Hofstra-UConn women's basketball in-game blog

The Hofstra women’s basketball team is moments away from taking to the Gampel Pavilion floor against the number-one ranked and defending national champion University of Connecticut in the first of three games at the WBCA Classic. It is Hofstra’s first meeting with UConn since Dec. 22, 2005 when the Pride fell to the Huskies 86-49. Whatever the result of tonight’s game Hofstra’s name will be in the national spotlight either by pulling off one of the monumental upsets in women’s college basketball history or UConn giving its legendary head coach Geno Auriemma his 700th career victory. The Gampel Pavilion stands are packed with thousands of Husky followers but there is also a decent showing of Hofstra fans thanks to a bus trip organized by the university’s athletic department and plenty of family and friends supporting Pride senior guard and Simsbury, Conn. native Sam Brigham. Hofstra enters tonight’s game 3-0 for the first time in a dozen years after posting wins over Buffalo, St. Francis College (NY) and Albany.

Starting lineups

Hofstra- Candice Bellocchio (guard), Sam Brigham (guard), Marie Malone (guard), Shante Evans (forward)and Jess Fuller (center)

UConn-Tiffany Hayes (guard), Kalana Greene (guard)Caroline Doty (Guard), Maya Moore (forward), Tina Charles (center)

First half

19:38: Hofstra won opening tip-off but turned the ball over on a traveling call

18:54- Doty hits two free throws- 4-0 UConn

18:32- Evans called for traveling. Three Hofstra turnovers already

18:05- Bellochio with an amazing diving lay-up through the tough UConn defense- 5-2 UConn

17:35- Moore missed second free throw but UConn grabs rebound- 6-2 UConn

17:10- Fuller with rebound putback- 6-4 UConn

17:00- Hofstra caused turnover and calls timeout. Hofstra fans in attendance getting into it.

16:39- Charles with jumper- 8-4 UConn.

15:36- Hofstra freshman guard Candace Bond fires air ball in her first shot of the game

15:15- Media timeout- 8-4 UConn. Hofstra zone defense has been effective early on causing four Husky turnovers but the Pride have turned it over five times and have not been able to take advantage of the miscues.

15:05- Capurso drains three- 8-7 UConn

14:23- Evans went up strong but unable to draw a foul and get Hofstra the lead. Moore answers with jumper at the other end. 10-7 UConn

Hofstra women's lacrosse inks standout Philly area player

The Hofstra women’s lacrosse program has inked a letter of intent from a standout player in the Philadelphia region. Calli Foley, the leader scorer the last two seasons for Gwynedd-Mercy Academy in suburban Philadelphia, will be attending Hofstra starting in the fall of 2010 and major in business, according to a story in Wednesday’s Philadelphia Inquirer. Foley’s older sister Bergan stars for the University of Louisville women’s lacrosse program and was second in the Big East in scoring as a sophomore last season with 67 points.

Hofstra-UConn women’s basketball game to be live-blogged

Log onto "Inside the Pride" tonight starting at 7:30 p.m. for a live blog of the Hofstra women’s basketball team’s fourth game of the season at number-one ranked Connecticut. The blog will provide fans the important details of this much anticipated game against the defending national champions as well as the overall atmosphere inside Gampel Pavilion, which should be electric since legendary UConn head coach Geno Auriemma is one win shy of 700. Hofstra should also have its share of fans thanks to a bus trip organized by the university’s athletic department and the game being a homecoming for Pride senior and Simsbury, Conn. native Sam Brigham, who is expected to have many family and friends in attendance. Hofstra enters tonight’s game 3-0 for the first time in a dozen years after posting wins over Buffalo, St. Francis College (NY) and Albany.


Hofstra women's basketball with little time to enjoy first 3-0 start in 12 years

In an appetizer to an upcoming grueling Thanksgiving weekend schedule, the Hofstra women’s basketball team won a rare mid-week matinee with Albany today 62-49 for the program’s first 3-0 start in a dozen years. Hofstra will not have much time to savor today’s victory though as in just two days the Pride will be at Gampel Pavilion taking on defending national champion Connecticut in the first of three games at the WBCA Classic.

Late tomorrow morning while most people are getting set to enjoy their Thanksgiving meals, the Hofstra will be boarding a bus for Storrs, Conn., where the Pride will spend the next three days taking on the number-one ranked Huskies, Clemson and Richmond. Despite posting a relatively easy win over Albany today, head coach Krista Kilburn-Steveskey said in the post-game press conference that the Pride will have to perform far better this weekend to come out of Gampel Pavilion with any success.

