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Turnovers and fouls cause trouble for women's basketball in loss to Elon

Turnovers and fouls cause trouble for women's basketball in loss to Elon

Despite multiple attempts at a comeback, turnovers and early foul trouble doomed Hofstra women’s basketball in a 77-64 loss against Elon University. Boogie Brozoski led the Pride with 15 points.

“We know how we feel. This is not us and this is not our brand of basketball. It is what it is on the scoreboard and we didn’t come out,” said head coach Krista Kilburn-Steveskey.

The Pride (6-8, 0-2 CAA) played the Phoenix (6-7, 1-1 CAA) close for most of the first half, including a back and forth start to the second quarter. They shot well from three, including three early three-pointers from Ana Hernandez Gil. This, combined with Elon missing their first six three-pointers, led to the Pride staying competitive for much of the first half. 

However, the Elon defense was very effective in neutralizing Brozoski and getting her into early foul trouble. Brozoski only scored one point in the first half and was kept off of the court. Elon went on a 20-13 run during the last six minutes to go from down three to up four at the half. 

The third quarter has been a problem for this Hofstra team, as they’ve either lost or tied in the third quarter in six of their eight losses. Today was more of the same, as five turnovers in the quarter hurt them early. Elon went on a 13-2 run over the first three minutes of the third quarter to give them a 15-point lead. Hofstra answered with a 16-2 run, pulling it within one, but it wouldn’t be enough. Hofstra missed their first five shots of the fourth quarter, allowing the Phoenix to extend their lead.

“We can’t start off the third quarter flat. We started off the game a little flat, [then] we start the third quarter already down by four, then down by eight, then down by 11,” Kilburn-Steveskey said. “We’re a team that can fight back, we can be down by whatever, but it’s just ridiculous because it’s self-inflicting.”

The Pride is at their best when the ball is moving around frequently and efficiently. They’re 3-0 when recording more than 15 assists and their two largest margins of victory happened when they recorded more than 20 assists. Not only did the Pride record seven assists, which is a season low, but they also had a season-high 24 turnovers. Elon turned those 24 turnovers into 23 points, effectively taking the momentum away from Hofstra whenever the team tried to mount a comeback.

“Lately, in our last two games, I thought we’ve beat ourselves,” guard E’Lexus Davis said. “We just have to come back better and focus more.” 

Continuing her much improved play of late, Vanerlie Valcourt provided the Pride with impactful minutes off of the bench. She played 15 minutes, recording four points and tying her season high with three steals, a mark she’s reached three times this season. Her disruptive play helped lead to runs that kept the Pride close early on, and despite only one assist, her passing led to improved offensive sets. 

“Our freshmen want to have [a] fight ... I think that’s part of the direction we need to be heading,” Kilburn-Steveskey said.

Additionally, the Pride received their best game of the season from Davis. She recorded a season-high 13 points, nine of which were in the first half, five rebounds and a season-high five steals. Davis, Sica Cuzic and Mikiyah Croskey were the only three players that recorded a positive plus/minus for the Pride.

“I just tried to play more aggressive and keep finding my rhythm in each game,” Davis said.

The Pride will have a few days to recoup before they face off against James Madison University on Friday, Jan. 11, on the road.

Image courtesy of Hofstra Athletics

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