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Ameen Tanksley paces Hofstra

Hofstra Pride guard Ameen Tanksley shoots and sinks

Hofstra Pride guard Ameen Tanksley shoots and sinks a free throw against the Long Island Brooklyn Blackbirds in the second half of a Brooklyn Hoops Winter Festival basketball game at Barclays Center on Sunday, Dec. 28, 2014. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Ameen Tanksley scored 25 points as Hofstra beat Elon, 79-61, Saturday night in a Colonial Athletic Association men's basketball game in Elon, North Carolina.

Tanksley and Brian Bernardi (17 points) each shot 5-for-9 from three-point range. "They both have the guts of a burglar,'' Hofstra coach Joe Mihalich said. "They get open shots and can knock them down. We have a team where you can't cheat on anyone. You have to guard each of our guys on the perimeter, and that helps everyone.''

The Pride continued its strong outside shooting, sinking 14 of 32 three-pointers. Juan'ya Green had 14 points, seven rebounds and six assists and Dion Nesmith added 13 points, 10 rebounds and four assists off the bench for the Pride (13-4, 4-0). Moussa Kone added six points and six rebounds.

"It's the most unselfish team I've been around in 37 years of coaching,'' Mihalich said. "We share the ball and we shoot it well. That's a tough combination.''

Hofstra has won six straight games, its longest streak since the 2009-10 season. Said Mihalich, "We haven't talked about it much. We're focused on being in first place. We've got 14 more games , but we're in first now and it's something to play for.''

He said of being on the road so much early in the season: "We don't talk about that much either. If you sit around and talk about how tough your schedule is, then you're wasting time.''

Tony Sabato scored 12 points and Ryan Winters had 10 for Elon (10-7, 2-2).

Kone's dunk with 9:47 left in the first half gave Hofstra the lead for good at 15-13. The Pride led 39-25 at halftime. Elon pulled within 53-46 on Winters' jumper with 10:55 remaining but got no closer. The Pride answered with an 11-0 run in the next three minutes, capped by Tanksley's three-pointer.

Elon moved to the CAA this season, but the teams met once before, with Hofstra beating the Phoenix, 70-46, in 2009.

"I know we can get better, and that's what we have to do,'' Mihalich said. "Our big guys are still not in sync -- Moussa Kone and Rokas Gustys. They were out injured for a while and they're still working themselves back conditioning and game speed.''

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