It was fitting that congestion played a role in Monday night’s Battle of Long Island between the region’s two Division I college women’s basketball programs, Hofstra and Stony Brook. Stony Brook got stuck in a massive traffic jam during its 37 mile trip to Hempstead and did not arrive to the Mack Sports Complex until just moments before the game's 7 p.m. scheduled tip-off.
The game ended up starting 45 minutes late and Stony Brook’s offense was also tardy putting up only six points in the game’s first 11 minutes enabling Hofstra to build a 21-6 lead. The Pride then held off a late Seawolve rally for a 67-61 victory to improve to 7-3 before a trip to Texas after Christmas to face Southern Methodist and Rice.
Despite the win before 321 fans at the Mack Sports Complex on a frigid first official day of winter, Hofstra head coach Krista Kilburn-Steveskey was frustrated in the post-game press conference that her team let Stony Brook hang around late in the game after building a large lead.
“The shots that were taken down that stretch, that is not my team,” said Kilburn-Steveskey. “We need to have a voice on the floor, that is really what is missing.”
Hofstra led 38-26 at halftime thanks to first half double-double from senior center Jess Fuller (11 points and 10 rebounds) along with nine points from Asia Jenkins. However Stony Brook stayed in the game thanks to Hofstra shooting only 37% and committing 23 turnovers A Cassie Klockgeither three-pointer with 39.6 seconds left cut Hofstra's lead to 62-59 before some clutch Pride free throw shooting iced the win.
Monday was a far different story from the last time Hofstra faced Stony Brook in a 64-48 Seawolve win. That result was still on the minds of veteran Pride players when they took the court tonight. “We wanted to come out and definitely change what happened last time,” said Fuller of Hofstra’s last meeting with its local Long Island rival.
“We had a lot of memories from a couple years ago when we we got annihilated against them,” said Kilburn-Steveskey.
Hofstra’s trip next week to the Lone Star State will include games at Southern Methodist on Dec. 28 and at Rice on Dec. 30. The Pride’s Colonial Athletic Association opener will be on Jan. 3 at William & Mary.