The Hofstra women’s basketball team suffered their 15th loss of the season Thursday, losing 72-61 to the Elon Phoenix in North Carolina.
Coming off a 56-45 loss against Delaware on Monday, the Pride was looking to bounce back and hopefully rewrite the path before tournament time comes around. Instead, countless turnovers and sloppy play gave Elon the easy chance to come away with the win.
Statistically, from quarter to quarter, Hofstra stuck with the Phoenix the whole way through, but it was not enough. Krystal Luciano played 39 minutes, almost recording a triple-double with 10 points, eight assists and eight turnovers – if only triple-doubles counted turnovers as a category.
As a team the Pride shot 43 percent, while going 37 percent from deep and hitting all seven shots from the line. Shooting was not the problem. The 21 turnovers caused by Elon allowed them to score an extra 27 points.
On defense, the Pride had no answer for senior guard Lauren Brown. She poured in a season high 27 points off of 8-15 shooting from the field. She also added four three-pointers and three steals. Brown came into the game averaging less than 10 points per game.
This has become a common theme for the Pride. In their previous game versus Delaware, they allowed Nicole Enabosi to go off for 21 without even hitting a three-pointer.
For Elon, they continued to prove everyone that they are the best team in the CAA. They now stand at 20-6 with a 12-2 CAA conference record. James Madison sits right below them while Hofstra continues to look up from the bottom of the conference.
The 2016-2017 season seems awfully different then what it was last year. At this time last year the Pride was 19-6 through 25 games, now they stand at 10-15.
Losing players like Kelly Loftus and Darius Faulk has not only made it harder to score, but the defense has seriously taken a step back because of it. Faulk was one of the Pride’s top defenders and at times had the capability to lock up opponent’s best players. But now, the Pride is missing some of that leadership and skill.
Although the Pride continues to struggle, a bright spot in the game was freshmen forward Marianne Kalin. In her 27 minutes of action, she dropped a career-high 13 points. Not only did she contribute a lot, but she was also efficient, shooting 6-8 from the field.
Throughout the game, the ball handling for both teams slowly started to become sloppier. Elon recorded 14 steals, while both teams had a combined 38 turnovers.
Even though they went up against the top ranked CAA team, the Pride could have left Elon with a win. The Phoenix only had 12 assists, while their field goal percentage, three-point percentage and free throw percentage all dipped below the Pride’s.
The biggest factor to the victory was the difference at the charity stripe. Although the Pride remained a perfect 7-7, Elon was able to take 29 shots from the line, sinking 21 of them. In the end, Hofstra had four players who each had three or more fouls.
With four games left in the season, the Pride will try to finish out strong going into CAA tournament play. Next up is a fairly winnable game for the Pride, as they go on the road Feb. 19 to face a struggling UNCW team that currently stands at 9-15 on the season.