For the first 10:32 of Thursday night’s Hofstra-William & Mary women’s basketball game the Pride were shooting under 20 percent and only had six points but luckily for the Pride the visiting Tribe's shooting was not much better. After being able to withstand some early offensive woes, Hofstra found its shooting touch the remainder of the game to post a 68-51 victory for its third win in four games.
Thursday night’s win by Hofstra (10-8, 3-3 in the Colonial Athletic Association) avenges a 55-48 loss at William & Mary 18 days ago in the conference opener where the Pride let a six point lead with 6:39 left slip away. In the rematch with the Tribe, Hofstra had three players in double-figures led by freshman power forward Shante Evans, who had her ninth career double-double with 18 points on 9-12 shooting and 18 rebounds. “
“[Evans] is just relentless,” said Hofstra women’s basketball head coach Krista Kilburn-Steveskey, who notched her 57th career victory Thursday to move into third place in the program’s all-time wins list in just her fourth season. “She is a special player because of so many attributes.”
Senior guard Sam Brigham scored 15 points, all in the second half while her backcourt mate Candice Bellocchio chipped in with 14. All 15 of Brigham’s points came in the second half during a stretch where the Pride shot 60 percent.
The Pride came out of the game slowly missing nine of its first 10 shots but used a 13-0 run midway through the first half to turn an 11-6 deficit into a 19-11 lead. After shooting under 20 percent for much of the first half, Hofstra finished the game hitting 46 percent of its shots.
Pride senior center Jess Fuller was limited to four points on offense after facing many double and triple teams but stepped up on defense with four blocks. "She plays consistently great defense,” said Kilburn-Steveskey of Fuller, who is now just eight blocks away from becoming Hofstra’s all-time leader in rejections.
Hofstra is next in action at home against Delaware on Sunday in a game that will pit Evans against the Blue Hens Elena Delle Donne. The 6’5 freshman forward, who originally committed to play for national powerhouse Connecticut, enters Sunday’s game at Hofstra averaging 25 points per game.
“It will be a good challenge for me,” said Evans of going up against Delle Donne, who she competed against when playing AAU ball when she was younger. “I am very excited.”