Things looked good for Hofstra at the Puerto RIco Shootout against Western Kentucky on Friday, at least for part of the second half anyway. The Pride (1-2) held a 14-point lead with 5:18 left in the second half and a six-point advantage with 1:10 left.
But six turnovers and five missed free throws and five turnovers over the last five minutes doomed the Pride in a 62-60 loss to the Hilltoppers.
The Pride got another solid performance from senior guard Charles Jenkins, who finished with 27 points on 10-for-15 shooting. Mike Moore added 15 points, but shot just 6-for-18.
"We're going to have to learn how to win tight games like that," Hofstra coach Mo Cassara said.
It goes a little deeper than that for Hofstra. Cassara needs to find another scorer. In Thursday's loss to No.8 North Carolina Jenkins and Moore were the only players to reach double figures in scoring. Shemiye had 10 points against Western Kentucky, but that was it for the Pride, which shot just 22-for-55 from the field.
Granted, the Pride won't face any opponents the caliber of the Tar Heels. Western Kentucky is also considered an above-average mid-major program. That notwithstanding, if the Pride wants to make noise in the CAA, finding another dependable scorer is a must.
McLendon scoring 10 points was a positive sign. He had 16 points against Farmingdale State. It's tough to count that performance, though, since the Rams are a Division III. No matter how you slice, Cassara needs one more weapon.