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Down 13 in 2nd half, Ameen Tanksley, Juan’ya Green rally Hofstra

Hofstra guard Juan'ya Green, above, and teammate Ameen

Hofstra guard Juan'ya Green, above, and teammate Ameen Tanksley each scored 15 points, and each scored five during a critical 10-0 run that got Hofstra back into the game on the way to a 70-64 victory Saturday at Drexel in Philadelphia, Green's hometown. Photo Credit: Lee S. Weissman

Hofstra came back from a 13-point second-half deficit to defeat Drexel, 70-64, on Saturday in Philadelphia.

Drexel tied the score at 64 on a three-pointer by Tavon Allen (career-high 33 points) with 1:21 left, but Hofstra’s Juan’ya Green hit two free throws with 1:07 to play and Ameen Tanksley stole the ball and sank two free throws with 36 seconds remaining.

The Pride then weathered a possession on which the Dragons got three offensive rebounds but missed a jumper, a three- point attempt and two tip-ins. Rokas Gustys got the clutch rebound and hit two free throws to make it 70-64.

Hofstra shot 11-for-12 on free throws in the final 2:51, including 6-for-6 in the final 1:07. The Pride was outrebounded 44-35 but had a big edge at the foul line, going 26-for-31 to the Dragons’ 8-for-12.

Hofstra (16-6, 8-2) remained tied with UNCW atop the Colonial Athletic Association standings. The teams will square off in Hempstead on Thursday night.

The Pride fell behind Drexel 47-34 with 14:10 left in the game, but Tanksley and Green each had five points in a 10-0 run that got Hofstra back in the game.

Tanksley and Green (seven rebounds, five assists) each finished with 15 points, and when Green was asked by a reporter about playing his last game in Philadelphia before family and friends, Hofstra coach Joe Mihalich interjected, “His last college game.”

Gustys had 11 points and 12 rebounds for his eighth double-double in a row and Denton Koon had 11 points and seven rebounds. “Rock was in every place. They were physical with him,” Mihalich said. “He was able to keep his composure, play with four fouls at the end, got another double-double . . . This is a guy who tries to get 20 rebounds.”

And, lately, usually succeeds.

Mihalich said his club expected the game to be physical, adding: “When you play against Drexel, we tell our guys, bring your helmets.”

Allen shot 6-for-14 from three-point range for Drexel (3-18, 1-9). His previous career high was 25 points Dec. 5 at La Salle. Green said Mihalich warned that Allen “can take any shot on the court, so be ready.”

The 10-0 run led by Green and Tanksley brought Hofstra within 47-44 with 10:27 left. After a three-pointer by Drexel’s Sammy Mojica, Hofstra’s Brian Bernardi answered with a three-pointer to trigger a 7-0 run, and Tanksley’s fast-break layup gave Hofstra a 51-50 lead with 7:41 left.


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