It could not have looked bleaker for Hofstra women’s basketball after the first eight games of the season. After its season opening win against Stetson, the Pride lost seven straight in a very difficult out of conference schedule that included opponents like no. 18 St. John’s and perennial mid-major powers in Marist and Princeton.
Entering the second annual New York Life Holiday Invitational, a tournament it one last year, Hofstra ripped off a pair of wins against Mississippi and Northwestern to repeat as winners and then drubbed Norfolk State 82-47 heading into conference play.
Three wins to open up CAA play against William and Mary, Georgia State and George Mason had Hofstra sitting pretty, tied for first with Drexel and Delaware, but a trip to Philadelphia handed the Pride its first loss against the Dragons. After a win against Old Dominion, James Madison rolled over the Pride by 23.
Returning home tonight against George Mason, Hofstra sits in fourth in the CAA and needs a win to keep pace with Delaware, Drexel and James Madison.
Shante Evans, Hofstra’s newest record holder in points scored in her career, is averaging her usual double-double this season with 16.6 points per game and 10.5 rebounds. Flourishing around her are a pair of juniors in guard Annie Payton (8.6 ppg) and forward Anma Onyeuku (9.6 ppg) while sophomore guard Andreana Thomas (9.4) is showing just why she was so highly touted coming out of high school.
Tonight’s game against George Mason is a chance for momentum as the Pride heads into a Super Bowl Sunday match-up at Delaware against Elena Delle Donne and the Blue Hens.
George Mason visits the Mack at 6-12 (1-6 CAA) and are tied with Towson at the bottom of the conference. The Patriots are led by senior guard Rahneeka Saunders (11.9 ppg) and senior guard Amber Easter (9.3 ppg) in a side that contains some size to contest Evans, but lack the physical play needed to really throw her off her game. Hofstra should be able to take this one comfortably.