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Wright-Foreman scores 30 as Hofstra hangs on to beat winless Monmouth

Hofstra guard Justin Wright-Foreman (3) works on Monmouth

Hofstra guard Justin Wright-Foreman (3) works on Monmouth guard Louie Pillari (24) during the first half on December 5, 2018. Credit: Lee S. Weissman/Lee S. Weissman

Monmouth hasn’t won a game all season, but the Jersey school gave Hofstra all it could handle Wednesday night.

Hofstra senior Justin Wright-Foreman continued to show why he’s among the nation’s leading scorers, helping the Pride pull out a tighter-than-expected 75-73 decision over winless Monmouth in Hempstead.

Foreman, gunning for his second consecutive CAA player of the year award, netted 30 points with seven rebounds, including the go-ahead three-point play in the final minute, as the Pride improved to 6-3. The Queens product is averaging 27.2 points through nine games, good for fourth on the Division I scoring list, and his streak of 62 consecutive games in double figures is the second-longest in the country.

“I don’t think we underestimated them, we just didn’t play Hofstra basketball,” said Wright-Foreman, who also became the 10th player in program history to surpass 1,600 career points. “We didn’t play well for the first 35 minutes. It was too long. We just had to find energy somewhere.”

Hofstra never led by more than six points, and Monmouth (0-10) even grabbed a 73-72 advantage on a drive by Elmont native Ray Salnave (22 points) with 31.9 seconds remaining.

But Wright-Foreman was fouled while making a pull-up jumper and sank the free throw for a two-point lead with 16.0 seconds, before Monmouth misfired at the buzzer.

“These guys can read. They saw these guys didn’t have a win,” Hofstra coach Joe Mihalich said. “We were terrible. We were soft . . . I don’t know what we did well, but when we had to make a play, we did. And that’s what good teams do.”

Junior guard Eli Pemberton scored 14 points and Desure Buie added nine, including a key late three, for Hofstra, which will play host to Rider on Saturday.

Notes & quotes: Longtime Hofstra men’s soccer coach Richard Nuttall was honored on the court midway through the first half for his 30 years as head coach. The women’s soccer squad also was honored for its 2018 CAA conference championship and NCAA tournament appearance.

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