Wright-Foreman's 34 points carries men's basketball past Drexel
The Hofstra men’s basketball team earned a big home victory over the Drexel University Dragons by a score of 89-75. The contest, which took place on Sunday, Dec. 30, was their second win in their first two games of Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) play.
The Pride was fueled by an outstanding performance from senior Justin Wright-Foreman, who tied his second-highest scoring total of the season: 34 points. He also posted five assists, five rebounds and two steals, while shooting 11-17 from the field and making five three-pointers.\
All five of Hofstra’s starters finished the game scoring in double figures, and senior Desure Buie contributed an impressive 10 assists, earning himself his second double-double in the past three games. He complimented those numbers with a crucial four steals, as well.
“What I think I’m most proud of is that [Drexel] had everything going their way,” said Hofstra head coach Joe Mihalich, referring to a second half comeback attempt from the Dragons. “The tide was turning, momentum was shifting, and I was really proud of our guys for keeping their composure, keeping their poise.”
Hofstra entered the game motivated following a decisive victory over Delaware in their first game of conference play. That win brought their streak to an impressive eight games.
The Pride’s dominant play continued at the game’s onset, as Jacquil Taylor dominated the first few minutes of the contest, blocking Drexel’s first shot attempt and scoring two baskets in the paint. That block set the defensive tone for Hofstra, as their fast hands and smart defensive switching allowed them to force 10 Drexel turnovers in the first period. They held Drexel to just 27 points in the first 20 minutes of play, forcing the Dragons to shoot 36 percent from the field and an undesirable 11 percent from three.
Hofstra ran out to a lead early, with big shots made by Wright-Foreman, Buie and Eli Pemberton. The offense fired on all cylinders as they drove into the paint and drew fouls while also shooting 6-10 from the three-point line. Many of these shots came off assists, as the team expertly moved the ball. Seven of Buie’s 10 assists for the game came in the first period.
Entering the second period with a lead of 47-27, Wright-Foreman pulled off an ankle-breaking dribble move that got him free to hit a jumper. This kept the momentum in the Pride’s favor, as they were able to resist a strong comeback effort from Drexel throughout the period.
The Dragons’ offense came alive in the second period as they began hitting big shots to close the gap led by Troy Harper, Alihan Demir and Trevor John’s elevated play. Their biggest weapon in the period was their ability to get to the free throw line, as they made 10 free throws in the second which were crucial in their comeback attempt.
After the lead was cut to just six with 8:40 remaining in the game, the Pride returned to their first period selves, going on a 13-1 scoring run over the following five minutes of play to stretch their lead to 83-65.
“We just have to keep playing our game,” Wright-Foreman said. “Me, personally, and [Buie], as the leaders of the team, we have to keep everyone together, especially when the score comes close. We just have to pull everyone back together.”
Hofstra was victorious by a score of 89-75, bringing their overall record to 12-3 and keeping them unbeaten through two games of CAA play. The team’s win streak stands at nine games, their longest since the 2004-05 season.
The victory also marked the 100th win for Mihalich with the program. Mihalich has led the team to a resurgence since being named head coach in 2013, and this milestone is a testament to the team’s success with him at the helm.
Image Courtesy of Hofstra Athletics