In what has become a bit of a theme for the Hofstra women’s basketball team this year, Ashunae Durant had herself a monster game, but it wasn’t enough as Hofstra found itself on the wrong end of a 71-55 score against the College of Charleston Cougars on Friday afternoon.
“A lot of opportunities that we missed,” said Hofstra head coach Krista Kilburn-Steveskey after the game.
Durant continued, as she has time and time again, to live up to her billing as an All-CAA preseason first teamer, scoring 23 points and pulling down 16 boards, both game-highs. The double-double was Durant’s 13 this season in 18 total games.
Senior Sydni Epps was also a force on the boards for Hofstra, grabbing 11 of them to add to the Pride’s 51-36 advantage on the glass.
But apart from Durant, the offense was nowhere to be found for the Pride, dropping its fourth straight CAA contest, and its seventh overall loss in the last eight games.
The Pride turned the ball over 21 times on Saturday, compared to just 14 from the Cougars.
“The turnover battle is killing us,” Kilburn-Steveskey said. “Right now, we need to focus on what we can control, and we could control how we hold on to the ball.”
While Durant dropped 23 on the Cougars on better than 50 percent shooting, the rest of the Pride starting lineup combined for just 14 points, on an anemic 15 percent shooting (4-26).
As a whole, Hofstra shot just 26.8 percent from the floor, on 19-71 shooting. Hofstra was able to get off 13 more shots than the Cougars, but actually ended up converting on eight fewer attempts.
The Pride’s numbers from beyond the arc were even lower, knocking down just 5-27 from three-point land. Three of those deep balls came courtesy of a returning Ana Hernandez Gil.
Gil, who had missed the last three games with a leg injury, was Hofstra’s second leading scorer on Friday, with nine points. The freshman has been the Pride’s best three-point shooter this year, and her return to the rotation should bolster the team’s offense, as well as offer some much-needed depth.
On the other end of the floor, the Cougars, who came into Friday’s contest seeking their first conference victory, posted much better numbers on offense, shooting 46.6 percent from the field and 54.5 percent from deep.
Breanna Bolden led the way for Charleston with a double-double of her own, scoring 21 points and grabbing 13 rebounds. Dajah Logan added 12 points.
The Pride dropped to 8-10 on the season, with just a 1-6 mark in CAA play. Charleston improves to 8-10 and 1-6 in the conference.
The road ahead doesn’t get any easier for the Pride, as the team’s next two teams will be against two of the top three teams in the CAA, Elon and James Madison. Elon leads the Colonial with a 6-1 record, and James Madison sits a game behind at 5-2, with the always-dangerous Precious Hall leading the way.
Last time out against Hofstra, Hall posted 23 points as the Dukes dismantled the Pride 93-57. Hofstra and Elon have yet to face off this season.
The Pride will return home to Hempstead to square off with the Phoenix, Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. at the Mack Sports Complex.