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Hofstra finds range against Binghamton

Hofstra's #1 Nathaniel Lester drives around Manhattan's #13

Hofstra's #1 Nathaniel Lester drives around Manhattan's #13 Emmy Andujar. (Dec. 10, 2011) Credit: Joe Rogate

Offensively, things have been flowing in the right direction for Hofstra.

A 43-point performance against Wagner two weeks ago followed by a 33-percent shooting output in a 68-59 loss to Manhattan left Hofstra reeling.

Everything came together in Saturday’s 82-62 win over Binghamton. Mike Moore tied a school record with seven three-pointers and had a career-high 32 points. Hofstra shot 50 percent from the field and had a 40-28 halftime lead. It was only the second time this season the Pride had reached the 40-point plateau before halftime.

“I think sometimes, when you’re not winning and the ball’s not going in the basket, it’s easy to get down and easy to question a lot of things,” said Pride coach Mo Cassara.

So what was with the offensive explosion? Although Hofstra (4-7) was helped out by a down and out Binghamton (0-8) team, which has struggled for the last few seasons, the Pride played with more confidence in its halfcourt sets and made sure the get the ball into Moore’s hands in the right places and at the right times.

A key to the Pride offense was the play of Dwan McMillan. Forced to play extended minutes due to starting point guard Stevie Mejia’s hamstring, the Brooklyn native delivered. McMillan had 15 points and four assists. His offensive efficiency helped keep the Bearcats off balance. It opened up the floor for Moore, Nathaniel Lester (10 points) and Shemiye McLendon (8 points).

Even walk-on Matt Grogan had two wide open three-pointers.

McMillan downplayed his effectiveness.

“I don’t know. It’s been a while,” McMillan said when asked if it was the best game he had since coming to Hofsra. “I missed a lot last year. I’m just happy we got the win. We were on a four-game skid.”

McMillan wasn’t the only Pride player setting up his teammates. McLendon had five assists and no turnovers. Grogan and Lester had two assists each.

“Obviously, the ball was going in the basket for us, but the thing that I liked is when they went man-to-man in the second half I think we ran some really good offense,” said Cassara. “We made four or five passes, we ran a little flex, we ran some little sets and we got some really good looks.”

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