This was one the Hofstra women’s basketball program will never forget.
The ninth-seeded Pride stunned top-seeded James Madison, 57-50, in a Colonial Athletic Association Tournament quarterfinal Thursday afternoon at the Bob Carpenter Center in Newark, Delaware.
It was the first time a No. 1 seed has been knocked off in a quarterfinal game in the tournament’s 36-year history.
James Madison is 25-5 and Hofstra is 11-21. JMU went 17-1 in CAA play to Hofstra’s 3-15. The Pride came back from a 10-point halftime deficit and outscored the Dukes 14-6 in the final 2:24.
“Wow,” Hofstra coach Krista Kilburn-Steveskey said at the postgame news conference. “Many times today I said that what is past is past, let’s play in the present . . . We all know how tough this is, we all watch a lot of basketball. It’s tough as all get-out. So now we just have to focus on our next group and who we’re playing, handle that, and keep enjoying ourselves and play free. This is a fun place to be. I’m just really proud of this group.”
JaKayla Brown, who had 10 of her 17 points in the third quarter for Hofstra, echoed the sentiment.
“It feels great,” she said of moving on to the semifinals. “Just knowing that we came in as underdogs and everyone counted us out before we even stepped on the floor. We just proved to them that we can play at the right time.”
The Pride, who beat eighth-seeded Elon, 77-75, in the first round, will face fourth-seeded Towson at 1 p.m. Friday in the semifinals.
Boogie Brozoski had 14 points — including 11 from the free-throw line in the fourth quarter — and Jaylen Hines grabbed 14 rebounds for Hofstra, which hit 15 of its 18 free-throw attempts.
Trailing 26-16 at the half, Hofstra outscored JMU 21-6 in the third quarter to take a 37-32 lead. JMU went ahead 44-43 with 2:30 left, but the Pride dominated the rest of the game.
“We got a little more calculated and ran a few things because I knew we needed to score,” Kilburn-Steveskey said. “I didn’t let us get down. It was just ‘OK, on to the next.’ I thought we answered, and answered in a couple different ways . . . At the start of the fourth quarter, we had some terrible possessions. It was crazy. We had a lot of wasted possessions. But when it was time, they buckled down and they executed and hit the shot.”