Hofstra University #23 Mike Moore, left, looks to get past...

Hofstra University #23 Mike Moore, left, looks to get past Colgate University #2 Mitch Rolls in the first half of an NCAA men's basketball game. (Dec. 22, 2011) Credit: James Escher

After watching Mike Moore drain four three-pointers and score 17 points as Hofstra built a nine-point lead late in the first half, Colgate coach Matt Langel wisely went to a box-and-one, and the Red Raiders cut their halftime deficit to one Thursday night at the Mack Sports Complex.

It was an effective strategy in slowing Moore down, but it also served as a wake-up call for the Pride's supporting cast.

Hofstra coach Mo Cassara told his team that it had to be more than a one-man show if the Pride wanted to win. And the second half was as good a 20 minutes as Hofstra has played this season as the Pride shared the ball and the scoring burden on the way to an 82-59 victory.

Moore finished with 24 points as the Pride (5-7) put five players in double figures and shot 67.9 percent from the field (19-for-28) in the second half. Shemiye McLendon stepped up big-time to score 15 of his 17 points after halftime. Point guard Dwan McMillan had 13 points and 10 assists, Nathaniel Lester added 10 points and nine rebounds, and David Imes had 10 points and seven rebounds. It was all too much for Colgate (5-6), which got 13 points and 10 rebounds from Nick Pascale but shot only 37 percent.

"I'm really pleased with our second half,'' Cassara said. "The defensive intensity picked up; the three-quarter press wore them down, and we started sharing the ball. They went to a box-and-one on Mike, who got us off to a great start, but when we get other guys in double figures, we're a better team.''

No one was more aware of that than Moore himself. Asked if he was surprised to see the box-and-one, he said, "I expected to see it sooner. At halftime, I said we've got to get guys to stop watching. We always tell each other to get involved because everybody focuses on me.''

Hofstra began the second half with a 15-7 burst in which Moore scored only the last two points for a 50-41 lead. Then McLendon started banging in mid-range jumpers from all over the court, his confidence growing with each make as Hofstra extended its lead to a high of 25 points just before the end of the game.

Describing the change in his game between halves, McLendon said, "Coach was telling me to keep my head up, and Mike was telling me I needed to be more aggressive and score more. That's what I did . . . A game like this makes my confidence bigger.''

Hofstra had a nine-point lead midway through the second half when Cassara went to a three-quarters press, forcing Colgate turnovers near the midcourt line. The Red Raiders also got a couple of easy baskets, but the faster tempo favored Hofstra, which outscored Colgate 27-13 from that point on.

"It got the game going up and down and got us a couple of easy baskets,'' Cassara said. "They couldn't key on Mike.''

Sounds like a formula for the rest of the season.

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