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.

“They brought the fight to us,” said Pecora. "We can't give up 80 points in our house."

Washington had a solid all-around game with his 18 points coming on 8-11 shooting, while also pulling down nine rebounds and three blocks. It was the second straight solid offensive performance for Washington, who scored 12 points in the first half of a 70-46 win over Elon last night. “I’m taking advantage of what the defense is giving me” said Washington.

Pecora is giving his players the next two days off to rest up and enjoy Thanksgiving before returning for three days of practice on Friday in preparation for Hofstra’s next game at home against Fairfield on Monday at 7 p.m.

Bounce Passes
  • Pecora said he is hopeful to get injured freshman forward David Imes back for Monday's game against Fairfield. Imes, who injured his ankle in a scrimmage against Columbia on Nov. 7, is planning to try and practice on Friday. 
  • Pecora has still not heard from the NCAA on when junior college transfer Brad Kelleher will be able to start suiting up for the Pride. The versatile 6'0 guard has not been cleared to play yet by the NCAA because of some games he played in his native Australia prior to arriving at Hofstra. "They have had everything since early September but that is what the NCAA does," said a frustrated Pecora on the lack of a response on Kelleher's playing status early in the season. "It wouldn't take this long if we were at Kentucky and that has got nothing to do with the people here. The people here are busting their [butts] trying to get this thing done."
  • Attendance for the two NIT Season Tip-Off Consolation games Monday and Tuesday were the lowest ever for Hofstra men's basketball at the Mack Sports Complex since the arena opened on Jan. 2, 2000 with 737 attending against Elon and 783 for the Charlotte game. The main factor behind the low numbers was that both games were not included on the original home schedule since the decision by NIT organizers to have Hofstra host the Nov. 23-24 consolation round games was not announced until Nov. 17. The Pride's free home opener against Farmingdale State last Friday night drew 2,655 with a large turnout in the "Lions Den" student section.

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