Mike Rudin – Sports Editor The Hofstra Pride traveled to Blacksburg, V.A. to take on the Virginia Tech. Hokies in the Cassall Coliseum but Hofstra fell 60-43 by the end of the night.
“They were big and physical and we didn’t respond to the physicality tonight,” said head coach Krista Kilburn-Steveskey. “We didn’t handle it and they crushed us on the boards.”
The loss snaps the Pride’s four-game winning streak and the team drops to 7-4 on the year. Junior Asia Jackson led the Pride offense with 11 points in the game.
Hofstra made 40 substitutions throughout the entire game, 19 in the first half and 21 in the second.
Krystal Luciano and Kelly Loftus compiled a 3-for-18 shooting completion and Elo Edeferioka was reduced to two shots in the game, shooting 1-for-2. Ashunae Durant did make a shot expect from the charity stripe, shooting 2-for-2 at the free-throw line but 0-for-5 everywhere else on the court.
Hofstra took a 4-0 lead in the first few minutes of the game and did not fall behind once nearly in the first 15 minutes of the match. But the Hokies took the lead at the 5:03 mark and never looked back afterwards.
Virginia Tech. went on a 12-0 run by the end of the first half, to take a 28-17 lead with 2:52 remaining in the first period. A few free-throws by the Pride cut the Hokies’ lead to 28-20 by halftime.
Elo Edeferioka played for seven minutes in the first half and did not even attempt a single shot in the first period.
The second half did not panned out in the Pride’s favor at all as Virginia Tech. outscored Hofstra 32-23.
Hofstra and the Hokies countered each other shots in the first couple of minutes in the second period but Virginia Tech. went on another rally, scoring seven points consecutively starting at the 17:11 mark in the half.
Thus forced Kilburn-Steveskey to take a 30-second timeout with 16 minutes left in the game in order to get her team to regroup and formulate a strategy to overcome the deficit.
But the Hokies maintain their lead in double figures and killed any opportunities for the Pride to mount a comeback.
Both teams went toe-to-toe for the remainder of the game, give or take a couple of points. Virginia Tech. managed to gradually increased their lead throughout the rest of the match. The highest point Hofstra fell to was a 19-point hole with a 1:15 left in the game. The Pride scored two more points but lost soon afterwards.
Kilburn-Steveskey could not find the right unit on the field to keep up with the Hokies in the second half with 21 substitutions throughout the last 20 minutes.
The x-factor was the containment and lack of execution from the main four Pride players that usually led the offense this year: Krystal Luciano, Kelly Loftus, Elo Edeferioka, and Ashunae Durant.
With the start of Colonial Athletic Association conference matchups around the corner, Kilburn-Steveskey shared her perspective of her team’s status heading into the upcoming games.
“We’ve lost some games we shouldn’t of, we won some that might somebody thought we would’ve won,” said Kilburn-Steveskey. “I think were sitting really well with two conference games coming up.”
The Pride will return to their home court at the Mack Sports Complex to face-off against CAA rival, the College of Charleston Cougars on Jan. 4. Tipoff is scheduled to commence at 7:00 p.m.