The change of the season marks a new beginning for the Hofstra Pride women’s basketball team. There is a clean slate but unfulfilled aspirations. In the 2015-16 season, the Pride dominated the league – winning 25 games – competing at the top of the conference with the powerhouse James Madison Dukes.
The Pride hit its stride in January and let it linger through the spring. But, they could not sustain the positive vibes through the postseason as they came up short in the first round of the CAA tournament, losing to the Northeastern Huskies. A long run in the WNIT suppressed the disappointment and gave Pride fans a fun spring.
With a bad taste in their mouths and a rejuvenated core with new additions led by head coach Krista Kilburn-Steveskey, the Hofstra Pride looks to finish what it started in 2015. The road back to the CAA tournament won’t be easy but it all begins on Nov. 11.
Home games in BOLD
Away games in ITALICS
11/11/16: Marist College, David S. Mack Sports & Exhibition Complex, 5 p.m.
This will be the first chance for Hofstra fans to watch several new faces take the court. E’Lexus Davis, Petja Krupenko, Ana Hernandez Gil, Marianne Kalin and Sandra Karsten will suit up for the first time in their Hofstra careers alongside the women who made last year’s run exciting – Krystal Luciano and Ashunae Durant. Last December, the Pride and Red Foxes met in Poughkeepsie with Hofstra winning 71-67.
This game will be a challenge for the new players to find chemistry and defend Marist junior guard Allie Clement, a member of the All-Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Preseason Third Team.
11/14/16: Stony Brook Seawolves, 7 p.m.
Each time these Long Island rivals face off, an intense battle ensues. The Pride defeated the Seawolves 71-66 in Hempstead last season, but they travel east to face a team that went 9-5 on their home court a year ago. Stony Brook was a middling 17-15 in 2015-2016, and due to that, the team was tabbed fifth in the America East’s Coaches’ Poll this year.
11/18/16: United States Naval Academy, 7 p.m.
One year ago, the season opened up with a last second thriller on Long Island, a 65-63 victory for the Pride over the Midshipmen. This year, Hofstra plays the same opponent, but in a different location. The last time these teams met, Navy played a tight defensive game with timely scoring. The Pride must lockdown Molly Sanders (averaged at least one triple per game as a freshman).
11/22/16: Delaware State University, 7 p.m.
The Pride returns home after a mini two-game road trip to face a young and inexperienced Delaware State team. The Hornets hosted the Pride last season and were blown out of their nest 66-49. Delaware State lost two of their stronger leaders in Nikkei Blackburn and N’Kayah Kersey (both averaged over 20 minutes per game).
11/25/16: Sacramento State, 5 p.m. EST
After the brief stop at home, the Pride will hit the road again, heading to the West Coast for the first time since the 2011-12 season, taking on Sacramento State, a sub .500 team last year. Sacramento State averaged close to 88 points per game on offense but also allowed close to 86 points.
11/27/16: University of California Davis, 4 p.m. EST
The Aggies were an impressive 19-13 in the 2015-2016 season, but they lose two leaders of their attack this season. Alyson Doherty’s 12.4 points per game ranked second on the team and Cella Marfone added over nine points per game.
12/04/16: University at Buffalo, 12 p.m.
Before the Pride returns to Long Island, it makes one last stop on its long roadtrip. Gone is the warm California weather; by this time, the cold weather will be in full swing in upstate New York. The Bulls retain two players that led their team last season in scoring, making it a tough game for the Pride.
12/07/16: University of Massachusetts, 7 p.m.
Hofstra returns home to host the Minutewomen of the University of Massachusetts. The teams met in Amherst last year and it was a game that stung the Pride tremendously. With Hofstra up by three in the final seconds, the Minutewomen banked a game tying three-pointer in addition to a foul. This time, UMass will be without Dillard, as she graduated.
12/10/16: American University, 4 p.m.
The Eagles visit Long Island after getting their wings clipped by the Pride in our nation’s capital last season, 60-51. It was a year of transition for American University. Their 8-23 record was a sight for sore eyes and they have lost a leader in Michelle Holmes, who averaged close to 10 points per game and over seven rebounds.
12/22/16: St. Joseph’s Hawks, 5 p.m.
There isn’t any love lost between these two teams and tensions will be riding high after Hofstra took down the Hawks in Hempstead, 75-62. Durant played in 35 minutes netting 17 points.
12/30/16: University of Hartford, 7 p.m.
The Pride will look to end 2016 on a high note when the University of Hartford comes to town in late December. When comparing the two, Hofstra has the deeper roster, and from last year, the Hawks lost their two top scorers.