By Jordan Sawyer -- STAFF WRITER Former players from all decades sat in the stands on Alumni Day to watch Hofstra women’s basketball head coach Krista Kilburn-Steveskey pick up her 200th career win, becoming the program’s all-time wins leader in a 65-60 handling of the College of Charleston Cougars on Sunday afternoon.
Tight-knit play began as soon as the ball tipped with back-and-forth scoring from both sides in the first four minutes of play before Olivia Askin re-lit her hot hand of late to stretch Hofstra’s lead to 11-6 midway through the first quarter.
An even keeled first quarter of play resulted in a 15-14 lead for the Pride on 50 percent shooting from the field with six different players pitching into the scoring contributions.
Hofstra had moved the ball far more in the first quarter than usual to find an open shooter and accumulate six assists.
Physical hard-pressed play carried over in the second quarter as the two teams traded buckets yet again.
Ashunae Durant found her touch by shooting three for six from the field to bring her first half points total to nine accompanied by six boards.
“Just confidence, I had a stretch where I didn’t have confidence in my shot so I wasn’t taking the shots, when my teammate in confident in me, I’m confident with myself, so whenever I have a chance to take a shot I’m willing to take it,” Durant said.
Hofstra turned defense into offense often with eight fast break points but found themselves trailing 29-28 at the half.
After trailing 39-37 with 4:35 to play in the third quarter, Hofstra spurred an 11-0 run after an Askin three ball to find themselves up 48-39 with 2:16 remaining in the quarter.
With under a minute to play in the third the Pride led by seven before Askin’s archery tallied two more three pointers in the final 39 seconds to give Hofstra a commanding 54-43 lead heading into the fourth.
Hofstra outscored Charleston 26-14 in the third on 10-13 shooting while suffocating defense held the Cougars to 35.3 percent shooting.
Durant picked up two points and three rebounds to give her another double-double this season.
The fourth quarter played in favor of the College of Charleston but the 11-point Pride lead was enough to hold off the Cougars outscoring them by a 17-11 margin in the final quarter.
“A couple of bizarre calls kind of give them a momentum shift, but we stopped that run,” Kilburn-Steveskey said.
Askin added another three in the fourth to give her a team-high 15 total points on 5-for-5 shooting from beyond the arc.
“Not thinking about my shots so much, definitely the help of my teammates finding me when I’m open, so that’s definitely a huge factor,” Askin said when asked about her recent hot streak.
“Little Stephen Curry over there, she’s a great shooter we just have to find her when she’s open. I believe in her 100 percent that every time she takes it she’s going to knock it down,” Durant said.
Durant finished with 13 points and 13 rebounds while Aleana Leon piled on 12 points and Boogie Brozoski added a near double-double with eight points and nine assists.
Hofstra will continue their four game homestand when they face the College of William & Mary for a Mack matinee at 11:30 a.m. on Friday.