Inability to rebound in key spots dooms Pride in loss to Charlotte

After outrebounding its opponents the last four games including against 12th ranked Connecticut last week, the Hofstra men’s basketball team lost the battle of the boards Tuesday night against Charlotte and it proved a huge factor in a 80-72 home loss to the Atlantic 10 school.

Charlotte (4-1) outrebounded Hofstra (3-3) 46-37 and picked up some key offensive boards in the second half including one off a missed three-pointer with 1:06 left and the Pride trailing 71-68 that led to a RaShad Coleman lay-up to extend the 49er lead to five. In its four games since losing at number-one ranked Kansas to start the season, Hofstra had controlled the glass 173 to 121 but Tuesday the Pride lost the battle for second chance points with Chris Braswell and Coleman leading the 49ers with 11 rebounds and nine boards respectively.

“They rebounded the heck out of the basketball,” said Hofstra head coach Tom Pecora in the post game press conference. "We did not go put bodies on people and we did not go get the basketball.”

The lack of pulling down rebounds offset some positives from the Pride, including 25 points from junior guard Charles Jenkins, a career-high 18 points from power forward Greg Washington and only committing six turnovers. Hofstra led a back-and-forth first half affair 41-39 at halftime and was up 49-48 seven minutes into the second half before the 49ers went on a 13-4 run over the next five minutes to begin to take control of the game. Trailing 71-63 with 3:45 left, the Pride scored five straight and had two possessions with a chance to potentially tie the game, but were unable to convert on both trips.


Hofstra football ends frustrating season on positive note

The Hofstra football team will head into the off season with a positive taste in their mouths after a 52-38 win over Massachusetts today but will also be pondering a season of what ifs and what might have been. The 2009 season was a frustrating one for the Pride (5-6) that featured four losses by eight points or less, but the 599 yards of total offense on display in this afternoon’s year-ending triumph at Shuart Stadium shows plenty of promise for 2010.

“All the potential we have been talking about with the players that we have… it is good to see the whole thing click,” said Hofstra head coach Dave Cohen. “Just a phenomenal day for the offense, a phenomenal win.”

The season-ending win featured spectacular performances from several players who will be returning to Shuart Stadium in 2010 highlighted by junior wide receiver Aaron Weaver’s 15 receptions, which was just one short of the Hofstra record of 15 set in 2004 by Devale Ellis. Hofstra’s offense, which had struggled for much of 2009, went out with a bang scoring 50 points for the first time since a 55-0 romp of Stony Brook in 2005.


Brigham focused on delivering memorable senior season

 Picture courtesy Hofstra Athletic Communications
The Hofstra women’s basketball team is off to its first 2-0 start in five years and a big reason for this early-season success has been the leadership and play of senior guard Sam Brigham. The Simsbury, Conn. native, who scored a game-high 19 points in an 88-63 win at St. Francis College (NY) on Wednesday, is focused on making her final season in a Hofstra uniform a memorable one.

After coming off the bench as a freshman on a senior-laden 2006/2007 team, Brigham developed the next two seasons into one of Hofstra’s most reliable offensive and defensive players leading the Pride in scoring as a sophomore and shooting a team-high 36 percent from three-point range last year. Against St. Francis Brigham showed how much of a complete player she is going three of four from the floor, 12-15 from the foul line while also pulling down five rebounds and posting one steal. 

Fourth-year Hofstra women’s basketball head coach Krista Kilburn-Steveskey has been happy with Brigham’s leadership in the backcourt as well as how she has guided the younger players on and off the floor. “She’s been a kid that has earned her spot every single year,” said Kilburn-Steveskey. “She is just a competitor through and through and that toughness on the floor is contagious.”


Hofstra-UConn men's basketball in-game blog

Hofstra and 12th ranked Connecticut are about to square off in the second round of the NIT Season Tip-Off at Gampel Pavilion with the winner moving on to a Thanksgiving Eve semi-final game at Madison Square Garden against the winner of tonight's LSU-Western Kentucky contest. It is only the second time Hofstra and UConn have hooked up in men's basketball with the other being an 80-78 Husky win in the first round of the 1976 NCAA Tournament at the Providence Civic Center. Both Hofstra and UConn posted first round NIT Season Tip-Off wins at Gampel Pavilion last night with the Pride edging Yale 68-63 and the Huskies defeating Colgate 77-63. Stay tuned for constant updates of this key early-season non conference game for the Pride taking place at one of the best college basketball venues in the nation.

