Hofstra, known for its offensive firepower, couldn’t buy a basket in the first half on Thursday night — and got routed as a result.
The Pride, who came in averaging a Colonial Athletic Association-best 77.4 points per game, shot just 21.4% in the opening 20 minutes and saw its five-game winning streak come to an end in an 88-61 blowout loss to William & Mary at the David S. Mack Sports and Exhibition Complex.
“We should be embarrassed,” Hofstra coach Joe Mihalich said. “We failed like crazy, and we’ll see how our guys respond.”
Mihalich said his team played the way it practiced the previous day — poorly. “The loss began yesterday with the way we came to practice,” he said. “I can’t explain it. We didn’t come to work. We weren’t focused mentally. Hopefully we learn from that.”
Hofstra (11-5, 2-1 CAA) shot just 34.3 percent overall and trailed by as many as 34 points. William & Mary (10-5, 2-0 CAA) connected on a staggering 62.5% of its shots en route to a wire-to-wire victory.
It was a humbling defeat for a team with aspirations of going dancing come March.
Hofstra senior guard Desure Buie, who scored a career-high 35 points in Monday’s victory over Towson, missed his first eight shots and finished 1-for-9 in the first half. Overall, Buie scored 10 points and shot 3-for-14 in 32 minutes. He looked to be a bit shaken up after running into a hard screen midway through the second half but ultimately returned.
Hofstra senior guard Eli Pemberton had 15 points and shot 5-for-14.
William & Mary scored the game’s first seven points before Hofstra got within 9-7 at the 16-minute mark. But the Pride followed by going nearly eight minutes without a basket, and the Tribe went on a 21-3 run to take a 30-10 lead.
It was merely bookkeeping from there.
“I’m not sure we really attacked,” Mihalich said. “A lot of it was [a lack of] energy and effort. In no area were we good.”
William & Mary led by as many as 24 in the first half. The Pride shot 6-for-28 from the field in that 20-minute span, including 1-for-12 from three-point range.
Tribe senior big man Nathan Knight, a potential NBA draft prospect who came in averaging 20.3 points and 9.6 rebounds, shot 7-for-7 and finished with 15 points and 12 boards. Knight scored a career-high 39 points against Hofstra last season. He leads the nation with 11 double-doubles.
Scouts from the Nets, Hornets, Pacers and Jazz were in attendance to see Knight. One NBA scout said he doesn’t think Knight will get selected in the 2020 draft.
Wisconsin transfer Andy Van Vliet added 18 points and six rebounds and shot 4-for-6 on threes for William & Mary.