Hofstra coach Mo Cassara had predicted that Manhattan would be fired up for Wednesday night's home opener. Unfortunately for Cassara, he was proved correct.
The Jaspers jumped all over Hofstra and then held on for a 67-56 victory at Draddy Gymnasium. Fighting uphill after falling in a 15-2 hole in the opening minutes, the Pride (3-3) never led and managed only one tie.
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"I thought they came out and really jumped us early, as we really anticipated," Cassara said. "We were a step slow tonight offensively and defensively."
They had no answer for George Beamon, who had 29 points and seven rebounds in his season debut after missing the first two games with an ankle injury.
"Obviously getting Beamon back was a big shot in the arm for them," Cassara said.
Manhattan's Rhamel Brown dominated inside, with 15 points -- shooting 7-for-7 -- eight rebounds and four blocks. Michael Alvarado added 12 clutch points to put the Pride away.
Taran Buie led Hofstra with 22 points, and freshman Jimmy Hall recorded his third career double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
"I'm feeling more and more comfortable as it goes along," Buie said. "I'm just trying to find ways to be aggressive."
The game had dissolved into a free-throw parade before Manhattan (1-2) unleashed an unexpected three-point barrage.
The Jaspers had made just 3 of 22 three-pointers before Alvarado drilled three from long range. That helped turn a four-point Manhattan lead into a 58-47 cushion with 5:44 left.
"They just played harder than us," Buie said. "It seemed like they wanted it more than us tonight."
The Pride tied the score at 33 on a monster alley-oop dunk by David Imes with 16:17 remaining. The tie was short-lived, as Beamon converted a four-point play on the next possession to begin a personal 11-1 run in a 3:20 stretch.
The game turned into a foul-fest in the next four minutes, and Hofstra did a better job taking advantage, pulling to within 46-43 with 8:46 remaining.
"We're not quite tough enough physically or mentally to win on the road yet," Cassara said. "That's going to be a big challenge for this young group."