Courtesy Hofstra Athletic Communications
The Vero Beach, Fla. native played a crucial role in Saturday’s 78-75 comeback win over Northeastern in which the Pride scored the game’s final 10 points. McLendon calmly hit two free throws to put Hofstra up 76-76 with 1:56 left. The Vero Beach Academy graduate then helped the Pride seal the huge Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) victory when he connected on two additional free throws with six seconds left to give the Pride a 78-75 lead.
McLendon's clutch performance at the end of the Northeastern game was the fourth time he had knocked down pivotal free throws down the stretch to help the Pride win key conference games. In a 75-69 win at Drexel on Jan. 3 McLendon hit two free throws with 1:55 left to gave the Pride the lead to stay and on Jan. 22 the freshman guard connected on two foul shots with less than two seconds left to put Hofstra ahead by three in a victory at William & Mary on Jan. 22. On Jan. 24 in a dramatic 92-90 overtime win against James Madison, McLendon sank two foul shots with 17.2 seconds remaining in regulation to send the game to the extra session."One thing about Shemiye…. is he doesn't change his demeanor whether it's snowing or sunny or we're up or down and that is one of the real good things about him,” said Hofstra men’s basketball head coach Mo Cassara after the Pride’s win over Northeastern Saturday. “He’s been able to step up and make some big shots for us.”
“I go over free throws everyday in practice and I just go to the line and knock it down,” said McLendon, who is shooting 78 percent (31-40) from the charity stripe this season.
McLendon’s poise as a freshman will be huge for Hofstra down the stretch as with five CAA games remaining the Pride have a one-game lead on Drexel for fourth place. Finishing in that top four is crucial since it would allow Hofstra to get a first round bye in next month’s CAA Tournament in Richmond, Va.
Hofstra is next in action at Georgia State on Wednesday starting at 7 p.m.