By Angelo Brussich, Staff Writer
It may not have been perfect, but the Hofstra University men's basketball team defeated Towson 74-49 Wednesday night at the Mack Sports Complex. The win improves Hofstra's record to 8-16, and 2-10 in Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) play. Towson dropped to 1-23, and 1-11 in CAA play.
It was a historical night for Hofstra senior forward Nathaniel Lester who surpassed the 1,000-point mark for his career. Coming into the game only 10 points shy of the milestone, Lester ended the night with 19 points and eight rebounds.
"Just happy to get over that milestone, a lot of great Hofstra players are in that category and I'm just happy to be with them," said Lester. "The win feels even better right now."
Senior guard Mike Moore added on Lester's milestone, "It's a credit to his work and his stick-to-itiveness to get his 1,000th point."
It was Moore who once again led Hofstra in scoring; recording 28 points and five steals. He was 4-7 from three-point range.
Coming into this game Hofstra head coach Mo Cassara was preaching to his team to turn the page on a tough January and look to February as a second chance for the team.
"I'm glad January's over" said Cassara, "We have a clean slate now…we just keep marking off every day, and we're going to try to win every day whether it's practice or a game."
"Nobody likes to lose and I also know how close we've been," said Cassara. "We can't focus on those, we have to learn from it."
Coming into the game, Towson was coming off its first win in 41 games, an NCAA record losing-streak. Hofstra was wary of Towson coming out with a lot of energy and although it began the game slowly, by the end of the half Hofstra had pushed the lead to 33-18.
Hofstra's defense was stifling, causing Towson to have more first half turnovers than points (18 points, 19 turnovers). By the end of the game Hofstra had caused 27 turnovers and created 35 points off of those Towson mistakes.
"Our defense has continued to keep us in games…we're continuing to find ways and be scrappy," said Cassara.
The Pride kept up the pressure in the second half while simultaneously squashing any efforts by the Tigers to mount a comeback. Hofstra went on two crippling scoring runs of 10-0 and 8-1, and won the game by 25 points.
"We made it a challenge for ourselves to outplay them and out-work them," said Moore.