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Hofstra not satisfied despite 18-point win

Hofstra forward Rokas Gustys  shoots a foul shot against

Hofstra forward Rokas Gustys  shoots a foul shot against Kennesaw State on Monday, Nov. 13, 2017. Credit: Lee S. Weissman

Rokas Gustys decried his turnovers and coach Joe Mihalich characterized Hofstra’s effort Monday night as sloppy.

“I don’t think we were really sharp,” he said. “Our attention to detail isn’t what it needs to be.”

We probably should mention here that the Pride won. By a lot.

And Gustys? The forward-center merely registered the 35th double-double of his career and moved up to 10th all-time in rebounding in the Colonial Athletic Association.

“That was our battle cry [in the locker room afterward]: We won by 20, basically, and we’re not happy, we’re not satisfied, and that’s a good thing,” Mihalich said after the Pride trounced Kennesaw State, 75-57, at Mack Sports Complex.

“I think if anybody in the locker room feels really good about themselves, that they don’t have the right frame of mind. And yet we won by 18 points. We held a team to 57. There’s a lot of good.”

It’s true that the Pride was, at times, unorganized. Hofstra turned the ball over 15 times — which the Owls converted into 16 points — and gave up 23 offensive rebounds. But it’s also true that Hofstra showed exactly why so many people are high on the team this season.

Justin Wright-Foreman led all scorers with 16 points. It was the 14th straight game in which he has led the team in scoring, the longest such streak in the Pride’s D-I history.

Gustys, a senior who has a good chance to capture Hof stra’s all-time rebounding record in Division I this season, had 14 points and 13 rebounds. He has 958 career rebounds, 228 behind John Irving, Hofstra’s D-I record-holder.

The win came at a handy time for the Pride, which faces a grueling road trip that includes games against Dayton and either Ohio or Clemson at the Gildan Charleston Classic.

“The goal going into Charleston was to be 2-0, and we are,” Mihalich said. “We feel real good about that. There’s probably a little of that second-game hangover. I don’t think we were real sharp. I don’t think we played our best basketball . . . But it’s a positive problem when you feel like you didn’t play well and you took care of business.”

Hofstra never trailed, but that wasn’t quite good enough for Gustys. “Looking at these last few games, turnovers and stuff like that, I really hate getting any turnovers,” he said. “It’s driving me crazy that I got four turnovers. I have to work more on that . . . Don’t rush and just take my time and eliminate the turnovers, because that really bothers me a lot.”

That doesn’t quite sound like a man who had just led his team to a win by nearly 20 points, but it does sound like a man gunning for many, many more.

New York Sports