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SportsCollegeCollege Basketball

Hofstra solidifies lead in CAA

Hofstra forward Greg Washington takes a jump shot

Hofstra forward Greg Washington takes a jump shot over Drexel forward Yannick Formbor during the first half. Hofstra lost at home, 65-60. (Jan. 29, 2011) Credit: Christopher Pasatieri

No one knew where Hofstra would be. After the defection of former coach Tom Pecora to Fordham and the transfer of promising freshmen Chazz Williams and Halil Kanacevic, the future wasn't too bright.

But after a 79-68 win over at Georgia State on Wednesday night, Hofstra (16-9, 10-4 CAA) can set its sights on earning a bye in the first round of the CAA tournament. The fourth-place Pride increased its lead to two games over fifth-place Drexel, a 69-54 loser to James Madison on Wednesday.

The top four seeds in the CAA get a first-round bye in the tournament.

"Any win on the road is a good win," Hofstra coach Mo Cassara said. "To have that combination of a road win and a two-game lead in fourth place is good for us."

That feeling of confidence wasn't as prevalent before the season started. Cassara had his doubts about where his squad would finish.

"I didn't think we would [be here]," the coach told Newsday. "It's a credit to these guys who've bonded together."

A key for Hofstra has been its ability to get balanced scoring when needed. Charles Jenkins had 28 points on Wednesday, but he had help. Greg Washington added 13 points and five blocked shots, Mike Moore had 12 points and Brad Kelleher had 10 points and eight assists.

That type of production will make Hofstra a dangerous opponent down the stretch.

Said Cassara: "It would be huge for us if would went down to Richmond with a bye."

New York Sports