Hofstra guard Mike Moore shoots a foul shot against Siena...

Hofstra guard Mike Moore shoots a foul shot against Siena in the bracket buster men's basketball game. (Feb, 18, 2012) Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Hofstra's struggles during the regular season carried over into the Colonial Athletic Association Tournament in a big way Friday night. The 11th-seeded Pride couldn't overcome a poor shooting performance and lost to sixth-seeded Georgia State, 85-50, in a first-round game at the Richmond Coliseum in Richmond, Va.

Mike Moore had 16 points, Stevie Mejia 14 and Nathaniel Lester 11 for Hofstra, which shot 34 percent from the field and finished at 10-22.

Lester, who sat out last season with a medical redshirt, finished his Hofstra career with 1,139 career points for the 23rd-best mark in program history, surpassing Wandy Williams. Moore ended with 1,128 career points for the 24th-best spot. With his third rebound, Moore finished with 501 career boards (including his first two seasons with Fordham).

Junior guard Mejia had nine points in the second half and scored in double figures for the fourth time in the last five games.

The Pride fell to 9-11 in CAA Tournament games and failed to advance to the quarterfinals for only the second time since joining the league in 2001-02 (the 2007-08 squad lost to Towson in the opening round).

Eric Buckner (21 points, 11 rebounds, 7-for-7 shooting), James Fields (14 points) and Devonta White (13 points) led Georgia State (21-10), which shot 59 percent and will face third-seeded George Mason Saturday night in the quarterfinals.

"He's a great player and he stays within himself,'' Hofstra coach Mo Cassara said of Buckner. "They have size, they have good seniors and leadership. This one is hard to take. We had good energy but it wasn't our night.''

Hofstra trailed 45-24 at halftime. The Pride got as close as 47-30 on a free throw by Stephen Nwaukoni with 18:16 left, but the Panthers built a 73-40 lead with 6:51 to go.

"I thought we did a job coming out of the gate, but we had turnovers and lost the momentum,'' Cassara said. "It's a learning experience for the players and staff and we just have to build on it going forward.''

It was a tough season for Hofstra, which endured three separate losing streaks of at least four games. The Pride appeared to pick up a little steam late in the season, winning two of its final three games, including a 93-64 drubbing of UNC Wilmington last Saturday.

But Georgia State, which won the only regular-season meeting between the teams on Feb. 4, 59-43, outrebounded the Pride 34-18 and had all the answers Friday night.


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