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Jenkins' 32 not enough as Pride falls, 63-59

Charles Jenkins made a valiant effort to get Hofstra back into yesterday's game against Florida Atlantic, but the comeback bid fell short.

Jenkins scored 19 of his team's 29 points in the second half as the Pride lost to the Owls, 63-59, at the Mack Sports Complex.

One game after scoring a career-high 40 points, the senior guard finished with 32, shooting 9-for-14 from the field (including 3-for-6 from three-point range) and 11-for-12 from the foul line.

"In the beginning of the game, I want to get my guys shots. It's going to only make them more comfortable," said Jenkins, who had six assists. "In the second half, if we're losing, I have a sense of urgency - I want to make plays and try to get us back."

Jenkins is averaging 25.3 points for the Pride (5-4), and Florida Atlantic coach Mike Jarvis said he could start for any team in the country. "I'd try to get him 40 shots a game," the former St. John's coach said. "His arm would be falling off."

The loss snapped Hofstra's winning streak at four. "It's the first time this team has had any kind of string of success,'' coach Mo Cassara said. "We won four games in a row and probably had a little bit of a false impression of how good we are."

A 21-6 run in the final 7:30 of the first half gave FAU a 39-30 halftime lead. The Owls never led by more than that in the second half, and Hofstra moved within 58-57 on Jenkins' jumper with 3:26 to play.

Raymond Taylor (14 points) sank a three-pointer with 1:55 left, but Greg Washington hit two free throws 25 seconds later to bring the Pride within 61-59.

After Jenkins missed a well-defended layup attempt, the Pride sent Taylor, a 41 percent free-throw shooter this season, to the line. He hit both ends of a one-and-one to make it 63-59 with 42 seconds left, and the Pride went on to miss three three-pointers.

"I think the second part of the first half, we really lost control of the game," Cassara said. "We were flat, we were a little slow to the ball, we didn't execute on offense or defense, and it allowed them to get comfortable."

Mike Moore and Washington had eight points each for Hofstra. Guard Brad Kelleher made his Hofstra debut after sitting out the 2009-10 season and the first eight games of this season because of eligibility issues. He had two points in seven minutes.

Greg Gantt had 17 points, Taylor 14 and Brett Royster 10 for the Owls (6-4). Taylor, listed at 5-6, finished with five rebounds, more than any Hofstra player.

"It certainly isn't going to make me sleep very well tonight," Cassara said of that fact. "Credit to Florida Atlantic. I think they outhustled us. They were quicker to the ball. We got a little passive."

New York Sports