Eli Pemberton shook his head after he was whistled for a foul. Rokas Gustys slapped his hands together after missing a pair of free throws. Jamall Robinson went for a steal and ended up chasing his man. This is what it looked like as Hofstra let a win slip away on Tuesday night.
Following a miserable first half, the Pride played 15 gutty minutes and held a four-point lead on St. Bonaventure with less than five minutes to play. They had the Bonnies right where they wanted them — until they didn’t. St. Bonaventure made all the plays down the stretch to close the game with a 13-3 run for an 81-75 non-conference win before 2,112 at the Mack Sports Complex.
The Pride (6-4) had its win streak snapped at four and now looks ahead to a matchup with No. 6 Kentucky Sunday at Barclays Center.
The Bonnies (6-2) have one of the top mid-major backcourts in the country in Jaylen Adams and Matt Mobley — the reason there were a handful of NBA scouts present — and those two led them through the stretch run. Allen had six points and Mobley five in the final run.
Hofstra? In its last 10 possessions, it was 1-for-11 shooting with two turnovers and two missed free throws.
“Down the stretch you look to make big plays and we didn’t and they did. It’s hard mentally,” Pride senior Deron Powers said. “Those two players made all the big shots and that was the difference.”
St. Bonaventure led 48-36 at the half after outrebounding Hofstra 29-13 and scoring 12 points on the offensive glass. Gustys was the catalyst in bringing the Pride back and finished with 20 points and nine rebounds.
Pemberton scored 15, Ty Greer and Brian Bernardi 11 each and Powers 10 with six assists.
Adams had 31 points, eight rebounds and five assists and Mobley added 23 points and 12 rebounds for St. Bonaventure, which has won five straight.
The Bonnies closed the first half with a 15-4 run that included six points on offensive rebounds. Hofstra looked tired and beaten as it went to the locker room. But it was inspired after the break.
“It was a bad stretch and I didn’t like our combination out there — I probably had a guy or two in who shouldn’t have been,” Pride coach Joe Mihalich said. “Our guys realized they are a lot better than that and reached down inside and played harder.”
The Pride put together a 14-3 run with seven points from Greer and six from Gustys to tie it at 54 when Pemberton made one of two free throws with 14:14 left. It took its first lead of the second half on a Robinson three-pointer about three minutes later and was up 72-68 when Greer tipped in a Bernardi miss.
It was Hofstra’s last good moment of the night.