Hofstra outlasts UMBC in back and forth battle
The Hofstra Pride women’s basketball team erased a seven-point fourth-quarter deficit and held off a last-second rally to snap a two-game losing skid and knock off the University of Maryland Baltimore County Retrievers, 45-42 at the UMBC Event Center in Baltimore Sunday afternoon.
“Just happy that we got the win heading into finals,” said Hofstra head coach Krista Kilburn-Steveskey as her players now get ready for the final week of the semester comprised of final exams. “Just something for them so they can focus and feel pretty good about getting that fourth win and knowing where we want to be by our next contest.”
The two teams were tied at 22 at the end of two quarters. They continued trading baskets early in the third period until the Retrievers (6-5) closed the frame on a 9-2 run capped off by a pair of driving layups from Te’yJah Oliver. Oliver did a little bit of everything on Sunday for UMBC, scoring a game-high 16 points on 7-12 shooting as well as pulling down five rebounds and dishing out two assists.
Hofstra (4-6) responded with a 9-2 spurt of their own to open the fourth quarter. The Pride dominated the final frame, outscoring the Retrievers 18-8 over the last 10 minutes of play.
Boogie Brozoski keyed Hofstra’s fourth-quarter comeback, scoring nine of her team-high 10 points in the fourth period.
A Brozoski jumper cut Hofstra’s deficit to 34-33 with 7:32 remaining in the contest, and she pulled the Pride even at 34 on Hofstra’s next possession with a free throw.
From there, a back and forth affair began, as players such as UMBC’s Janee’a Summers and Hofstra’s Vanerlie Valcourt each contributed for their teams when it mattered most.
Summers finished the game with 10 points and nine rebounds, while Valcourt dropped eight for the Pride.
As she had all game, Oliver hit a three-pointer with 6:05 remaining to put UMBC in front 39-36, which was then answered by Marianne Kalin who made a layup 11 seconds later off a pass from E’Lexus Davis to cut Hofstra’s deficit to 39-38.
Kalin finished the game with a match high 13 rebounds to go along with her eight points.
After UMBC came up empty on the next possession, Brozoski knocked down a triple off a pass from Davis, putting the Pride ahead 41-39 with 5:19 remaining.
Davis and Jaylen Hines (4 points, 8 boards) each made a pair of free throws, providing Hofstra a 44-39 lead with 2:06 remaining.
The Pride made just 10 of their 22 shots from the charity stripe on Sunday, but they made their free throws when it counted most, knocking down four of their final six free throws of the contest.
Although UMBC threatened with a Tyler Moore three-pointer with 1:37 remaining that cut the Pride lead to three at 45-42, Hofstra defended the rest of the way, shutting down the last Retriever possession with seven seconds left to secure the win.
“If you look at the practice book, we’ve been spending 80% plus on the defensive end,” said Hofstra head coach Krista Kilburn-Steveskey. “We still let a few slip by on a crucial moment when we knew who they were going to be going to; but the last four minutes we buckled down and just had a good showing defensively.”
After starting the season 6-0, UMBC has now dropped its last five contests. The Retrievers will look to stay above .500 when they return to action at Morgan State on Thursday, December 20th.
The Pride will look to win back-to-back games for the first time this season when they travel to Siena on Friday, December 21st for a 7:00 pm tipoff.
Photo Courtesy of Hofstra Athletics