By Alexandra Licata — ASSISTANT SPORTS EDITOR
A 23-point second quarter propelled Hofstra women’s basketball past the College of Charleston Cougars for a 75-60 win on Friday at TD Arena. It was the Pride’s first Colonial Athletic Association win of the season. The win also brought Hofstra to an even record of 7-7 (1-2 CAA).
Hofstra also recorded a 17-4 rebound advantage in that second quarter, which the team utilized to its advantage to outscore the Cougars 23-5.
“It was nice to score some baskets, get a little bit of confidence back, and not be as hesitant offensively,” said head coach Krista Kilburn-Steveskey.
The Pride got off to a slow start against Charleston, falling into a 10-2 hole. Two free throws from senior Aleana Leon and a layup from Marianne Kalin put the Pride closer to Charleston’s lead at 10-6, but the Cougars went on a 9-3 run to stake a 22-11 lead to end the quarter.
“We were a little lax in the first quarter and in the third quarter defensively. We had to get that moving and that made our offense go,” Kilburn-Steveskey said.
Despite being down by half as many points, the Pride had a comeback up their sleeve when they came back out in the second. A series of layups sparked the Pride’s offense, surging them to a 13-2 run to open the second quarter. Junior Boogie Brozoski then netted a three-pointer to cut the deficit to 24-21 before following it up with another to tie the game at 24. It was Brozoski’s first start for the Pride, during which she posted her first career double-double with 16 points and 10 assists, which marked a career-high.
It was on Kalin’s strong drive to the net off Leon’s rebound that gave the Pride the lead they wouldn’t look back from. A pair of threes from senior Olivia Askin, who led the team with 18 points on the night, pushed the Pride’s lead to seven, and they took a 34-27 lead into halftime.
Askin would go on to hit four more three-pointers during the last two quarters, two of which came early in the third to help keep Hofstra at an advantage. The Cougars were able to get within three before Askin scored her fifth three of the night to make it 49-42. Charleston challenged again with a long-range jumper to make it a four-point game, but the Pride were able to hold their lead and entered the final frame with the score at 53-50.
Brozoski drained another three-pointer for a 60-54 lead after the teams exchanged layups to open the fourth. Askin followed with her sixth and final three pointer of the day, making it a seven-point game. Sophomore Mikiyah Croskey then scored her first career points on back-to-back layups to extend the Pride’s lead. Free throws from Croskey and sophomore Sandra Karsten finished the game off for the Pride and completed the 75-60 win.
Askin’s 6-for-6 mark from the field was the first time a Hofstra player shot 100 percent since 2013, when Krystal Luciano went 5-for-5 against Concordia College (N.Y.).
“We know we have the pieces for us to be a pretty good team, but night after night, we just havr to keep getting better and found our rhythm,” Kilburn-Steveskey said.
For the first time since Dec. 22, 2016 against Saint Joseph’s, Hofstra shot over 50 percent. 54 percent of the Pride’s shots came from the field, which includes 50 percent from three-point range. Kalin also shot over 50 percent from the field for the sixth straight game.
Hofstra returns to the court on Sunday to conclude its trip down south and take on the University of North Carolina-Wilmington Seahawks at 1 p.m.