By Zack Penn -- STAFF WRITER Hofstra men’s basketball improved to 2-1 in conference play Friday night at the Mack Sports Complex with a thrilling 87-81 overtime victory over James Madison.
Junior guard Justin Wright-Foreman overcame a rough first half to score 26 points, but none bigger than the heavily contested three-pointer he sunk to send the game into overtime with just 1.1 seconds left.
“That was a fabulous win,” said Hofstra head coach Joe Mihalich. “And the reason why is we should have lost. That game has loss written all over it.”
Freshman forward Matija Radovic caught the inbounds pass in the far corner and whipped it to Wright-Foreman on the wing, who rose up between two defenders and canned the shot. The Pride would go on to control the overtime period thanks to eight more points from Wright-Foreman and 8-8 shooting from the free throw line.
Senior forward Rokas Gustys hd a night to remember as well, putting up 12 points and 18 rebounds while going over the 1,000 point mark for his career. After the game, he said the accomplishment makes him “feel like an old man.”
A quick glance at the box score might give one the impression that the Pride dominated this game. Hofstra shot 49 percent from the field to James Madison’s 39 percent. They also greatly outrebounded the Bulldogs, leading the rebounding stat 47-35.
In fact, the only thing that kept James Madison was Hofstra’s lack of ball security. The Pride turned it over a whopping 20 times, leading to easy transition buckets the Dukes were happy to feast upon.
Doing most of that feasting was junior guard Stuckey Mosley, who put up a career-high 37 points along with six steals and six assists. His efforts were simply not enough, however, as two James Madison starters (Ramone Snowden and Joey McLean) combined to score four points on 2-13 shooting.
A storyline to keep in mind for Pride fans is the emergence of freshmen Jalen Ray and Matija Radovic as legitimate contributors for a program that has long had issues with depth.
Ray had a career day, scoring 18 off the bench while capitalizing an opportunity to run with the starters in overtime by hitting a three to give Hofstra a 75-74 lead they never relinquished.
Hofstra (9-6, 2-1) will try to build upon its two-game winning streak Sunday at 4 p.m. against Elon. James Madison (4-13, 0-3) will look for its first conference win Sunday afternoon as they travel to Boston to square off against Northeastern.