By Steven Wolff -- STAFF WRITER The Hofstra women’s basketball team’s two-game winning streak came to an end on Sunday, as they fell to the James Madison Dukes in Virginia, by a final score of 57-42.
The Dukes maintained a three-point edge going into the fourth quarter, and outscored the Pride 17-5 in the final period.
“You know, to have the opportunity to be this close, and not be able to finish strong in the last three minutes… it was a disappointing finish,” Hofstra head coach Krista Kilburn-Steveskey said after the game.
Sophomore forward Ashunae Durant led the Pride with 11 points. Junior forward Anjie White fell one rebound shy of a double-double, scoring 10 points, and adding nine rebounds.
At the end of the third quarter, Hofstra senior guard Darius Faulk drove down the court to beat the clock on a layup, which pulled the Pride to within three. However, Dukes senior guard Jazmon Gwathmey, who led the Dukes with 20 points for the contest, hit a jumper on their first possession of the fourth quarter to make it a two-score game. James Madison senior guard Angela Mickens tallied 17 points on 50 percent shooting.
Hofstra has now shot the ball poorly in two consecutive contests, as they made just 29 percent of their baskets against the Dukes. Hofstra’s leading scorer Kelly Loftus continues to struggle, as she failed to make a basket, finishing with just two points on 0-8 shooting. Loftus missed a long stretch of the first half with an elbow injury after taking a nasty spill.
The Pride did continue to defend well, as they held James Madison to just 40 percent from the field, and 18 percent from the three-point line.
The Pride was dominated in the paint on both ends of the floor. On the offensive end, the team was out-rebounded 44-35. James Madison freshman center Kayla Cooper-Williams grabbed 16 of the Dukes’ 44 total boards.
“Kudos to Kayla, she comes in and plays her role and does it well, and gets rebounds for them at key points… we have to do the little things if we are going to win a championship,” Steveskey said after the contest.
On the defensive end, Hofstra didn’t record a single block, while James Madison enforced its tenacity in the paint, finishing with 10 for the game.
The loss brings the Pride to 18-6 on the season, and 9-4 in the CAA, while James Madison improves to 18-5 on the season, and 11-1 in the Colonial. The Dukes have now won 11 in a row.
Hofstra will look to rebound from their tough conference loss, as they come back home to face the UNCW Seahawks. Game time is Friday at 7 p.m.