Hofstra men's basketball keeps momentum with Bracketbuster win over Rider in OT

The Hofstra men’s basketball team’s ESPN Bracketbuster game against Rider Saturday did not have any bearing on post-season implications as the Pride’s only path to March Madness will be winning the Colonial Athletic Association Tournament, but picking up a 92-89 overtime win was still important to maintain the team’s recent momentum.

With Saturday’s hard fought overtime win Hofstra (16-13) has won seven of eight and is hot at the right time of season with only two games remaining before heading to Richmond for the CAA Tournament starting March 5. No matter what happens in the Pride’s final two conference games at Northeastern Tuesday and home versus Georgia State on Feb. 27, Hofstra (8-8 in the CAA) is locked into the seventh seed for its opening game at the Richmond Coliseum.

“Even though we might be locked in at that seven spot our goal is to go 10-8 in the conference and see if we could be in a three-way tie for fifth, sixth and seventh and play in the seven spot….. and then just have our mojo going, going into the tournament,” said Hofstra men’s basketball head coach Tom Pecora.

The Rider win keeps Hofstra’s perfect record in ESPN Bracketbuster games intact (5-0) and Pecora used that as motivation when preparing for the Broncs (15-14). “We’ve never lost in it and that is something I had to use to motivate these guys,” said Pecora. “[Bracketbuster games] can be a bit of a distraction…..  you’re so into your league and so into winning conference games and doing all those things but when the game gets started the competitive justices get flowing and you should be off and running.”

Hofstra was off and running early on jumping out to an 8-0 lead out of the gate and led by 11 early in the second half. However Rider’s star senior guard Ryan Thomson had a career-high 38 points to allow the Broncs to force overtime.  Hofstra had its own backcourt offensive explosion with junior guard Charles Jenkins leading the Pride with 31 points.

Hofstra and Rider used to meet often when they were rivals in the old East Coast Conference but Saturday’s game was the first meeting between the schools since Feb. 15, 1992. As a result of meeting in this year’s Bracketbuster game, Hofstra will play Rider once again next season, this time in Lawrenceville, N.J.

Hofstra is next in action at Northeastern Tuesday at 9 p.m. in a game that will air nationally on ESPNU.

1 comment:

  1. I am a Rider fan, so I am disappointed with their loss. However, Ryan Thompson had a HUGE game, and hopefully he will have a few more games like that as he closes out his collegiate career. I am already looking forward to next year when Hofstra will play at Rider.