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Hofstra loses three-point shootout to Columbia

The Hofstra Pride bench is dejected in the

The Hofstra Pride bench is dejected in the sec ond half as they lose 81-77 against the Columbia Lions in the college mens basketball game at Columbia University on December 20th, 2014. Photo Credit: Andrew Theodorakis

The way Hofstra had been going, with its early-season offensive tear, it seemed as if a shootout would benefit the Pride. But it didn't Saturday night against Columbia. In the simplest terms: The Lions made more shots from long range.

In what became a long-ball barrage, Maodo Lo drained four three-pointers in the final 10 minutes -- and host Columbia hit 13 overall -- as Hofstra fell, 82-77, in a non-conference matchup.

The loss snapped a four-game win streak for Hofstra (7-3).

Northport High School alum Luke Petracek sank a driving layup to give Columbia a 53-51 lead with 10:33 left. Then Lo hit three three-pointers in a two-minute span, pushing Columbia's lead to 64-58 with 7:58 to play.

Hofstra drew within two points on Juan'ya Green's three-point play, but Kyle Castin answered for Columbia with a putback that made it 75-71 with 1:39 left.

"He made some tough shots," Pride coach Joe Mihalich said of Lo, who scored 29 points and hit 7 of 15 three-point attempts. "The one thing I would say is we let him get too comfortable."

Comfortable enough to score 23 points in the second half and spark the Lions (6-3).

Green had 19 points and Ameen Tanksley and Dion Nesmith added 18 each for Hofstra. Steve Frankoski scored 14, including four three-pointers, and Petracek had eight points and two blocks for Columbia.

Hofstra entered shooting 43.8 percent from behind the arc, one of the best percentages in the nation, igniting a light-it-up offense. The Pride went 8-for-24 from three-point range, but Columbia, not previously known for its scoring, sank 13 of 35 from deep.

The Lions garnered national attention after losing to top-ranked Kentucky, 56-46, on Dec. 10. Columbia led for 27 minutes of that game and its performance turned heads and served notice that the Lions are no pushover. By that logic, Hofstra can take some solace in how it competed against them.

"I didn't think we played well, but still, at the end, we had a chance to win," Mihalich said.

This was the teams' first meeting since the 2004-05 season. Hofstra is 11-2 against Columbia.

The Pride led 38-34 at halftime, rallying from down 20-14 and going ahead on Malik Nichols' free throw 59 seconds before intermission. Brian Bernardi (eight points) hit a three from the left corner that put the Pride up by four 10 seconds before halftime. After a back-and-forth start to the second half, Columbia took control and began to separate, thanks to its perimeter shooting.

"We made some mistakes and we weren't switching at the right times," Green said of Hofstra's second-half defense. "Those mistakes cost us."

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