Charles Jenkins brought his hand to his lips as the blood began to collect in his mouth.
And as he was helped to the bench, the Hofstra captain delivered a stern message through his loose teeth.
"The first thing I said to them was: 'Kill these guys; they just bust my lip,' " Jenkins said.
The Pride responded almost instantly and beat New Hampshire, 75-58, Saturday at the Mack Sports Complex.
Jenkins - who banged his mouth on the court while scrambling for a loose ball only 3:21 into the game - scored 21 points. Freshman point guard Chaz Williams had a career-high 10 assists to go with nine points and senior guard Cornelius Vines, who hit five three-pointers to fall one shy of his career high, had 16 points. Freshman forward Halil Kanacevic added eight points, eight rebounds and three blocked shots.
Hofstra coach Tom Pecora said Jenkins planned to see a dentist after the postgame interview. "It's a $500,000 smile now instead of a million," Jenkins joked. He wound up playing 35 minutes, returning to action in redshirt junior Mike Moore's No. 31 uniform after getting blood on his No. 22 jersey.
And he wasn't the only Hofstra player to get bloodied. Forward Greg Washington suffered a nosebleed before the game began, forcing Pecora to start the 6-8 Kanacevic in the 6-10 Washington's place.
"I was afraid to go to the bathroom at halftime," Pecora joked. "He just got a bloody nose as he was walking off the floor. It just wouldn't stop."
Washington had three blocks in 21 minutes as Hofstra earned its fourth straight win.
New Hampshire's only advantage was a 3-0 lead after Tyrone Conley opened the game with a three-pointer. The Pride countered with a 14-3 run to take an eight-point lead with 12:52 left in the first half.
"Before the game, I didn't talk to them at all about offense, I talked to them about defense,'' said Pecora, whose team defeated Manhattan, 44-39, on Wednesday despite shooting 34.6 percent from the field. "The other night was a perfect example of if you make defense and rebounding the focal point of what you do as a team, you can win all the time. You can keep yourself in games when you're not making shots. Tonight we did both."
The Pride (7-3) shot 26-for-55 from the field, including 10-for-15 from beyond the arc. "Just take shots, don't worry about missing,'' said Vines, who was 5-for-6 from three-point range after going 0-for-4 from the field against Manhattan. "If you're a shooter, you've got to keep shooting."
Hofstra's lead grew to 12 three times during the first half as Williams consistently found open shooters. "Being a point guard, that's all it's about: Getting the guys around you happy," said Williams, who had no turnovers in 31 minutes. "So I'm satisfied with pleasing them.''
The 5-9 Williams also frustrated UNH with his scrappy, physical pressure. "It's the size of your heart, it's not really the size of your stature,'' he said, "so I just take that to another level."
The Pride took a 43-31 halftime lead and went on a 10-2 run to start the second half. Hofstra's lead grew to as much as 24.
Alvin Abreu had 16 points and Conley 11 for the Wildcats (3-4).