The College of Charleston Cougars edged out the Hofstra Pride 77-71 Saturday afternoon. The win marks the Cougars’ fifth straight win, as they continue an undefeated run in CAA play. As for the Pride, it has lost its third straight game for the first time in three years and it drops to 9-8 on the season and 1-3 in conference play.
Charleston dominated early against the Pride, leading 41- 34 at the half. But after being down by as much as 13 with 13 minutes to play, Hofstra made a surge to get back into it, led by Justin Wright-Foreman and Eli Pemberton. Pemberton went for 20 points on 7-9 shooting, while Wright-Foreman dropped 20 on 8-15 shooting,
Wright-Foreman has dropped double figure points in seven straight games, and has scored 20 or more in three straight. Ty Greer also scored 13 points in 18 minutes. As Hofstra came storming back, Pemberton came up short on a layup attempt to cut the lead to four points, and the Cougars never let the Pride back in.
In the final minutes of play, with Hofstra down six and Charleston with the ball, Hofstra elected not to foul to send Charleston to the line for free throws. Instead, Hofstra brought on a late double team and forced a shot by the Cougars, which missed, but the Pride only had 10 seconds left on the clock for their last possession, ending the game after its shot.
Charleston had a very efficient game from the field, shooting 52 percent, including 60 percent from beyond the arc. Redshirt junior Joe Chealey led the way for the Cougars with his season high 31 points on 9-16 shooting, including 5-8 from deep and converting on eight of his ten free throws. Grant Riller was the only other Cougar to score in double figures with 17.
Rokas Gustys was noticeably absent from the Pride’s offense, going just 1-2 from the field and racking up four fouls in just 18 minutes of play. The big man also left the game with just under a minute left to play, after appearing to roll his ankle fighting for a rebound.
Gustys is known for his rebounding rather than his scoring, but he has been struggling to put the ball in the basket in three of the past four games, scoring just one point against Delaware on 0-3 shooting, five points on 1-4 shooting against James Madison, and now his performance against Charleston.
Hofstra’s next game will be on the road against the struggling Phoenix of Elon University, who is 8-8 on the year but 0-3 in conference play thus far. That contest is set for Thursday, Jan. 12, at 7 p.m.