By Felipe Fontes — STAFF WRITER
Three days after winning a game off of a SportsCenter Top 10 buzzer-beating shot, the Hofstra Pride men’s basketball team grinded out a win in another thriller over Rider University on Saturday night.
In a game that had 20 lead changes and 11 tied scores, the Pride ended up with the final nod, winning 88-82 as the final buzzer sounded.
Despite the back-and-forth action, one thing was pretty consistent, and that was the offensive performance of guards, Justin Wright-Foreman, and Eli Pemberton, who combined for 58 points on the night.
Wright-Foreman finished with a season high 30 points, while Pemberton knocked down a career-best 28.
“I thought Rider did a great job of taking away all the interior stuff. You have to take what the defense gives you and what they gave us was some perimeter opportunities and these guys took advantage of it,” said Hofstra head coach Joe Mihalich after the game.
To supplement their scoring, the pair of guards racked up nine assists between them.
Adding 17 points of his own was freshman Jalen Ray, who was coming fresh off the buzzer beater against Monmouth University a couple days before.
Ray connected on four of his six threes while adding five points from the charity stripe.
“He doesn’t play like a freshman. He’s playing like a veteran. This guy just lets the game come to him,” Mihalich said.
Although the Broncs substantial amount of pressure down low kept Rokas Gustys from putting up a single shot, the power forward still made his presence felt down low.
Gustys grabbed a game-high 10 boards alongside fellow big man, Joel Angus III who also pulled in 10. The 10-rebound performance moved Gustys to seventh all time in the CAA category.
For Rider, it was guard Stevie Jordan that led the way, with 19 points and five assists. Jordan also was extremely active on the defensive end of the court, compiling six steals to play a part in one of Hofstra’s only negatives takeaways from the game, which was the team’s 22 turnovers.
Although a solid effort by both teams to stay within close reach of each other, Hofstra’s late game free throw shooting iced the game, going 4-4 from the free throw line in the last 45 seconds of action.
The road win was a big one for Hofstra to set the tone for a tough road schedule in the coming weeks.
“It’s hard to win on the road. Tough teams win on the road. And these guys are starting to become a tough, tough team. When you can win on the road its something to be proud of,” Mihalich said.
Now sporting a three-game win streak, the Hofstra men’s basketball team will look to keep the good fortune on the road alive when it travels to Stony Brook University for the Long Island matchup.
Tip off will be at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 12.