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Stevie Mejia, Shaquille Stokes lead Hofstra to 103-100 win in 2 OTs

Hofstra's Steve Mejia, left, dribbles past Marshall's Chris

Hofstra's Steve Mejia, left, dribbles past Marshall's Chris Martin during their NCAA men's basketball game at the Mack Sports Complex in Hempstead. (Nov. 18, 2012) Photo Credit: Barry Sloan

Although he's only 23, Hofstra senior point guard Stevie Mejia was feeling old Sunday. Three games in three days takes its toll, even on young legs.

Mejia and the Pride finished the weekend in particularly grueling -- and satisfying -- fashion, outlasting Marshall, 103-100, in a double-overtime thriller at the Mack Sports Complex.

Mejia had 22 points in 34 minutes, although he fouled out with 3:25 remaining in the first extra session.

"I'm 23. I'm finished," Mejia said, laughing.

Shaquille Stokes reported no such fatigue after scoring a team-high 26 points in 46 minutes.

"I'm all right. I'm 20," said Stokes, who backed up his words by scoring 10 of the Pride's 14 points in the second overtime.

After Stokes scored the first six points of the second OT, the Pride led 95-89, but Marshall cut the gap to 96-94 with 39 seconds remaining.

Freshman Kentrell Washington, who took over at the point for Mejia, made three of four free throws down the stretch to put Hofstra ahead 99-97 with 16 seconds left.

Four free throws by Stokes in the last seven seconds finally sealed it, and the guard deflected Marshall's desperation inbounds pass as time expired.

"I'm proud of our guys," coach Mo Cassara said. "What an incredible win, and obviously to complete a 3-0 weekend is almost a marvel."

Hofstra (3-2) appeared in control when it opened a 64-51 lead with 9:19 remaining, thanks mostly to a 12-point explosion by Mejia in a three-minute stretch. The Pride led by eight with four minutes left, but the Thundering Herd (2-3) kept charging.

Marshall's DeAndre Kane (33 points, 11 rebounds, 10 assists) was relentless, and Elijah Pittman (20 points) forced overtime with a three-pointer with six seconds left in regulation.

The game was a slugfest, with 69 fouls and 99 free throws. Both sides appeared worn down in the first extra session, scoring only four points each to enter double overtime tied at 89.

Despite giving up size at every position, Hofstra held a 57-43 rebounding edge. Jimmy Hall (16 points, 14 rebounds) and Moussa Kone (14 points, 10 rebounds) were big inside for the Pride.

"What a difference a week makes. We were almost in disarray," Cassara said of the team's two 29-point losses to open the season. "It's a credit to these guys. I've never seen a team, in a week, come back and play the way that we did."


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