Senior Desure Buie scored a career-high 29 points and junior Jalen Ray added a career-high 27 as Hofstra defeated UCLA, 88-78, on Thursday night at Pauley Pavilion.
''Just couldn't be more proud of our guys . . . These two guys just weren't going to let us lose,'' Hofstra coach Joe Mihalich said.
He added, ''These guys got the courage and the guts and the confidence of the greatest shooters ever. Jalen never thinks about missing and Desure never thinks about missing. And when we get to the foul line, these guys don't miss.''
Eli Pemberton had 15 points and Tareq Coburn added 10 for the Pride (3-2), who shot 12-for-24 from three-point range and went 24-for-30 from the free-throw line. "We knew if we could get it to the foul line, we were going to be OK,'' Mihalich said.
Buie added seven assists and three steals and hit all 13 of his free throws. Ray was 6-for-7 from the line in what he called ''a legendary building.''
''I mean, it's almost hard to put into words because it's going to get better with time, too,'' Mihalich said. "The feeling you have right now . . . To beat a team like UCLA at Pauley Pavilion . . . If you love basketball, you know what a great program this is. We respect it so much, and for us to win this game . . . it's got to be one of the best wins in the history of Hofstra basketball.''
Jalen Hill had 24 points and 12 rebounds for UCLA (4-1), which led by 13 in the first half and still led 59-51 with just under 14 minutes left.
“We got exposed,” UCLA coach Mick Cronin said. “We have young, inexperienced players. We got beat off the dribble seemingly every possession.”
The Bruins made 12 of their first 17 shots from the field but shot 4-for-15 the rest of the first half. They wound up shooting 6-for-22 from three-point range, including 1-for-10 in the second half.
Hill said he could feel the tide turning in the second half and was unable to stop it. “From last year, I saw it a lot and knew what was happening. It was tough seeing it unfold. We had a lot of unforced turnovers tonight,” he said.
One thing that had Cronin fuming was only nine deflections on defense. He said that was a career low for him as a coach. “We don’t have enough fortitude and they tested it tonight because they had only seven turnovers,'' he said. "As a coaching staff, we were concerned about a lot of things and we were exposed.”
Said Mihalich, ''We're almost numb with excitement.''