Starting lineup for Hofstra

Charles Jenkins, guard; Cornelius Vines, guard; Nathaniel Lester,guard; forward Miklos Szabo; center Greg Washington

Starting lineup for UConn

Stanely Robertson, guard; Gavin Edwards, forward; center Alex Oriakhi, Kendall Walker; guard Jerome Dyson, guard

First half action

19:32- Lester draws foul going to bucket and knocks down both free throws 2-0 Hofstra

17:05- Oriakhi hits one of two free throws- 5-2 UConn

16:20- Lester gets Hofstra's first field goal on driving lay-up, 5-4 UConn

15:35- Vines with three pointer to give Hofstra 7-5 lead

15:20- TV timeout. Not a sellout crowd but UConn student section is packed and loud.

15:06- Jerome Dyson with bucket and draws the foul and completes three point-play- 10-7 UConn

14:05- David Robertson scores to make it 14-7 UConn. Huskies on 9-0 run. Tom Pecora calls timeout

Hofstra-UConn men's basketball game to be live-blogged

Tune into "Inside the Pride" tonight starting at 7 p.m. for a live blog of the Hofstra men's basketball game at 12th ranked Connecticut in the second round of the NIT Season Tip-Off. The blog will provide fans the important details on the court as well as the overall atmopshere in one of the best college basketball venues in the nation, Gampel Pavilion. It will be only Hofstra’s second meeting with UConn with the other being an 80-78 overtime loss in the first round of the 1976 NCAA Tournament at the Providence Civic Center. If Hofstra manages to pull off the upset, the Pride will get a huge boost in the all-important NCAA Ratings Percentage Index and advance to the NIT Season Tipoff Semi-Finals at Madison Square Garden next Wednesday on ESPN against the winner of tonight’s LSU-Western Kentucky game. In the NIT Season Tip-Off first round yesterday Hofstra defeated Yale 68-63 while UConn triumphed over Colgate 77-63.

Geographically diverse recruiting class brings promising future for Hofstra women’s basketball

Hofstra women’s basketball head coach Krista Kilburn-Steveskey never imagined she would recruit someone from Idaho for her fall 2010 recruiting class, but after witnessing the tenacity displayed by Kate Loper during an AAU tournament in the nation's capital, focus quickly shifted to this "gem" from the Gem State. Loper is one of three Hofstra women’s basketball recruits for the 2010/20011 season that Kilburn-Steveskey announced last week, with the trio hailing from a wide cross section of the country that includes the Mountain West, Deep South and South Jersey.

While the 2009/2010 season has just gotten underway, Kilburn-Steveskey is excited about the intangibles that will come from next year’s freshman class that includes Loper (Post Falls, Id.), Ngwanma (Amma) Onyeuku (Fayetteville, Ga.) and Annie Payton (Camden, N.J.). All three players were recruited by major women’s college basketball programs and will have large shoes to fill next year after seniors Sam Brigham and Jess Fuller graduate from Hofstra.

Kilburn-Steveskey actually stumbled upon Loper by accident while she was scouting another player competing in a Washington D.C. AAU tournament. In the last 2:45 of a hotly contested game while the player Kilburn-Steveskey was looking at subbed herself out, Loper stepped up big for the Spokane Stars Girls AAU Basketball Club with a three pointer, two-point field goal and a pair of clutch free throws. “I was going 'wow, this kid is a competitor,” said Kilburn-Steveskey of Loper, who she sees similarities with Brigham in terms of toughness, vocal leadership, three-point range and a quick shooting release.


Hofstra softball inks standout NJ Player

Hofstra softball head coach Bill Edwards inked a commitment yesterday from New Jersey standout softball player Nicole Hagerty on the first day of the 2009/2010 early signing period. While yesterday made Hagerty's softball future at Hofstra official, she verbally committed to play for the Pride the summer before her junior year, according to a story in today's Newark Star-Ledger. Hagerty, a pitcher at Gloucester Catholic High School, said in the Star-Ledger article she expects to play first base at Hofstra and has been in constant contact with the Pride coaching staff since taking part in a workout program they provided. Hagerty was selected to the Star-Ledger's 2009 All South Jersey Third Team.


Hofstra women’s basketball eager for Monday’s season opener

With nearly a month of practices under their belt and scrimmages against each other, the Hofstra women’s basketball team is more than ready for its 2009/2010 regular season to get underway this Monday evening at home against Buffalo. The Nov. 16 opener launches a highly competitive 30-game schedule and with three of five starters returning, head coach Krista Kilburn-Steveskey is optimistic that success will come the Pride’s way in 2009/2010.

