By Zack Penn — STAFF WRITER
In what head coach Joe Mihalich called a “heartbreaking” loss, Hofstra men’s basketball was narrowly bested Saturday against William & Mary, losing the lead in the final seconds of a 90-87 game at Kaplan Arena.
Junior guard Justin Wright-Foreman played one of the best games of his career, scoring 36 points while adding four rebounds and four assists. The 36 points were a career-high for Wright-Foreman, but it was not enough as the Pride failed to make key stops late in the game.
“No one in the league scores like (Wright-Foreman),” Mihalich said. “Our offense wasn’t the problem with Justin leading the way… it was our defense that was the problem.”
After starting only 1-5 shooting for the game, William & Mary senior Connor Burchfield hit two clutch threes in sixteen seconds to give the Tribe an 88-87 lead with eight seconds remaining.
Hofstra guard Kenny Wormley attempted a possible game-winning layup with only one second left in the game, but William & Mary’s sophomore center Nathan Knight inhaled the layup for his game-sealing eighth block of the game.
Knight had a signature performance in this one, adding 31 points and 11 boards to those eight blocks. He and Pride center Rokas Gustys are considered two of the best centers in the Colonial Athletic Conference (CAA), but Knight clearly got the better of Gustys in their first matchup of the season, holding Gustys to 9 points and 6 rebounds.
Knight was not the only Tribe player to have a great game at the expense of Hofstra’s defense either, as point guard David Cohn put up 26 points, seven assists and three steals.
Hofstra did a good job of limiting its turnovers in this one, giving the ball away only eight times – a very low number for a team playing a frantic run-and-gun style. However, they were outrebounded and outshot by William & Mary, allowing them to shoot 53.4 percent on the game and an almost identical 53.3 percent from long range. Hofstra, meanwhile, shot 47.4 percent from the field and 27.8 percent from three.
Hofstra (7-6, 0-1) will continue to seek its first conference win on Tuesday at 4 p.m. in Boston to face Northeastern. Meanwhile William & Mary (8-4, 1-0), will play at the same time at James Madison in Harrisonburg, Virginia.