Hofstra University senior / guard #22 Charles Jenkins slaps hands...

Hofstra University senior / guard #22 Charles Jenkins slaps hands with fans after his team's 79-60 win over Delaware in a NCAA men's basketball game at Mack Sports Complex, located on campus. (Feb. 26, 2011) Credit: James Escher

He won't be collecting social security checks anytime soon, and you probably should count out a move to Florida or some extra time on the golf course. But although he turns 22 Monday, Charles Jenkins joined a retirement community Saturday.

Jenkins had his No. 22 retired by Hofstra before Saturday's game, then powered his way to 21 points in a 79-60 victory over Delaware before a sellout crowd of 5,050 on Senior Day at the Mack Sports Complex.

"Once the game started, everything just went out,'' Jenkins said of the pregame festivities. "I had a guy in front of me that wanted to take my head off, so I couldn't really look. I didn't have time to stare at the rafters to see my jersey. One of the things we talked about was, all the ceremonies were good, but we had to finish the season with 20 wins and get some momentum going into the tournament.''

Fellow seniors Greg Washington (12 points, eight rebounds, four blocked shots) and Brad Kelleher (12 points, five rebounds, five assists) did their part as Hofstra (20-10, 14-4 Colonial Athletic Association) reached the 20-win plateau for the fifth time in seven years. Mike Moore and Shemiye McLendon added 11 points each.

Jawan Carter scored 21 points and Devon Saddler had 17 points and eight rebounds for Delaware (13-16, 8-10).

Hofstra finished in a tie for second place with Old Dominion - the Pride's best CAA finish since joining the conference in 2001-02 - and will be seeded third in the CAA Tournament this weekend in Richmond, Va. The Pride will have a first-round bye and play the James Madison-William & Mary winner at 8:30 p.m. Saturday in a quarterfinal.

Jenkins, who entered the game fifth in the nation in scoring at 23.3 points per game, now has 2,463 career points, 187 more than the previous school record and the highest total of any active player. He's only 37 points from 2,500, a plateau only 60 players have reached.

He's the 25th Hofstra athlete and fifth men's basketball player to have his jersey retired but is the first to be given the honor while still active.

"I don't think it's a surprise if you know Charles,'' coach Mo Cassara said. "Charles doesn't just represent this basketball program. Charles represents this university. As good as a player as he is on the court, he's even a better person off the court . . . He's more than just a basketball player. That's why his number deserves to be in the rafters now.''

Cassara acknowledged, however, that he's glad the pomp and circumstance are over.

"It's been a hard week that way, because it's been a challenge for us to get the team ready to play,'' he said. "There's so much emotion, so much excitement, such a great crowd and so much buzz on campus. At the end of the day, we still have to find a way to win a basketball game.''

In the early going, that seemed a bit of a challenge. Jenkins made the first basket of the game, hitting a three-pointer just 24 seconds in, but Delaware went ahead 17-13. Then David Imes and Yves Jules scored on back-to-back dunks to ignite a 16-4 run that gave Hofstra the lead for good.

Jenkins was subbed out of the game with 58.6 seconds remaining to thunderous applause and chants of his name. With that, the only man who ever will wear No. 22 for the Pride in the future took his place on the bench.

And in Hofstra history.

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