By Rob Pelaez — STAFF WRITER
After the Hofstra women’s basketball team’s five-game win streak ended in a heartbreaking three-point loss to Drexel on Friday, they managed to get right back to business as usual, derailing the Elon Phoenix 59-49.
In the post-game press conference after Hofstra’s win over Elon on Sunday, Pride head coach Krista Kilburn-Steveskey summed up the afternoon in one statement: “This is an incredible bounce back for the Pride.”
Ashunae Durant and Anjie White played up to their “ball-hawking” standard, crashing the boards and combining for 25 rebounds, more than half of the team’s total (48). On offense, juniors Kelly Loftus and White led the Pride offensively, pouring on 18 and 11 points, respectively.
With the win, Hofstra improves to 16-4 on the year, and 7-2 in conference play. The Phoenix fall to 12-8 overall and 5-4 in the conference. Since being blown out by 23 points by the now ninth-ranked Oregon State Beavers in late November, the Pride’s three other losses have been by a combined five points.
Loftus was asked in the postgame press conference how the defense was able to step up today, limiting Elon to 49 points on 18-64 shooting, a mere 28.1 percent from the field.
“We definitely matured and grew a lot from last game in the sense of not letting the refs get into our heads like we did at their place,” said Loftus.
The junior guard went on to talk about how loud Elon’s arena is, showing that home-court advantage is certainly a benefit in the CAA.
Durant was only two points shy of recording yet another double-double, but a collision on a choppy play under the basket had her sitting out for a significant amount of the fourth quarter. Guard Krystal Luciano stuffed the stat sheet, scoring only four points, but also grabbing five rebounds and dishing out six assists.
Asia Jackson was also a huge lift off the bench for the Pride, scoring eight points while playing tight, physical defense.
One of the Pride’s only real weaknesses today was their effort from the charity stripe, only making 13-24 on the day.
Hofstra is now in the heart of CAA action, and the team’s next game comes with huge implications. The Pride will play host to defending CAA champion James Madison, the team that knocked Hofstra out of last year’s CAA Tournement, on Friday, Feb. 5 at 7 p.m. With Hofstra sitting just a half-game behind the Dukes in the standings, a win for the Pride would put them into first place in the CAA.