A rim-bending reverse jam by sophomore forward Danny Sumner midway through the second half brought the ‘Kaplan Krazies’ to their feet and put the exclamation point on a 74-62 victory for the Tribe (13-9, 9-3 CAA) over visiting Hofstra University (7-15, 4-8) Wednesday night at Kaplan Arena.
p. Senior guard Nathan Mann paced the College, recording team highs with 22 points and five rebounds, and was complemented by senior forward Laimis Kisielius who notched 13 points to go along with a game-high seven assists to give the College nine wins in its last 10 contests.
p. “I am so impressed with our team right now,” Head Coach Tony Shaver said. “After a great win Saturday against [University of North Carolina]—Wilmington we really had a tough task [in facing Hofstra]. For our guys to play with such intensity, heart, effort and share the ball so well really impresses me.”
p. Sumner brought the crowd to its feet early by throwing down an alley-oop courtesy of a feed from sophomore guard David Schneider to score the game’s opening points. The contest remained close at 8-6 with 14:30 left in the opening frame before the College launched a 13-0 run behind two three-pointers from freshman guard John Sexton. Sexton entered the game as the reigning CAA Rookie of the Week.
p. The College stretched its lead to as many as 16, before Antoine Agudio of Hofstra connected on consecutive three-pointers, tallying 12 first-half points to bring the Pride within six points at the break. The Tribe entered halftime having been out-rebounded 24-10, yet clung to a 36-30 lead on the strength of 50 percent shooting from the field.
p. The College began the second half strong, mounting a 6-0 run to enlarge its cushion to 12 points.
p. “We always talk about the first four minutes of each half,” Mann said. “They’re very athletic and have quick guards. [We knew we had] to limit Agudio’s shots and touches [so that] it would be hard for their team to score.”
p. Agudio entered the contest as the 10th leading scorer in the country, averaging 22.6 points per game while shooting over 43 percent. Agudio finished the night having made five of 14 from the field, pouring in 22 points.
p. The Tribe played with energy and hustle for much of the game. After Schneider set the tone with a tremendous diving effort to save the ball early on, Sexton showed some intensity of his own by sliding headfirst to deflect a ball to Kisielius, who then passed it into the paint for Sumner’s aforementioned reverse slam.
p. “Anytime you get a dunk, it can swing momentum for the team,” Sumner said. “The reverse stopped [Hofstra’s] momentum and got the crowd into it.”
p. According to Shaver, Sumner’s athleticism is unparalleled on the Tribe roster.
p. Showing his grit and determination, Schneider outdid his first launch into the courtside seats with an equally impressive sprawling effort to save a ball with 2:25 remaining. Schneider finished the night with seven points, six assists, four rebounds and three steals.
p. After spending 10 of its last 15 contests in Kaplan Arena, the Tribe will play three road games during the next two weeks, taking on Northeastern University, UNCW and Towson University. The Tribe has beaten all of these teams at home this season, yet Shaver calls these next three games the toughest stretch of the year.