Women's basketball suffers third loss in last four games
The Hofstra women’s basketball team dropped a heartbreaking 70-64 loss to the Sacred Heart University Pioneers on Thursday night, Nov. 29, at the David S. Mack Sports and Exhibition Complex. The Pride have now lost three of their last four games.
Three Hofstra players scored in double-digits, with senior Sica Cuzic leading all scorers with 19 points. Junior Marianne Kalin added 14 and senior Boogie Brozoski contributed with 12.
Hofstra (3-5) held a five-point lead after two quarters against Sacred Heart (3-3) but the Pride’s poor shooting and defensive effort in the second half allowed the Pioneers to come out on top.
“I just don’t think we answered their call,” Hofstra head coach Krista Kilburn-Steveskey said. “I think they played way more aggressive than we did. [Our players are] going to have to come together and find out what kind of team we want to be this season.”
Hofstra shot nearly 54 percent from the field in the first quarter, compared to Sacred Heart’s 33 percent. Despite the shooting disparity, the game was tied at 14 after a quarter of play.
The Pride’s successful shooting continued into the second quarter, where they shot 53 percent from the field. Hofstra used their hot hand to take a 40-35 lead heading into the locker room.
Hofstra was 8-8 from the charity stripe in the first half. All eight of the free throws came in the second quarter.
Unfortunately for Hofstra, the successful first half did not spill over into the next two quarters.
In the third quarter, Hofstra shot a measly 25 percent from the field and did not score a field goal until there was 4:43 remaining in the quarter.
Sacred Heart used an early 10-0 run in the third to take a 45-42 lead.
“We were letting the offense affect the defensive end of our floor,” Kilburn-Stevesky said. “We [made] some pretty poor decisions offensively. We start shooting poorly and then we’re not defending on the other end.”
Hofstra answered the Pioneer run with a 6-0 run of their own to regain the lead late in the quarter.
Miscommunication on passes in the winding seconds of the third period led to unforced Hofstra turnovers and allowed Sacred Heart to end the third with a 54-52 lead.
Sacred Heart outscored Hofstra 16-12 in the final frame, including a 7-0 run to end the game.
Down three with 1:34 remaining, Hofstra had the chance to bring themselves within one as Cuzic was sent to the free throw line. Cuzic, who had been 7-8 from the line previously, missed both crucial free throws.
Hofstra did not score in the final 2:30 of regulation.
“We’re not playing Hofstra brand of basketball,” Kilburn-Stevesky said. “We’re spending a lot of effort every single day in practice to try and get them to do the things to help us be successful.”
“We just have to work harder on defense,” Kalin said. “When we [play] good [defense] the offense [will] come. Today it didn’t happen. [We] just have to learn from that.”
Hofstra finished the game shooting 40.7 percent from the field, after shooting 53.6 percent in the first half.
Despite the offensive struggles in the second half, Cuzic finished the night with her third double-double of the season, complementing her 19 points with a game-high 11 rebounds.
“She’s been trying to be consistent,” Kilburn-Stevesky said. “All she’s [trying] to do ... is have some type of consistent play.”
“I just feel like it wasn’t enough,” Cuzic said. “It wasn’t about me. As a team we need to be more consistent. We’re working hard. We just need to translate it somehow. We’re working on it. We’re getting better.”
The Pride will next travel to Massachusetts to face Holy Cross on Wednesday, Dec. 5. Tip-off is scheduled for 6:05 p.m.