Women's basketball picks up third consecutive loss at home vs Towson
The Hofstra women’s basketball team was unable to get revenge on their home court, hosting Towson University for the second matchup between the two teams on the season and losing 68-56. Sandra Karsten led the Pride in scoring with a season-high 15 points.
A big part of the Pride’s defensive strategy was to force the Tigers to score from the outside. Towson has multiple players who are over six feet tall and cause problems in the post, so the Pride tried to keep the ball out of the paint. Their strategy worked at the start of the game, as Towson shot only 28.6 percent from the field in the first quarter for only 10 points.
The Pride wasn’t able to capitalize on their successful defensive strategy, as they played sloppily on offense. They turned the ball over eight times in the first quarter alone, including a turnover on each of their first four offensive possessions. This, combined with poor shooting, caused the Pride to only score two points over the first 7:42 of action. They closed out the quarter on an 8-0 run to tie it up 10-10 after one quarter.
“We can’t turn the ball over [that much] and be one of the top teams in the conference,” said Hofstra head coach Krista Kilburn-Steveskey.
In the second quarter, Towson used their size more effectively. They overwhelmed the Pride in the post with physical play, and the Pride had to foul more often in order to keep the Tigers from scoring easy baskets. Marianne Kalin had four fouls in the first half, which severely limited her playing time, as she only played eight minutes in the second half.
By the second half, the Tigers had found their offensive rhythm, shooting 54.2 percent from the field, including 70 percent in the fourth quarter. Despite not hitting any three-pointers in the second half, the defensive focus in the paint allowed more space for Towson to run their offense. Their rhythm allowed them to keep a distance from the Pride, even as Hofstra surged in the third quarter, getting as close as cutting their deficit to a mere five points.
Despite the loss, Sica Cuzic successfully made her first appearance back on the court for the Pride. She hadn’t played since Sunday, Jan. 6, against Elon University. She struggled finding a rhythm in her jump shot, but was still able to score nine points in 20 minutes of play, contributing to a strong defensive effort.
“It was great having her back, having another ball handler on the court,” said senior guard Boogie Brozoski. “Her attacking of the basket is great, her rebounding is great. It’s always great getting teammates back that have been injured.”
Brozoski recorded a season-high nine assists to go along with 11 points. For most of the first half, the Tigers double-teamed Brozoski, forcing her to make tough passes to find an open teammate. She was able to do so early and often, connecting with Karsten for multiple three-pointers. She also ran an effective pick-and-roll with Kalin, despite her limited playing time.
“If you’re going to double me, I know one of my teammates is open. My eyes are always up and always ready to make the right pass,” Brozoski said.
Off the bench, Vanerlie Valcourt provided a spark that was able to keep the game competitive up until Towson pulled away in the fourth quarter. Valcourt applied constant pressure defensively and recorded two steals. This was her fifth game with multiple steals as she becomes a prominent figure in Hofstra’s defensive identity.
The Pride will have one more game at home against James Madison University on Sunday, Feb. 10, before they head away on a three-game road trip.