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Eli Pemberton, Justin Wright-Foreman click but Hofstra falls short

Hofstra guard Eli Pemberton (5) brings the ball

Hofstra guard Eli Pemberton (5) brings the ball up during the first half of a game against Siena on Thursday, Dec. 22, 2016 at Mack Sports Complex. Credit: Lee S. Weissman

CHARLESTON, S.C. — Joe Chealey knocked down five three-pointers and put up a career-high 31 points as College of Charleston beat Hofstra, 77-71, on Saturday to remain unbeaten in Colonial Athletic Association play.

Eli Pemberton and Justin Wright-Foreman scored 21 and 20 points, respectively, to lead Hofstra (9-8, 1-3). Pemberton also had five assists and drew special praise from Pride coach Joe Mihalich.

“You just can’t say enough about Elijah Pemberton,” Mihalich said. “Elijah Pemberton was a man today.”

Chealey scored 17 of his points in the first half and reached the 30-point mark for the second time in his career.

Grant Riller scored 17 points for the Cougars (13-4, 4-0), including two critical baskets with 5:08 to go and 4:21 left to fend off one of several Hofstra rallies and get Charleston back to a seven-point lead at 70-63. Riller also hit two free throws with 55 seconds left to restore a six-point lead.

Chealey was 9-for-16 from the field, including 5-for-8 from behind the three-point arc, and converted 8-for-10 from the line to ignite a Charleston offense that shot 51.9 percent overall (27-for-52) and 9-for-15 from three.

Mihalich said he was disappointed but nevertheless encouraged by the Pride’s performance following a lackluster 62-54 loss to James Madison on Thursday at Hofstra.

“We were fearless [today]. We were competitive. Tough circumstances,” Mihalich noted, referring to point guard Deron Williams playing only 11 minutes Saturday.

The Pride shot 27-for-55 from the field (49.1 percent), including 8-for-21 from distance and held a 33-29 advantage on the glass.


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