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Tulane's 20-0 run to begin second half too much for Hofstra

Stephen Nwaukoni drives to the basket as Tulane's

Stephen Nwaukoni drives to the basket as Tulane's Josh Davis guards him. (Dec. 22, 2012) Credit: Errol Anderson

Tulane's players came out of the Barclays Center locker room with a mission. Hofstra's didn't.

Tied at halftime, Hofstra looked to end its losing streak at six games and head into the holidays with some positivity. But Tulane's Ricky Tarrant had other ideas.

The sophomore guard went on a personal 13-0 run to start the second half, part of Tulane's 20-0 run in the first 3:55 that put the game away. The final was 83-62.

Tarrant hit three consecutive three-pointers to open the half as the Green Wave fed off Hofstra turnovers to repeatedly score in transition. Tarrant finished with 28 points, 21 in the second half.

"Tarrant got comfortable and then made some tough ones," Hofstra coach Mo Cassara said. "We didn't have the fortitude to fight through that and get the game back close."

Hofstra (3-9) led 25-18 with less than six minutes left in the first half, but Tulane went on a 12-5 run to tie the score at 30 at halftime.

"I'm proud of the way our team came out today," Cassara said about the start of the game. "I thought we shared the ball, moved the ball, battled on defense."

Tulane coach Ed Conroy was impressed with Hofstra's game plan early on. "They had us on our heels,'' he said. "They were playing harder than us. Hofstra was taking the fight to us."

But the second half was a different story. The Green Wave (10-3) connected on 20 of 35 shots and the Pride went 12-for-33. Tulane led by as many as 30 points (67-37).

Cassara said his team got away from the patient offensive execution it displayed in the first half. "It's something we have to work on,'' he said. "We have to share the ball and move the ball to be successful."

Hofstra's loss was its seventh straight and fifth since four players were suspended after being arrested on burglary charges. It came on the heels of the announcement that forward Jamal Coombs-McDaniel will miss the rest of the season with a knee injury. According to Cassara, Coombs-McDaniel is going to get additional opinions before he has surgery and a timetable for a potential return can be determined.

There was some good news for the Pride; Daquan Brown, a transfer from Fresno State, made his Hofstra debut. Brown, a Brooklyn native, provided a defensive presence on the interior, blocking three shots in seven minutes.

"Daquan gave us a great lift," Cassara said. "These next two or three weeks will be important for his development, and hopefully he can help us moving forward."

Sophomore guard Taran Buie finished with 15 points, right on his season average.

Said Cassara, "Obviously, we're all frustrated and we want to win. We've got to find a way to gut out some wins. Starting in January, we're 0-0 in the CAA, and we'll take one league game at a time."

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