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Hofstra women's hoops moving forward

Hofstra senior Shante Evans shoots a free throw

Hofstra senior Shante Evans shoots a free throw in the second half. (Jan. 20, 2013) (Credit: James Escher)

Hofstra coach Krista Kilburn-Steveskey admitted her program’s non-conference schedule “was a challenge”, but it may turn out to benefit the team in the end.

The Pride’s resurgence after a 1-7 start was on display during an 83-72 win over conference heavyweight Old Dominion on Sunday. Kilburn-Steveskey was impressed with her team’s resiliency. “I was very proud of my team, especially after we let one slip past us vs. Drexel,” said the coach.

So where did the season turn for the Pride (8-8)? Kilburn-Steveskey points to Hofstra’s   win over Mississippi, the start of a six-game winning streak, as the turning point.

Aside from Shante Evans, who had 30 points and 10 rebounds against Old Dominion, another big key to the Pride’s comeback has been the play of sophomore guard Andreana Thomas, who had 12 points and 13 assists in the game.

Thomas had 15 turnovers in Hofstra’s loss to Auburn, the game just prior to Mississippi. Since that game, Thomas has had 10 or more assists in three of her last eight games. She’s averaging 9.5 points and 6 assists per game this season.

She had 10 assists and just one turnover against Mississippi. “We weren’t sure how quickly she was going to get [going after Auburn],” said Kilburn-Steveskey. “You have to give her credit.”

Replacing four-year starter Candice Bellocchio wasn’t easy. But Thomas is beginning to turn the corner. “I can’t be proud enough of her turning the point,” said the coach. “She won’t shoot you out of the game. She’s very quick and very explosive in the open court.”

One concern for Kilburn-Stevesky is her team’s consistency. Winning seven of eight games against the likes of Old Dominion, Northwestern and Mississippi can take its tool.

Said Kilburn-Steveskey: “We just really need to continue to play our brand of basketball and not freeze up.” 

Hofstra will look to continue its winning ways on Wednesday at James Madison.
 

Tags: hofstra , women's basketball , shante evans , Andreana Thomas

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