Things were looking easy for Hofstra. So easy that star player Justin Wright-Foreman, with the Pride up by 11 late, filled in as the mop-up guy under the basket.
Then Hofstra started to sweat.
Their lead, once 24 points earlier in the second half, shrunk to five with under a minute left. But Hofstra went 8-for-8 from the foul line to close out a 99-95 win at Charleston in a CAA contest Thursday night. Hofstra (22-4, 12-1) has won three in a row after its nation-best 16-game winning streak was snapped on Feb. 2. Charleston (20-7, 9-5), the third-place team in the conference, scored 60 second-half points after being held to just 35 in the first half.
Eli Pemberton hit two free throws with 19 seconds left to all but ice it at 99-90 before Charleston got a three-pointer with 15 seconds left and a layup at the buzzer. Desure Buie was 4-for-4 from the foul line with under a minute left, and Jacquil Taylor hit the other two free throws.
Wright-Foreman led Hofstra with 30 points and shot 10-for-19, including 5-for-9 from three-point range. He was also 5-for-5 at the foul line, as Hofstra shot 26-for-30 as a team from the stripe. Pemberton had 25 points and was 6-for-11 from the field, 3-for-5 on threes and 10-for-12 at the line. Tareq Coburn had 14 points, Taylor contributed 12 points and Buie added nine points and 10 assists.
Grant Riller erupted for 43 points for Charleston, shooting 17-for-25 overall and 4-for-8 on threes. He hit all five of his free throws as Charleston went 15-for-16 overall.