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Hofstra beats Northeastern in triple overtime

Hofstra Pride forward Rokas Gustys goes to the

Hofstra Pride forward Rokas Gustys goes to the hoop during the first half at the Mack Sports Complex on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2016. Credit: Lee S. Weissman

The trip back from Boston must have been a happy one, assuming Hofstra’s players and coaches didn’t succumb to exhaustion and fall asleep.

“I can promise you our practice won’t be very long or very hard tomorrow because we’re going to get home about 3 or 4 in the morning . . . 5 in the morning, and then we’re going to play the game [against William & Mary] in a day and a half,’’ Hofstra coach Joe Mihalich said after the Pride beat Northeastern on Thursday night in triple overtime, 96-92. “It’s really tough on the kids when you play these games Thursday-Saturday. It’s just really, really hard to play.’’

Rokas Gustys had 23 points and 20 rebounds, Juan’ya Green added 23 points and 14 assists and Denton Koon had 22 points and 11 rebounds for the Pride (13-6, 5-2 CAA). Ameen Tanksley added 13 points and Brian Bernardi had 10.

“Where do you begin and end with all the heroes?’’ Mihalich said. “Every body in the locker room is a hero.’’

He said of Green, “I don’t know who the best player in the league is, but I wouldn’t trade him for anybody, and I love [Northeastern’s] David Walker and I love a couple of other guys in the league.’’

The Pride led by 13 late in the first half and by 65-58 with 1:50 remaining in regulation. Koon sank three three-pointers and scored 11 points in the first OT. Bernardi’s two foul shots made it 95-92 with 7.9 seconds left in the third OT and Koon’s free throw with six seconds left sealed it.

“That was two great, great teams, knockout punch after knockout punch,’’ Mihalich said. “I thought both teams won it and lost it. We probably won it four times, lost it three, they probably won it three times but lost it four. Two great, great teams.

“It’s the kind of game, I said to those guys in the huddle here, one of those huddles, I said this is what we want. We want to play a game like this to get us ready for the big games in March when it’s for all the marbles. Great win. Road win against a really, really good team — who played well. They really played well.’’

Quincy Ford and Zach Stahl (11 rebounds) had 19 points each and Walker added 18 points and 13 assists for Northeastern (12-8, 4-3), which shot 17-for-34 from three-point range.

“We showed incredible resiliency,’’ Mihalich said. “Every player, the whole team, every possession, and that’s what it takes to win a game like this. We could have quit a hundred times. They made every shot, it seemed like.’’

Gustys recorded back-to-back 20-20 games after Saturday’s 25-point, 20-rebound outing, and Mihalich called his rebound totals “a staggering, staggering figure.’’ Hofstra outrebounded Northeastern 60-32.


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