Former Hofstra men's lacrosse star attackman returns to NLL

 Courtesy Hofstra Athletic Communications
Former Hofstra men's lacrosse star attackman Athan Iannucci has returned to the the indoor professional ranks after a one year absence due to a knee injury. The British Columbia native has signed a one year deal with the Philadelphia Wings, the same team the former Hofstra attackman set an NLL scoring record with in 2008 when he registered 71 goals.

In a recent article posted by Lacrosse Magazine Philadelphia Wings owner Michael French said the former Pride player "is in superior physical shape and looks like the Athan of old." Iannucci was a starting attackman for Hofstra from 2004-2006 and in his junior season tied teammate Chris Unterstein as the leading collegiate scorer in the nation with 62 goals and 18 assists while leading the Pride to a 17-2 season and an NCAA Quarterfinal appearance.

Iannucci, who was denied playing his senior season at Hofstra because of previously competing in a Canadian summer box lacrosse league, played three seasons with the Wings from 2007-2009 before missing all of last year with a knee injury. The former two-time All-Colonial Athletic Association player also had short stints with the Chicago Machine and Toronto Nationals of Major League Lacrosse in 2007 and 2009.

The Wings open their 2011 NLL season on Jan. 8 against the Boston Blazers.


Hofstra men's basketball vs. Holy Cross live-in game blog

The Hofstra men's basketball team will look to enter the Christmas weekend on a high note when it takes on Holy Cross Wednesday night at the Mack Sports Complex. 
Hofstra (6-4) enters the Holy Cross game winners of five of six including a 71-58 win at Manhattan this past Saturday where Charles Jenkins passed the 2,000-point plateau with 21. Holy Cross began the year 0-8 but picked up its first win at Marist on Sunday 75-57. Wednesday will mark the Crusader's first visit to Hofstra since an ESPN Bracketbuster game on Feb. 17, 2007 that the Pride won 65-64 on two Carlos Rivera free throws with two seconds remaining before a sellout crowd.
Check in with "Inside the Pride" for live updates of the Hofstra-Holy Cross game starting 15 minutes before tip-off Wednesday at 6:45 p.m. Comments and questions are also welcome and encouraged during the live in-game blog.

Hofstra women's basketball vs. Hartford in-game blog

As the end of December brings frigid weather to Long Island the Hofstra women's basketball team's play keeps getting hotter with seven straight wins entering a Dec. 22 home matinee with Hartford.

Playing especially hot in the month of December has been Hofstra red-shirt junior point guard Candice Bellocchio, who has tallied a double-double in three of the last four games including 13 points and 10 assists in the Pride's 90-60 win at Albany Monday night. Freshman guard Kate Loper has also begun to heat up and scored a career high 21 points in the Albany win.

Hartford under head coach Jen Rizzotti has been a power in the America East the last decade with five NCAA Tournament appearances in the past eight years. However the Hawks have been struggling this year and snapped a six-game losing streak with a 74-43 win over Dartmouth on Dec. 12.

Check in with "Inside the Pride" for live updates of Hofstra's attempt to match its program-long winning streak of eight games starting 15 minutes before tip-off Wednesday at 1:45 p.m. Comments and questions are also welcome and encouraged during the live in-game blog.


Former Hofstra softball player hits the big screen

Courtesy philadelphia.phillies.mlb.com 
It has been one busy and exciting month of December for former Hofstra softball player Genevieve Haney. Not only was Haney voted in an online contest to be a Philadelphia Phillies Ballgirl next season but the 2008 Hofstra graduate is also appearing on the big screen in a new movie opening this weekend. 

Haney has a part in the new love comedy that hit theaters Friday Dec. 17 called “How Do You Know” starring Reese Witherspoon as a United States Olympic softball All-Star that get’s cut from the team because she is considered too old. Haney plays the role of Ava Bands, Witherspoon’s USA Olympic softball teammate and friend. 

“After hearing about the tryouts in New York I applied and after many interviews, I was fortunate enough to get offered this role,” said Haney, who works fulltime as coordinator of marketing for Villanova University in addition to her new roles as a Phillies Ballgirl and actress.


Longtime college basketball head coach Mike Jarvis gives major praise to Charles Jenkins

 Courtesy Hofstra Athletic Communications
In his more than 20 years coaching college basketball at Boston University, George Washington, St. John’s and now Florida Atlantic Mike Jarvis has coached many talented players including some who wound up in the NBA, and he says Hofstra’s prolific guard Charles Jenkins would stand toe to toe with any of them.
The current Florida Atlantic head coach lauded Jenkins with major praise after the senior guard scored 32 points in a 63-59 Pride loss on Saturday. “He would have started for any one of my teams,” said Jarvis, who is most known for being the St. John’s head coach from 1998-2003.


Hofstra men's basketball vs. Florida Atlantic in-game blog

The long awaited Hofstra debut of versatile guard Brad Kelleher will take place late Saturday afternoon at the Mack Sports Complex when the Pride battle Florida Atlantic.

Kelleher's debut with the Pride comes after having to sit out all of last season and the first eight games of the 2010-11 campaign while serving a penalty from the NCAA amateurism clearinghouse. The Victoria, Australia native transferred to Hofstra from Midland College in Texas, where he averaged 9.5 points and 3.3 assists per game during the 2008-09 season.

Kelleher will give Hofatra even more depth in its backcourt, which saw guards Charles Jenkins and Mike Moore explode for 40 and 28 points, respectively in Wednesday's 89-85 overtime win at Binghamton. Hofstra (5-3) will be looking for its fifth straight victory against Florida Atlantic (5-4), which has won two in a row against Mississippi State of the SEC and South Florida of the Big East. The game will be a New York City area homecoming for Florida Atlantic head coach Mike Jarvis, who coached St. John's from 1998-2003 and led the Red Storm to the Elite Eight in 1999.

