The Pride men’s basketball team, led by Eli Pemberton’s 22 points, was able to notch its fourth consecutive victory, this time in Boca Raton, Florida, against Florida Atlantic University.
Pemberton grabbed a double-double, adding 11 rebounds to his 22-point night that came efficiently on 6-11 shooting, adding six points from the foul line.
Getting off to a slow start, Hofstra trailed Florida Atlantic for nearly all of the first half despite leading in the turnover battle with only two compared to FAU’s six.
With 4:08 remaining in the half, Ty Greer knocked down a three that gave the Pride a lead for the first time of the night.
Greer came in big from behind the arc, connecting on three of five shots in crucial moments for the Pride.
Pemberton, Brian Bernardi and Jamall Robinson were three other players for the Pride who also shot over 50 percent from deep.
The efficient night the Pride had from behind the arc was key in making up for the discrepancy between the teams’ field goal percentage overall: the Owls shot 49.2 percent compared to Hofstra’s 44.8.
Although heavily effective from downtown for the Pride, rebounding was clearly what set one team apart from the other in this game.
Hofstra held a 19 rebound margin at the final buzzer, collecting 49 total over FAU’s mere 30.
Although the Owls kept the difference in defensive rebounds within reach, only trailing 29 to 23, what made the difference was the Pride’s effort on the offensive glass.
The Pride hauled in 20 offensive boards – 13 more than FAU – which translated into 12 second chance points, giving Hofstra the advantage in second chance points as well.
The Pride’s dominance on the glass was headlined by NCAA leader Rokas Gustys’ game-high 17 rebounds, as he continued displaying his season long prowess on the boards that has been huge for Hofstra throughout.
As for FAU, no single player was able to reach double digits in that category, with 7-foot Ronald Delph leading the team with eight.
Perhaps the only area that Hofstra displayed major inferiority in was when it came to scoring off the bench.
The Pride’s 19 bench points was heavily belittled by the Owls’ 31.
Luckily for the Pride, its starters were able to pick up the slack and scored 51 second half points, edging out FAU’s 49 en route to an 88-80 victory.
With four consecutive wins under its belt, the Pride hopes it can extend its win streak to five before facing powerhouse University of Kentucky, who were upset by University of California, Los Angeles on Saturday afternoon.
With the goal of resembling UCLA, the Pride must first focus on the matchup at hand Tuesday night when it meets St. Bonaventure University at home, 7 p.m. on Dec. 6.