team, a lot of new pieces,” said Hofstra head coach Mo Cassara. “It’s never fun to lose but certainly good experience for those guys.”
Neither team had much going offensively early on in the contest. The first points of the game were not scored until the 17:30 mark of the first half when Kone threw down a dunk.
This would be the only time the Pride would have the lead, as the Boilermakers went on a 10-0 run to jump to an early 10-2 advantage.
Hofstra was unable to get much of anything going on the offensive end in the first half, not breaking the 20 point mark going into the half and staring at a 42-17 deficit.
“We had some good looks, they just didn’t go in the basket,” said Cassara. “That’s a credit to Purdue.”
Much of Purdue’s success could be contributed to its big men around the glass. The Boilermakers out-rebounded the Pride 50-22 for the game, not allowing for Hofstra to cash in on second and third opportunities.
“Every time we tried to make a little bit of a run, we just couldn’t make the plays around the glass.” said Cassara.
The second half of the game was a much different story offensively for the Pride, as Hofstra seemed to finally get into a rhythm, shooting 41.2 percent from the field.
Hofstra cut the deficit to 42-22 after scoring the first five points of the second half, but would get no closer than that as the Boilermakers continued to hold off the Prides attempts to crawl back into the game.
“I thought we battled at times and I really liked the effort from our freshmen and sophomores,” said Cassara. “I thought they gave us some really big minutes.”
Hofstra is back on the court this weekend, where the Pride will be hosting the Hempstead Subregional of the 2K Sports benefitting the Wounded Warrior Project. Friday’s game against South Dakota State at 7:00 pm will mark the home opener for the Pride this season.