With the Long Island area blitzed by blizzard conditions the Mack Sports Complex was largely empty for Wednesday’s Hofstra-Drexel men’s basketball game, but the student section was still in full force creating a hostile road environment for the Pride’s longtime conference rival dating back to the days of the America East. The over 100 hundred Hofstra students that crawled across the Hempstead campus amidst the winter elements created a sixth man and aided Hofstra to a 75-64 victory for the Pride’s fourth win in five games.
"God bless the fans who came out,” said Hofstra men’s basketball head coach Tom Pecora of the few hundred supporters who found their way to the Mack Sports Complex during a blizzard that dumped over a foot of snow around much of the New York City region. “The students were good, they were noisy."
With the win Hofstra is now 13-13 and 6-8 in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA). Official attendance was listed as 893 but the enthusiastic student section made it seem like a few thousand. “It was fun that the students came through the weather," said Hofstra junior forward Greg Washington. “The turnout was good.”
Washington recorded five blocks on the evening, which makes him the school’s all-time leader in rejections with 180, breaking the mark of 178 previously set by David Taylor. “What separates Greg from a lot of shot blockers is he is not a true center so he is playing on the perimeter to go block shots,” said Pecora. “He’s got a whole nother year to extend on this record so I think it’s probably a record that is going to hold up awhile.”
Wednesday night was a stark contrast to Hofstra’s first meeting with Drexel on Jan. 23 in Philadelphia where the Pride were short-handed playing with a seven-man rotation and the Dragons dominated right from the start in a 75-62 win. Hofstra junior guard Charles Jenkins scored a game-high 32 points Wednesday while freshman point guard Chaz Williams nearly had the program’s first ever triple double with 20 points, nine assists and eight rebounds.
Hofstra will look to continue the momentum when it travels to UNC-Wilmington on Saturday for a 7 p.m. tipoff. Since joining the CAA in the 2001/02 season Hofstra is 2-6 at the Trask Coliseum but has won two of the last three including an 80-78 triumph last year.