Nwaukoni leads Pride past Cleveland St.
Sophomore Stephen Nwaukoni scored a career-high 12 points and had nine rebounds to lead Hofstra to a 63-53 win over Cleveland State Saturday in the TicketCity Legends Classic men's basketball tournament in Kingston, R.I.
Nwaukoni, a 6-8 forward, was part of the Pride's bench that outscored the Vikings' bench, 32-14. Four players scored in double figures as Hofstra (3-3) snapped a two-game losing streak. Cleveland State (5-1) had entered undefeated, including a win over No. 7 Vanderbilt on Nov. 13.
Dwan McMillan scored 10 of his 12 points in the second half for Hofstra, which got its first victory in the Legends Classic. They had lost to Rhode Island, 85-73, on Friday on the first day of the tournament.
The Pride trailed 42-37 before Nwaukoni and McMillan hit layups on back-to-back possessions. McMillan was fouled on his attempt and converted the three-point play to tie the score at 42 with 12:30 remaining.
Those plays were part of Hofstra's 20-4 run that earned them a 57-46 lead with 6:22 left. The Pride defense also excelled, holding the Vikings to 2-of-11 shooting during that stretch.
Cleveland State pulled within 57-50 with 3:28 to go, but McMillan hit four free throws in the final minutes to clinch it for Hofstra.
Bryant Crowder, Hofstra's 6-10 forward, scored eight points and pulled in seven rebounds. The Pride outrebounded Cleveland State, 38-19.
Stevie Mejia and Nathaniel Lester each added 10 points for Hofstra. Jeremy Montgomery led the Vikings with 12 points.
The Pride will face Boston University at noon Sunday as the Legends Classic concludes.