Hofstra came out playing with rabidity. The Pride ravaged the glass to the tune of a 58.3% offensive rebounding mark, and had versatile Malik Nichols shadowing Ron Curry’s every move.
It amounted to a 22-4 first-half run that gave Hofstra a 13-point lead with 3:20 to play. Hofstra led by double figures on multiple occasions and eventually took a 39-33 lead into halftime.
I have a feeling Matt Brady was happy to have his team within six points at halftime.
Amen Tanksley led the Pride with nine first-half points. Juan’ya Green posted six points and six assists, and Rokas Gustys and Moussa Kone combined for 13 points and nine rebounds.
Dimitrije Cabarkapa (12 points) was JMU’s lone bright spot, hitting back-to-back 3-pointers to spark an early 10-0 run. Yohanny Dalembert picked up his first foul hedging on a screen less than two minutes into the game, and his second trying to defend a drive. That spelled trouble for JMU, which was already getting hammered on the offensive boards.
Nichols’ defense on Curry, who shot 3-of-8 from the field, was crucial.