Hofstra can't hold off Northeastern

Hofstra's Stevie Mejia dribbles past midcourt in the

Hofstra's Stevie Mejia dribbles past midcourt in the first half. (Jan. 7, 2013) (Credit: James Escher)

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Hofstra played the top team in the Colonial Athletic Association down to the wire Wednesday night, but in the end, the result was all too familiar.

The Pride led Northeastern by 10 points in the second half, but the Huskies came charging back to emerge with a 62-57 win at the Mack Sports Complex.

Taran Buie had a tying three-point attempt stuffed by Northeastern's Quincy Ford with three seconds remaining. Ford (15 points) then made two free throws to send the Pride to its seventh straight loss.

"They're all agonizing," Hofstra coach Mo Cassara said. "We've got to keep hanging in there. I told our guys we're a couple of plays away and a couple of great days in March away from putting all these tough losses behind us."

Stevie Mejia (11 points) sparked Hofstra (5-18, 2-9 CAA) to a 42-32 lead midway through the second half, but was sent to the bench for eight minutes after picking up his fourth foul. During that stretch, Northeastern's leading scorer Joel Smith (19 points) found his stroke to spark a comeback.

Mejia returned with 4:38 remaining and the Pride trailing by two points. However, Northeastern (15-8, 10-1) never relinquished the lead.

"If they're the best team in the league, I give our guys a lot of credit," Cassara said. "We're continuing to battle."

Buie had 10 points but was forced into a 4-for-18 shooting performance by Northeastern's zone defense. Hofstra went 11-for-22 at the free-throw line and committed 15 turnovers.

"Ultimately, we've just got to be able to execute down the stretch," Cassara said.

Stephen Nwaukoni had 11 points and 13 rebounds, doing most of his damage in the first half to help the Pride take a 24-19 lead into the break. David Imes had eight points and eight rebounds, and walk-on point guard Adam Savion contributed 24 solid minutes.

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