Sunday, March 6, 2011
Hofstra Advances To CAA Semifinals By Knocking off William and Mary
After watching the other three top seeds hold serve in one fashion or another, Hofstra fans like me were prepared for the last game of the CAA Quarterfinals against #11 seed William and Mary last night. The Pride faithful had to be concerned as several us had watched the Tribe played a spirited game in knocking off #6 James Madison on Friday night. Quinn McDowell, who scored 28 points in his last game against Hofstra, scored a tournament record 35 points vs. the Dukes. And also there were the two close games Hofstra played against W&M, both wins. The second win was of course the classic comeback against the Tribe that cemented Charles Jenkins legend in Hofstra basketball lore.
Finally, a little after 8:30 PM, the game started and William and Mary picked up right where they left off the night before. The Tribe jumped out to a 9-0 lead not even four minutes into the game. Early on, Hofstra looked out of sync, settling for jumpers and Charles Jenkins missed two free throws to boot. Meanwhile, W&M had worked it inside for layups by Marcus Kitts and Kendrix Brown. And of course there was a McDowell three.
But again, W&M would go on another run. The Tribe would outscore the Pride 8-2 as Brandon Britt and McDowell contributed with two threes and W&M was up 23-17 with four minutes left. But the Pride would rally with their own 8-2 run as Mike Moore's jumper tied the game at 25. Two Marcus Kitts free throws on what seemed to be a phantom foul would end the half with William and Mary up 27-25.
The second half started with the Mary maintaining a small lead, 32-29 barely three minutes into the second half. Then Hofstra started taking over with a balanced attack. Moore buried a three to tie the game at 32. Then Jenkins hit a layup to put Hofstra up for good 34-32. Jenkins, Kelleher and Moore would combine for another eleven points and the Pride lead swelled to 45-36.
After scoring a CAA Tournmament record 35 points vs. James Madison, McDowell was hounded by Hofstra all night, whether it was David Imes, Moore, Yves Jules or Jenkins guarding him. He was only 2 of 6 from the field. Also, after shooting 10 of 11 free throws Friday night, McDowell didn't have a single free throw attempt against the Pride. With their best scorer held to six points, the Tribe were done. Hofstra would win their third game against W&M this season, this time winning easily 72-56.
As the team celebrated with their fans after the game, the Pride know they have a quick turnaround later today with #2 seed Old Dominion. If Hofstra can continue the suffocating defense they had vs. the Tribe and limit the Monarchs on the offensive glass like they did vs W&M (only four offensive boards), then they have an excellent chance to move to the finals.
This time, I won't have to wait nearly two days to see this next game.