“After 27 practices you are ready to bang on someone else,” said Coach Kilburn-Steveskey of the excitement of her players to start competing against other teams. “We’re ready to get it rolling.”

Last season Hofstra won at Buffalo 80-73 in overtime with then freshman Joelle Connelly scoring a tying bucket at the buzzer. Coach Kilburn-Steveskey expects another barn burner this season with Buffalo returning its core nucleus including Kourtney Brown, who scored 29 points against Hofstra in the Dec. 6, 2008 match-up.

“It is going to be an up-tempo game and it’s going to be a battle,” said Kilburn-Steveskey. “It’s going to be a good test early for the first game.”

Hofstra wrestling prepares for challenge on mats in 2009/2010

As the Hofstra wrestling team gets set for its opening match this Sunday against Buffalo at 1 p.m., head coach Tom Shifflet is not just focused on the present but the future of this program that has consistently been ranked in the top 20 for the last decade. With an eye toward the long term growth of Hofstra wrestling and knowing this year features a top heavy group of 133 pound grapplers, Coach Shifflet decided to red-shirt three-time NCAA qualifier Lou Ruggirello in order to enhance his chance of capturing a national title in 2011.

While red-shirting Ruggirello will make for a more challenging 2009/2010 season, giving the Valley Stream Central High School graduate another year to hone his skills in freestyle matches in preparation for a national title run next year will be a positive for the program long-term, according to Shifflet. “We don’t just red-shirt anybody, you want to red-shirt the guys who have the attitude, have the work ethic, guys who are going to take that year and really make a conscious effort to develop themselves,” said Shifflet of Ruggirello, who was 15-1 in dual meets as a junior last season. “We wanted to give to give him the best opportunity to win a national title for himself, for the program, because he’s been a great student-athlete and deserves it.”

The decision to red-shirt Ruggirello has created healthy competition to fill the 133 pound slot between junior Jeff Rotella and freshman Jamie Franco, a 2008 New York State champion from Monroe-Woodbury High School. Many other weight classes are also undetermined and avoiding the injury bug will be paramount for a team already low on depth. Coach Shifflet got a scare in pre-season workouts when 10th ranked 174-pound wrestler Ryan Patrovich sprained a knee ligament forcing him to miss two weeks of practice but the junior who knocked off number one ranked 165-pound wrestler Mack Lewnes of Cornell in last year’s NCAAs, will be ready for the opener. Another potential injury problem is with pre-season 15th ranked Steve Bonanno at 125 pounds, as the sophomore from nearby Wantagh banged up his knee and will be a match-time decision Sunday.


Hofstra men’s basketball could be shorthanded at #1 Kansas

The Hofstra men’s basketball team’s much-hyped season opening game at top-ranked Kansas this Friday appears like it will become even more of a mountain to climb with the possibility of not having the services of highly-touted newcomers Brad Kelleher and David Imes.

Kelleher may not be available for this Friday’s game at Phog Allen Fieldhouse due to some NCAA clearinghouses issues while Imes is nursing an ankle injury he suffered in a scrimmage against Columbia this past Saturday. After today’s practice Hofstra head coach Tom Pecora said he is still awaiting a ruling from the NCAA over if Kelleher, a versatile 6'0 guard, will have to miss any action to start the season because of games he played in his native Australia prior to arriving at Hofstra. While he is still holding out some hope the NCAA will clear Kelleher, he is realistic that the transfer from Midland College in Texas will likely have to miss at least one or two games.

“I know the way the NCAA works and they are usually overly officious when it comes to issues like this,” said Pecora of his realism that Kelleher likely will not get cleared to play at Kansas.

The decision on whether the 6’7 230 pound Imes’s availability for Kansas will be a game-time decision depending on how fast his injury heels. Imes, a freshman forward from Brooklyn who prepped last year at Winchendon School in Massachusetts, had a boot on his injured ankle at today’s practice.


Former Hofstra DB promoted to Patriots active roster

In another sign of Hofstra football alums excelling at the professional level, former Pride defensive back Kyle Arrington was promoted to the New England Patriots active roster from its practice squad early this morning. Arrington, who played at Hofstra from 2004-2007, was placed on the Patriots 53-man active roster after offensive guard Kendall Simmons was cut.

