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Hofstra can't sustain hot second-half start, falls to Northeastern

Hofstra acting head coach Mike Farrelly shouts instructions

Hofstra acting head coach Mike Farrelly shouts instructions from the sideline on Nov. 30, 2020. Credit: Len Skoros / HOFSTRA UNIVERSITY

It looked as if it were going to be another tale of two halves for the Hofstra men’s basketball team against Northeastern. After seeing a large halftime lead evaporate into a loss Thursday, the Pride appeared ready to reverse the outcome Saturday.

After trailing by nine points at halftime, Hofstra scored the first 17 points of the second half to take an eight-point advantage. But strong outside shooting helped host Northeastern defeat Hofstra, 67-56, in a Colonial Athletic Association game at the Cabot Center in Boston.

"We didn’t match their physicality, toughness in the first half," acting head coach Mike Farrelly said. "Little bit of a wake-up call that way."

But Farrelly emphasized toughness in the second half, which helped the Pride take a 38-30 lead before Northeastern’s first basket with 12:44 remaining.

"It was really good for a start and that’s what we need to be," Farrelly said. "The energy we played with there, we met their physicality and exceeded it. We got the defensive stops that we needed to, the energy was great. But give them credit, they made a lot of shots."

Northeastern (5-5, 4-0) made 15 of 37 three-pointers (41%), led by Tyson Walker’s 7-for-13 shooting from beyond the arc. He scored 23 points.

Tareq Coburn had 15 points and Jalen Ray added 14 for Hofstra (6-5, 2-2). The Pride shot 42% from the field to Northeastern’s 44%. Hofstra had 17 turnovers to the Huskies’ nine.

After Hofstra’s 17-0 run, the two teams mostly traded baskets until the Pride took a 47-42 lead with 9:48 left in the second half. Northeastern then went on a 16-1 run over 6 minutes, 34 seconds to open a 58-48 lead with 2:58 to go. Walker had nine points in that span, helping to cancel out Hofstra’s run to get back into the contest.

"You’re not going 100-0 against Northeastern. It’s not going to happen," Farrelly said. "It’s a game of runs. It’s how do you stem the tide when things aren’t going well and how do you keep it going when things are going well. But it’s certainly not going to be 40 minutes where everything is going right."

Hofstra and Northeastern are no strangers to meeting one another in meaningful basketball contests, as the Pride defeated Northeastern in last year’s CAA Tournament championship game. The year before, Northeastern defeated Hofstra in the final.

"They’re a really good team and you just have to continue to build and grow toward March," Farrelly said. "You don’t play for championships on Jan. 9 in basketball, you win them on March 9. Probably a very good chance we’ll see them again at some point."

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