North Carolina A&T played at Maryland on Monday. Hofstra plays at Maryland on Friday. In between, North Carolina A&T and Hofstra played each other for the very first time.
The Pride warmed up nicely on Wednesday night at Mack Sports Complex for their trip to the Big Ten forest. Justin Wright-Foreman scored 22 points and handed out seven assists and Eli Pemberton added 19 points in Hofstra’s 92-72 win over the Aggies.
“Dangerous team, plays hard, scrappy,” coach Joe Mihalich said. “I thought we took it to them early. Great win.”
His team will have to elevate in more ways than one in the next game. Maryland starts a pair of effective 6-10 forwards in Bruno Fernando and Jalen Smith and also has a pair of 6-9 players and two 6-8 players on the roster. The Terps are 3-0, including their 82-59 win over North Carolina A&T.
The Pride, which starts 6-10 Jacquil Taylor and 6-8 Stafford Truehart at forward along with three guards, are off to a 2-1 start.
“They’re a good team,” Wright-Foreman said of Maryland. “I’m just excited for Friday as [my teammates] are.”
Wright-Foreman began the game against the Aggies as the 12th-leading scoring in Hofstra history and ended it at No. 10. The 6-2 senior shooting guard has 1,455 points.
“We’ve had a lot of great players play here,” Wright-Foreman said. “I’m extremely honored to be on that list.”
Wright-Foreman finished 8-for-8 from the line.
“My mom told me I take too many jump shots,” said Wright-Foreman, who shot 6-for-9 from the field. " . . . So my goal today was just to try to get to the basket.”
Amari Hamilton paced North Carolina A&T (0-4) with 12 points. Terry Harris, the graduate forward from Dix Hills and brother of Los Angeles Clippers forward Tobias Harris, scored 10.
The Aggies were leading 24-20 when the Pride suddenly took off, going on a 22-2 run.
That included a burst of 17 consecutive points, all courtesy of Wright-Foreman and Trueheart. Wright-Foreman scored nine of them, including a four-point play and a three=pointer. Trueheart’s eight points also included two threes.
“He just keeps getting better all the time,” Mihalich said of Trueheart, who finished with 14 points.
When Trueheart flew in for a dunk, the 22-2 run was done, and the Pride led 42-26. N.C. A&T got it down to 10 before heading into the locker room down 47-35.
The lead shrunk to 10 again early in the second half, but Hofstra countered with an 8-0 run.
The Aggies got it down to 12 twice, but Jalen Ray countered with a three-pointers both times. The Pride went up by as many as 23.
“We just knew we had to get stops,” Trueheart said. “Offense is never really a problem for us.”