Hofstra guard Jalen Ray advances the ball during the second half of...

Hofstra guard Jalen Ray advances the ball during the second half of a game on Feb. 27, 2020. Credit: Lee S. Weissman/Lee S. Weissman

The first phone call made by Hofstra’s talented guard Jalen Ray — after he surpassed 1,000 career points and led the Pride to a thrilling 76-71 win at Richmond on Tuesday — was to his mom, Michelle.

"Well, she has to come pick me up," said Ray with a chuckle.

Ray grew up in nearby Hampton, Virginia about 77 miles southeast of the Robins Center where he scored 23 points with five assists in 38 minutes.

"I always like playing where I’m from," said Ray, who has 1,022 career points. "It means a lot coming here and doing this."

What Ray did was push Hofstra (4-3) to an impressive road win against a Richmond team that sits just outside the national top 25 poll (but was ranked No. 23 in the most recent national coaches poll).

"Tremendous win today," acting head coach Mike Farrelly said. "For us to be good and for us to win games we have to play the full 40 minutes."

Hofstra, which fell behind by 23 points early in the first half of a road loss at St. Bonaventure on Saturday, came out stronger and more complete against a talented Spiders team picked to win the Atlantic 10 Conference in the preseason poll.

Richmond (6-2) used a 14-0 run to take a 55-46 lead with 10:28 left in the game. Then Hofstra caught fire. The Pride would make eight straight field goals — including five three-pointers (three by Ray) — and went ahead 67-64 on a layup by Isaac Kante with 3:07 remaining.

Hofstra ended the game by making 10 of its last 11 shots from the field (and five of its last seven free throws in the final 53 seconds) to snap the Spiders’ seven-game, home win streak dating back to last season.

"I told everyone to keep shooting," Ray said, "and be confident it’s going in."

As much as it was Ray’s day, the Pride certainly received a balanced team effort. Tareq Coburn added 15 points in 37 minutes, including 3-for-6 from beyond the arc.

Kante had his second straight double-double (16 points, 11 rebounds). Kvonn Cramer came off the bench for 12 points (on 6 of 6 shooting) with five rebounds. Grant Golden and Tyler Burton each had 15 points for Richmond, which beat then-No. 10 Kentucky, 76-64, on Nov. 29.

Ray was reflective before heading home for Christmas for the first time since his freshman season.

"I’m glad [Hofstra] took a shot at a kid from a little city like Hampton," Ray said. "It feels amazing to get my 1,000th point here."


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