The Navy Midshipmen overtook the Hofstra Pride during their home opener in Annapolis, Maryland this past Friday. Navy topped the Pride 78-69 after 40 minutes of play, despite strong performances from freshman Ana Hernandez Gil and junior Ashunae Durant. A desire to win was high for both teams coming into the contest. The Pride came into the match not only undefeated for the season so far, but also undefeated against the Midshipmen. Navy was the opposite coming in with no wins for the season and against Hofstra overall.
Hofstra and Navy both brought the intensity from the tipoff. Krystal Luciano attempted to sink a three-pointer for the Pride just 20 seconds into the first period.
Catching that rebound, Navy’s Hannah Fenske earned the first points of the match from a free throw. Hofstra was quick to respond, however, as Olivia Askin made a three-pointer to switch the lead.
Most of the first and second period played out in a similar fashion – both teams quick to score and switch the lead in their favor.
However, with just two minutes remaining in the first half of play, the Midshipmen broke a 31-31 tie with a three-pointer from Fenske. Navy kept the lead for the remainder of the match.
The Pride attempted to close the gap before halftime, but was unsuccessful. The opening half ended with a missed three-pointer from Hernandez Gil and the Pride went into the locker room trailing Navy 37-32.
The energy from both sides was not missing coming out of halftime. Navy’s Fenske and Hofstra’s Luciano both buried a three-pointer within the first minute of the third period.
The Pride continued to score – layups from Aleana Leon and Sandra Karsten, jumpers from Durant and Luciano, two three-pointers from Hernandez Gil. But, Navy answered every time. The Pride and the Midshipmen were taking shots, but more from the Midshipmen were getting in.
Both teams racked up 12 points in the third period, the Midshipmen leading the Pride 59-49.
Navy kept a consistent lead over Hofstra in the final 10 minutes of play. The Midshipmen were quick to catch the rebounds of any missed shots the Pride took, resulting in the back and forth play that recurred throughout the contest. Hofstra was able to gain 20 points before the buzzer, but the 10-point lead Navy had starting off the period was too large of a deficit to surpass.
The buzzer sounded as Midshipmen Kaila Clark netted the ball from a layup, ending the game 78-69 Navy.
Hernandez Gil led the Pride in points, earning 15. Close behind was Durant with 13 and Luciano with 11. Luciano also led the team in assists, with six this game. Hofstra now stands 2-1 overall while Navy stands 1-2.