Things are beginning to look up for the local basketball contingent. Hofstra and Stony Brook each improved to 7-3 with important non-conference victories on Saturday.

The Pride won its fourth straight, 73-58, over New Hampshire, while Stony Brook took care of Colgate, 66-55. Hofstra's win was its fourth straight, while the Seawolves recovered from a tough 93-77 loss to Fordham.

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Having both locals on the good side of .500 is important for the Island, especially in the wake of Hofstra dropping its football program. Long Island college sports fans need something to get excited about.

Yes, we know it's still early, but Stony Brook hasn't had a start this good since the 1992-1993 season. And it's never been this good since becoming a Division I program in 1999. This could be the breakthrough season Steve Pikiell has been waiting for. With a strong sophomore class and a couple of high-profile recruits on their way, Stony Brook will make a move up in the America East.

Stony Brook still has Sacred Heart, St. Peter's and Holy Cross before its America East schedule begins. All three are winnable games, but we're sure Pikiell would gladly take winning two of three.

As for Hofstra, the Pride is already 1-0 in the CAA after knocking off Towson last week. The Pride has three more non-conference games (St. John's in the semifinal of the Holiday Festival and a consolation/final matchup against Cornell and Davidson and date with Florida Atlantic) before its CAA schedule gets fully underway. Winning two of three wouldn't be terrible, but heading into its conference slate with a 10-3 record would be preferred.