By Kevin Sweeney
Hofstra came back from a 16 point halftime deficit and withstood 3 UNCW chances on the final possession to earn an important win over UNC-Wilmington 70-69 on Thursday night. The win draws the Pride even with UNCW in a tie for 1st place in the CAA.
In a game that could have clinched the CAA title for the Seahawks, UNCW came out strong in the first half, using a 9-1 run to stretch their lead to 11 early in the first half. The first half got out of control for the Pride, as they shot a very poor 8-26 from the field in the first half. Soon, the Pride had dug themselves into a hole that would be difficult to get out of, as they trailed 41-25 on the road at halftime.
From the start, it was a different game in the second half. The Pride started the half strong, quickly cutting the lead to 10 in the opening 4 minutes of the half. It was senior guard Juan’ya Green who led the charge for the Pride in the second half. After scoring just 3 points in the first half, Green scored 15 in the second half. He was huge in the final moments, knocking down a huge triple with under a minute to go to cut the deficit to one and then made 2 foul shots on their ensuing offensive possession to give the Pride their first lead since score was 9-7 with 14:52 to go in the first half.
For Hofstra, Ameen Tanksley scored 18 points and grabbed 8 rebounds. Sophomore center Rokas Gustys had another dominant performance on the inside, adding 12 points and pulling down 21 rebounds. The Pride moved to 21-8 for the season and 13-4 in conference play.
The Seahawks were led by sophomore guard Jordon Talley, who scored 16 points of the bench. Junior center C.J. Gettys had 10 points and 9 boards, but fouled out. UNCW fell to 21-7 and 13-4 in the league.
The Pride return to action on Saturday at home vs Charleston. UNCW will conclude the regular season with a home affair with Towson on Saturday.