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Omar Silverio's 28 points lead Hofstra past Detroit Mercy

Hofstra guard Omar Silverio (15) goes to the

Hofstra guard Omar Silverio (15) goes to the basket during the second half vs. Detroit Mercy at the Hofstra University Pride on November 27, 2021. Credit: Lee S. Weissman/Lee S. Weissman

Omar Silverio could do no wrong Saturday afternoon.

The senior guard made his first six shots coming off the bench — including a four-point play — and scored 28 points in Hofstra’s 98-84 victory over Detroit Mercy in non-conference play at the Mack Sports Complex.

Silverio shot 9-for-13, including 8-for-10 from beyond the arc. En route to tying a school record for three-pointers made, he had 22 points in the first half, hitting all six attempts from beyond the arc.

"It just felt like another game, another day in the office," Silverio said. "I trust myself and . . . the coaches put me in a good position and they always tell me to keep it simple."

Coach Speedy Claxton loves the instant offense Silverio brings off the bench.

"A really good game from Omar, and that’s what we expect of him," Claxton said. "Coming off the bench, we want him to be our sixth man and add some scoring, and he’s been doing that all year and hopefully he will continue to do that."

Silverio, who ranks fifth on the team with 11.1 points per game, is shooting 57% from three-point range in the last five games.

His first-half performance helped the Pride open a 57-33 lead. Hofstra (3-4) never trailed after scoring the game’s first seven points and opened a 40-19 lead on Jalen Ray’s basket with 6:49 remaining in the first half.

Hofstra shot 62.5 % from the field, including 52.0% from beyond the arc. The Pride shot 72.4%, including 64.3% from three-point range, in the first half.

Silverio credited the team’s success to the coaching staff allowing them to play freely.

"They let us hoop, make the smart plays," he said. "No one needs to be the hero and everybody can score on the team, basically. We sacrifice ourselves, we sacrifice for the team and basically just share the ball and everybody eats."

Zach Cooks had 20 points and five assists, Aaron Estrada added 16 points and nine assists and Ray had 15 points.

Detroit Mercy (0-5) fought back in the second half, cutting Hofstra’s lead to nine with 11:29 remaining. Silverio then sank a three-pointer to give Hofstra a 75-63 lead and spark a 9-0 run.

"That was a huge shot," Claxton said. "They were making their run and that kind of put them at bay . . . He had a great game tonight. We’re thankful."

Claxton said he felt the team "let up in the second half," but he was proud of how Hofstra responded to pull away late and win its second straight game.

"We’re getting close to playing the correct way and Hofstra basketball the whole game," he said. "That is our goal, and at some point, we’re going to get there."

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