Check in with "Inside the Pride" for live updates of Kelleher's debut with Hofstra and the Pride's attempt to win its fifth straight game 15 minutes before tipoff at 3:45 p.m. Comments and questions are also welcome and encouraged during the live in-game blog.

Hofstra wrestling vs. Maryland live in-match blog

The 18th-ranked Hofstra wrestling team will face Maryland in its home opener on Saturday afternoon Dec. 11 at the Physical Education Building (formerly Physical Fitness Center).

The Pride enters the Maryland match at 2-2-1 in dual matches including wins over Edinboro (26-8) and Lindenwood (35-12) and a tie with Oregon State (19-19) along with losses to Purdue (28-6) and Missouri (19-15). Hofstra is coming off a strong 11th-place finish at the 29th annual Cliff Keen-Las Vegas Invitational last weekend, led by senior Lou Ruggirello, who placed third at 133 pounds in the prestigious tournament. Hofstra has six wrestlers ranked in the top 20 by various ranking agencies.

Maryland enters the Hofstra match at 5-2 with wins over McDaniel (40-3), Johns Hopkins (41-3), West Virginia (27-13), Pennsylvania (25-10) and Northern Iowa (19-16).

The Dec. 11 match is taking place at the Physical Education Building rather than the usual Mack Sports Complex because of the Hofstra men’s basketball game scheduled for 4 p.m. that day. Check in with "Inside the Pride" for live updates of Hofstra's attempt to continue its climb in the national rankings 15 minutes before the first match Saturday at 1:45 p.m. Comments and questions are also welcome and encouraged during the live in-match blog.

Candace Bond stepping up offensive game for Hofstra women's basketball

 Courtesy Hofstra Athletic Communications
As a freshman last season Hofstra women’s basketball guard Candace Bond was known mainly for her intense defensive play but this year as a sophomore the Fort Washington, Md. native has developed into an offensive threat.

Bond, who averaged 2.7 points per game in 34 games off the bench last season, scored a career high 13 points in this past Sunday’s 89-73 win over Fairfield. Bond, who is averaging 6.2 points per game, said after Sunday’s Fairfield win that she has been working hard to refine her offensive game and even got kicked out of the gym once after spending extra time on shooting with teammate Candice Bellocchio.

“I think I’m really developing more of an offensive game.,” said Bond, who has cracked the starting line up early this season after coming off the bench as a freshman. “I’ve really been trying to work on my confidence offensively and then just repetition getting shots up.”

Bond's rock solid defense and improved offensive game has helped Hofstra win four straight after a season-opening loss to Virginia. The Pride will look for their fifth straight win tonight at Niagra starting at 7 p.m.


Cassara putting heavy emphasis on free throw shooting

New Hofstra men's basketball head coach Mo Cassara constantly reminds his players about the importance of free throw shooting and how in each game it can be the difference between winning or losing. His players certainly for the message this past Saturday when the Pride shot a perfect 12-for-12 from the charity stripe in a 74-62 win over Towson in the Colonial Athletic Association opener.

Saturday was the first time Hofstra was perfect from the free throw line since going 10-for-10 against St. John's on Dec. 29, 2006 in the Aeropostale Holiday Festival at Madison Square Garden. "I talk about [the importance of free throws] all the time and they are sick of hearing me say it," joked Cassara in the post-game press conference after Saturday's win over Towson. "We've been working on it and working on it."

Coach Cassara would not doubt like to see the Pride's season free throw shooting average of 67 percent improve the remainder of the season, but Saturday's perfect showing in the start of conference play is certainly a start. Last season Hofstra shot 73 percent from the charity stripe.


Hofstra women's basketball vs. Fairfield in-game blog

The Hofstra women's basketball team returns from a nearly two week layoff to face Fairfield Sunday afternoon at the Mack Sports Complex.

Sunday's home matinee against Fairfield will be the first for Hofstra (3-1) since winning 80-76 at Providence College on Nov. 22. Fairfield (4-2) is coming off a low scoring 30-29 loss at Villanova on Thursday. Hofstra sophomore guard Shante Evans will try and continue her recent hot play against Fairfield after scoring 26 points and pulling down 15 rebounds at Providence.

Check in with "Inside the Pride" for live updates of Hofstra's attempt to win its fourth in a row starting 15 minutes before tip-off Sunday at 1:45 p.m. Comments and questions are also welcome and encouraged during the live in-game blog.

Hofstra men's basketball vs. Towson in-game blog

The Hofstra men's basketball team will be looking for its third straight win late Saturday afternoon in its Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) opener against Towson.

Hofstra (3-3) has rebounded nicely from an 0-3 trip in the Honda Puerto Rico Tip-Off, which included a heartbreaking loss to Western Kentucky where the Pride let a 14-point slip away in the last five minutes, with back-to-back wins over Wagner and Rider. Towson enters the Mack Sports Complex 2-3 but sky high after rallying from a 15-point deficit to defeat Western Michigan at the buzzer 75-73 on Wednesday night. Hofstra's newly implemented zone defense will be tested against Towson's front court of 6'8 Braxton Dupree and 6'7 Isaiah Philmore, who are both averaging double figures coming into Saturday's game.

Check in with "Inside the Pride" for live updates of Hofstra's attempt to get off to a fast start in CAA play starting 15 minutes before tip-off Saturday at 3:45 p.m. Comments and questions are also welcome and encouraged during the live in-game blog.