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Hofstra breezes through tuneup going into CAA play

Hofstra guard Kenny Wormley shot 8-for-16 on the

Hofstra guard Kenny Wormley shot 8-for-16 on the way to 20 points in the Pride's 107-54 victory over Rosemont on Saturday, Dec. 22, 2018, at Mack Sports Complex.   Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

It was Hofstra’s final non-conference game of the season, and the Pride came out firing on all cylinders.

And they simply wouldn’t let up.

The Pride put together a dominant display Saturday afternoon and earned their seventh consecutive victory, a 107-54 home win over Division III Rosemont.

“For all of us, the ball was moving,” senior guard Justin Wright-Foreman said after getting 14 points, four rebounds and three assists in 22 minutes. “Everybody was being very unselfish with it today and we were able to empty out the bench a little bit.”

While Hofstra coach Joe Mihalich was pleased to watch his team improve to 10-3, he raised their expectations in preparation for the beginning of conference play Friday against Colonial Athletic Association opponent Delaware.

“We feel good about ourselves right now,” said Mihalich, whose team’s biggest lead was 56 points. “But we also know it’s time to kick it into another gear. It’s time now to go into another level because our conference is the best conference in the country that no one knows about .  .  . It’s a terrific league and we know we’ll have to play even better than we’re playing now to be successful.”

The Pride has the second-best record in the CAA behind 11-2 Charleston and now will see how they stack up against the rest of the conference. Hofstra is seeking its fifth NCAA Tournament appearance in program history and first since 2001.

Wright-Foreman and company asserted control early in the first half with a 20-3 run to take a 22-8 lead at the 12:04 mark. The Pride built their largest lead of the half, 40, with a 62-22 edge at the break.

Hofstra continued to cruise in the second half, with senior guard Kenny Wormley scoring nine of his 20 points. The Pride finished the game shooting 52.6 percent from the field and limiting the Ravens (3-7) to 33.3 percent.

Mihalich said he emphasized the importance of respect to his players and the need to remain focused against a lower-tier program.

“We talked about taking care of business,” he said. “But more importantly, we talked about respect on three levels: Respect the game, respect yourself and respect the opponent. And I thought our guys did that.”

“I think the main thing is that we all played hard as a team,” said graduate forward Jacquil Taylor, who scored a career-high 18 points and grabbed seven rebounds. “And they trusted me, and I was able to do what I had to do.”

Now it’s on to the bigger test of conference play.

Said Taylor: “I’m glad my teammates and coaches are helping me and this is going to help us going into conference play.”

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