Adding the Hofstra product gives the Patriots more defensive backfield depth and another special teams player, the Boston Herald pointed out in a story this morning on the transaction. The 5'9 196 pound Arrington was previously on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers practice squad before being cut on Sept. 14. He made his National Football League (NFL) debut on special teams in Tampa Bay's 2009 season opener against the Dallas Cowboys.

Arrington is now the fourth former Hofstra football player to be on an NFL roster joining New Orleans Saints wide receiver Marques Colston, Pittsburgh Steelers offensive tackle Willie Colon and Dallas Cowboys defensive end Stephen Bowen.


Hofstra linebacker embracing the end of his college football career

Picture courtesy Hofstra Athletic Communications

As Hofstra football heads into the home stretch of its 2009 season, fifth year senior linebacker and captain Luke Bonus is trying to embrace every moment of it. Whether it is practices, film sessions, weigh training or Hofstra’s final three games, Bonus wants to end his illustrious college career leaving nothing on the field.

“I know that I haven’t been to the playoffs yet and that is everyone’s ultimate goal but memories, the experiences I have here mean everything to me,” said Bonus, who leads Hofstra in tackles this season with 58. “There is not anything I wouldn’t do for one of these guys on this team and that includes the coaching staff too….They are my family.”

Bonus’s appreciation for Pride football can be rooted back to when he first entered Hofstra’s campus in 2005 as a walk-on and through hard work and determination earned his way to a scholarship. Since first taking the field as a red-shirt freshman in 2006 Bonus has thrived as an undersized 5’10 222 pound linebacker and was an All-Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) first team selection last year after recording 96 total tackles. After his Hofstra career is over the Medford Lakes, N.J. native would love to stay involved with football either playing professionally or in coaching.


NCAA College cup berth on line for Hofstra women's soccer this weekend

Parsons Field in Brookline, Mass. was a house of horrors for the Hofstra women’s soccer team during this past Saturday’s 4-0 Halloween matinee defeat to Northeastern, but if the Pride want to reach the NCAA College Cup then two wins on this same turf will be needed this weekend.

Northeastern’s Halloween shutout of Hofstra (10-5-3, 7-2-2) clinched the number one seed for the Huskies and the right to host the Colonial Athletic Association playoffs this weekend. If the Pride had won or tied then the Hofstra University Soccer Stadium would have been the site of this weekend’s CAA playoffs, but instead head coach Simon Riddiough’s team will have to settle for being the second-seed and traveling four hours back to the Boston area. “We had everything in our control and we just let it get away from ourselves,” said Coach Riddiough. “It was just one of those days.”

Despite coming off a four-goal loss in its regular season finale, Coach Riddiough feels positive about his team heading into this weekend since Hofstra out-shot Northeastern 22-8 and was the victim of some unlucky breaks against a stiff first half wind. Hofstra returns to Northeastern’s Parsons Field this Friday afternoon to battle UNC-Wilmington in the CAA semi-finals at 3 p.m. with a victory catapulting the Pride into the CAA Championship Sunday with a chance to earn an automatic bid into the NCAA College Cup, an accomplishment the program achieved in 2005 and 2007.


Hofstra field hockey caps dramatic weekend with CAA playoff berth

It was a dramatic weekend for the Hofstra field hockey team that included a loss, a win, a trip the emergency room and nervously viewing a key conference game online that potentially could have ended its season. When the dust settled however head coach Kathy De Angelis found her program back in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) Championships for the sixth straight year, putting a young team comprised of 11 freshmen and six sophomores just two wins from an NCAA tournament berth. 

Hofstra (12-7, 5-3 in the CAA) officially punched its ticket as the fourth and final seed for a CAA Championships after James Madison defeated Northeastern in double overtime on Sunday afternoon. A victory by the Huskies had the potential to put Hofstra in a logjam for fourth place with Old Dominion, Northeastern and James Madison, and could very well had put a cap on the Pride’s season depending on what tie-breaker formula the CAA used. Instead Coach De Angelis and her players that viewed the dramatic game on Northeastern’s website were joyous in front of their computer screens knowing they lived to play another day.

The Pride learning its playoff fate on a computer was far from the only tense moment during Halloween weekend. After losing at 17th ranked Delaware 4-1on Friday night, De Angelis found herself traveling to an emergency room to visit key players Amy-Lee Levey and Gena Kovar, who had both got hit in the hands by sticks on two separate incidents during the game. The duo was cleared to play in Saturday’s critical game at Towson but had to wear lacrosse gloves in order to protect their hands, but both contributed heavily to the 3-2 come-from-behind win with Levey scoring two goals and Kovar registering two assists.