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Pride bounces back at Mason

By Joe Pantorno, Sports Editor

 

Though the protagonist of the story did not notice, with moments left in the game against VCU, senior guard Candice Bellocchio was two points away from scoring her 1,000th career point.

"I didn't know I needed two points," said Bellocchio. "I had no idea. People had been telling me up close but I was not listening and not wanting to know how close I was because that's the type of person I am."

She had the ball in her hands with time winding down and missed a lay-up, to the delight of her teammates.

"Everybody told me that they were freaking out when coach was running plays for me," said Bellocchio. "They were kind of happy when I missed that lay-up. They wanted me to score it in a better game, in a game we won."

Instead, her first basket in Hofstra's 82-70 win over George Mason on Sunday hit the milestone as the Pride (17-7, 9-4 CAA) ended its two game losing streak.

"I think it's kind of cool because as a point guard it's not really my main focus," said Bellocchio. "Just to have an accomplishment like that under my belt is kind of cool."

"That's how you play Hofstra basketball," said head coach Krista Kilburn-Steveskey.

"I'd rather have 1,000 assists, but I'll take 1,000 points," she added.

The fifth year senior also tied the school record of playing in 126 games in her career, drawing even with Cigi McCollin, who played from 2002-2007.

"They've been joking with me about being in the program for so long," said Bellocchio. "If any record should be broken it should be that."

In that instance Kilburn-Steveskey leaned over and asked, "Are you talking about the grandmother clause?" in reference to Bellocchio's time here at Hofstra.

Bellocchio recorded eight points which supported the big game from junior forward Shante Evans, who scored 28 points

"It was bizarre because this was a Mason team that had just whipped VCU severely not too long ago," said Kilburn-Steveskey. "We haven't had great success in that gym [Patriot Center] and it's just interesting."

Sunday also saw the return of sophomore guard Katelyn Loper who was sidelined with a concussion.

"It was like a huge cloud was lifted off our shoulders," said Kilburn-Steveskey of Loper's return.

"The Mason game was just a getting my feet back in the water kind of thing," said Loper. "But I am completely here, I am Katelyn Loper again."

Hofstra's shooting was much improved shooting almost 50 percent from the floor at 31-63 against George Mason (12-12, 6-7 CAA).

Along with three steals, Hofstra's defensive motor, junior forward Candace Bond, had 13 points and eight rebounds which led a team that was outrebounded 53-38.

Hofstra is next in action Thursday, as it welcomes CAA leader and no. 10 nationally ranked Delaware to the Mack at 7 p.m.

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