Hofstra loses to Florida Atlantic

Hofstra guard Stevie Mejia drives past Wagner guard

Hofstra guard Stevie Mejia drives past Wagner guard Langston Burnett. (Dec. 4, 2012) Photo Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

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Senior guard Stevie Mejia had a solid all-around game for Hofstra, but Florida Atlantic used a late run to earn a 61-57 victory over the Pride yesterday afternoon at FAU Arena in Boca Raton.

The loss was Hofstra's eighth in a row and dropped the Pride to 3-10 overall. It concludes the non-conference portion of the Pride's schedule. They host Georgia State in their Colonial Athletic Association opener on Monday night. Florida Atlantic is 7-8.

Hofstra was playing its first New Year's Day game since facing Maine on Jan. 1 in 1995.

Mejia's 13 points, seven rebounds, three assists and three steals led the team and he also played a team-high 35 minutes. Sophomore guard Taran Buie tied Mejia for team-high honors with 13 points and had six rebounds.

Hofstra used an 11-0 run to take a 32-22 advantage late in the first half. Hofstra took a 36-29 lead at halftime behind a 55.6-percent (15 of 27) shooting performance.

Mejia had nine points, three rebounds and two assists in the first 20 minutes.

But Greg Gantt posted his fifth straight 20-point game and hit a late three-pointer to help Florida Atlantic. Gantt, who became FAU's all-time leading scorer in the Owls' Dec. 27 win against Troy, finished with 24 points and Stefan Moody hit four three-pointers and scored 16 points.

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A three-pointer from Moody gave Florida Atlantic a 40-38 lead before Hofstra used a 13-2 run to earn a 51-42 lead. Florida Atlantic chipped away and used a 15-4 run to take a 57-55 lead on a three-pointer from Gantt with 4:31 left.

After both teams went scoreless for the next three-plus minutes, Mejia tied the score at 57 with 1:09 remaining when he hit a jumper.

Jordan McCoy made a pair of free throws with 36 seconds left to put the Owls ahead to stay.

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