Kevin Carroll -- ASSISTANT SPORTS EDITOR The Hofstra women’s basketball team’s trip to Puerto Rico for the 2015 San Juan Shootout got off to a bumpy start, the Pride fell to the seventh-ranked Oregon State Beavers on Friday afternoon 73-50.
Kelly Loftus scored 14 points for the Pride, but the team just couldn’t keep up with the national powerhouse Oregon State, who ran out to a big lead early in the first quarter, and never looked back.
“They’re a very, very good team, I could see why they’re obviously ranked where they are,” said Hofstra head coach Krista Kilburn-Steveskey after the game.
Hofstra immediately found itself at a disadvantage, losing Anjie White to injury on the team’s first possession. The junior forward managed to score the first basket of the game, putting the Pride ahead 2-0, but she didn’t return to the game.
“It was a huge blow, and we tried to hold as much as we could in that first half … I was very proud of our second half fight, I think we showed a ton of heart and great character under a tough situation,” Kilburn-Steveskey said.
That slim lead would be the only one of the game for Hofstra, as the Beavers went on a 12-0 run to go up by 10 points, and continued to build on that lead throughout the game. Ashunae Durant put a halt to OSU’s run with 5:45 left in the first quarter, but the Pride couldn’t keep up with the Beavers, trailing Oregon State at the half 41-21.
The Pride’s woes continued into the second half, as Oregon State kept pouring it on. A jumper from Sydney Wiese with 22 seconds left in the third quarter put the Beavers ahead by 27 points, the team’s biggest lead of the game. Sydni Epps managed to cut the lead to 25 with a jumper at the buzzer to make it a 58-33 OSU lead heading into the fourth quarter.
The Pride showed signs of life heading down the game’s final stretch, with Darius Faulk cutting the lead to 17, but the Beavers answered back with two big free-throws for Ruth Hamblin to push the lead back to 19.
Hamblin was fouled after pulling down an offensive rebound, her third of the game; Hofstra was no stranger to trouble on the glass on Friday, getting out-rebounded 37-19 by the Beavers.
The Beavers took the air out of the ball for the remainder of the final quarter, and the Pride couldn’t mount any sort of comeback, falling to the Beavers 73-50. It was the Pride’s first loss of the season.
In addition to Loftus’s 14 points, Krystal Luciano added nine in her home country of Puerto Rico. Durant was held in check by the Beavers after a hot start to her season, scoring just five points, and pulling down only three boards.
OSU’s Wiese led all scorers with 19 points, and Jamie Weisner added 15.
The Pride returns to action tomorrow, Nov. 28, at 10 a.m. to take on Coastal Carolina in the team’s final game as part of the San Juan Shootout.