Hernandez Gil’s career night not enough in comeback
The Hofstra women’s basketball team’s comeback hopes were squashed as the College of the Holy Cross defeated the Pride 72-66 in an overtime thriller on Wednesday, Dec. 5, in Worcester, Massachusetts.
Junior guard Ana Hernandez Gil led the Pride with a career-high 24 points. All of Hernandez Gil’s points came from behind the arc, hitting eight three-pointers, including the game-tying shot with just 16 seconds remaining in regulation.
“She is that type of kid. She can knock it,” said Hofstra head coach Krista Kilburn-Steveskey. “You know, utilizing her – she is really good. She even got some stops defensively down there. She knows how to play within her limitations. She is smart.”
Hofstra found itself down early in the matchup after Holy Cross built a 24-17 lead to open the game. A 6-0 Hofstra run brought the team within one point in the second quarter, but the Crusaders held onto a three-point lead at the end of the first half.
The Pride trailed by as many as 10 points in the fourth quarter, once at the 5:12 mark and again with only 3:46 remaining. Sica Cuzic hit a pivotal three-pointer that began an 11-1 run for the Pride to finish the fourth. It was Cuzic’s layup and Hernandez Gil’s three-pointer that led the teams to overtime after tying the game at 62 apiece.
Hofstra used the momentum from Hernandez Gil to gain an early three-point lead in overtime, after a layup and free throw by Marianne Kalin made it 65-62. However, that was not enough to hold off Holy Cross. The Crusaders out-scored Hofstra 10-1 in the remainder of overtime.
“We had an opportunity,” Kilburn-Steveskey said. “[Hernandez Gil] made a big shot to put us into overtime. We went up in overtime, had little stretches of poor execution in that piece. They played hard.”
Hofstra falls to 3-6 on the season, while the Crusaders are now 6-2. The Pride has lost four of their last five, with only three games remaining until they enter conference play.
Senior guard Boogie Brozoski also had a solid game on the offensive end of the floor. Brozoski had 22 points on 39 percent shooting from the floor – a total that matched her season-high set just two games previously in a win against Stetson University.
Cuzic also recorded double-digit points for the Pride with 11. She and junior E’Lexus Davis contributed four assists each on the night.
Junior forward Lauren Manis led Holy Cross in both points and rebounds, totaling 26 and 18, respectively.
Rebounds and free throws were the deciding factors in this matchup. Hofstra was beaten on the boards 56-32 and 19-10 on offensive rebounds. Holy Cross was also 13-of-16 from the charity stripe, while Hofstra only converted three of its 11 chances from the line.
“We were 3-for-11 from the free throw line, so that was uncontrollable,” Kilburn-Steveskey said. “We got crushed on the boards.”
Hofstra women’s basketball returns to the court for a non-conference game against the University of Maryland – Baltimore County on Sunday, Dec. 9, at 1 p.m.
Photo Courtesy of Hofstra Athletics