Trueheart's career night propels men's basketball to another dominant victory
The Hofstra men’s basketball team recorded another dominant win on Wednesday night, Nov. 14, with a 92-72 win over the North Carolina A&T Aggies (0-4) at the David S. Mack Sports and Exhibition Complex.
Hofstra (2-1) had five players score double-digit points on the night.
Senior Justin Wright-Foreman led all scorers with 22 points and also dished the ball out seven times. Junior Eli Pemberton contributed 19 points. Junior Stafford Trueheart, senior Desure Buie and graduate student Jacquil Taylor each scored 14, 12 and 11 points, respectively.
“I thought we just took it to them early,” said Hofstra head coach Joe Mihalich. “[Trueheart] got us going, making some shots when we needed someone to make shots.”
“Of course, [Wright-Foreman] is as special as it gets,” Mihalich said.
The Aggies kept it tight in the first half, using a 9-0 run halfway through to take a 19-15 lead. The Pride responded with a run of their own, scoring 17 unanswered points, nine from Wright-Foreman and eight from Trueheart.
Hofstra took the lead for good during that run.
“I definitely felt [that run] was going to come,” Wright-Foreman said. “The energy really came from [Buie]. Once he got a steal, we had an alley-oop on the other end; that really pumped us up.”
“We just knew we had to get stops,” Trueheart said. “Then the defense turns to offense. Offense is never really a problem for us.”
With about three minutes remaining in the first half, Trueheart slammed down a behind-the-back pass from Wright-Foreman to give the Pride a 42-26 lead and get the crowd on their feet.
Another highlight-reel dunk from Trueheart at the buzzer sent Hofstra to the locker room with a 47-35 lead. The Pride shot 55.2 percent from the field in the first half.
Hofstra’s defense did not allow any Aggie to score double-digits in the first half, including holding North Carolina A&T’s leading scorer, Terry Harris, to only four points in the opening frame.
“We mixed it up a little bit [defensively],” Mihalich said. “We played some man, we played some zone. We talk about position and vision and anticipation. I thought [our guys] did those three things pretty good.”
The Pride started the second half hot, going on a 6-2 run to cement the lead and cruised from there.
Trueheart’s 14 points on the night were a career high.
“I just had a lot of space to shoot,” Trueheart said. “I knew my teammates were going to find me, so I knew I had to get ready to be able to knock it down.”
“[Trueheart] just keeps getting better and better,” Mihalich said. “He’s getting more and more confident.”
Coming off an earlier game where the Pride shot merely 43 percent from the field, the team was able to turn it around, shooting 53 percent against the Aggies.
“These guys want to get better and they’re willing to learn,” Mihalich said. “We still made a lot of mistakes tonight, but we’re getting better and better. These guys want to be good, and that’s a beautiful thing.”
With his 22-point night, Wright-Foreman is now No. 10 on the Hofstra all-time scoring list, with passing Leroy Allen (1983-87) and Frank Walker (1985-89).
“I’m very honored,” Wright-Foreman said. “We’ve had a lot of great players play here. I’m just honored to be on that list.”
Next up for the Pride are the Maryland Terrapins on Friday night, Nov. 16, finishing up a stretch of four games in eight days for Hofstra.
“Now we’ve got three [games] behind us,” Mihalich said. “We have at least 24 hours to get ready for a really good Big Ten team.”
“I’m just ready to go to war with my brothers,” Wright-Foreman said. “I’m just excited for Friday.”
Tip-off between the Pride and the Terrapins is set for 7 p.m. in College Park, Maryland.
Photo courtesy of Hofstra Athletics