Philadelphia, PA - Junior guard Antoine Agudio (Huntington Station, NY) scored 26 points as the Hofstra Men's Basketball team prevailed 55-53 in overtime in a tough defensive battle between Colonial Athletic Association unbeatens on Thursday evening at the Daskalakis Athletic Center.
With the win, the Pride improves to 12-4 overall on the year and 5-0 in the Colonial Athletic Association, tying for first place with Virginia Commonwealth. It was also Hofstra's sixth win in a row and 12th in its last 13 games, with the only loss in that span coming at #23 Syracuse on Dec. 22. Drexel, meanwhile, had its 10-game winning streak snapped as it drops to 12-3 overall and 4-1 in conference play. The Pride also won its fourth straight game in the Drexel series, after the Dragons won eight straight from 2002-2005.
Hofstra came up empty on its first three possessions of overtime, while Drexel junior forward Frank Elegar converted a lay-up and three of four foul shots to make the score 53-48 in favor of the Dragons. Agudio then responded with a tough jumper in traffic while drawing a foul to make the score 53-51, then picked up a steal and fed Stokes for a lay-up with 1:38 left to even the score. After Hofstra earned a stop, senior guard Carlos Rivera (San German, PR) hit a rainbow jumper from the corner with the shot clock winding down to put Hofstra back in front with 36 seconds left. Mejia then missed twice in the final eight seconds as the Pride emerged with the big road win .
Rivera also burned the Dragons in overtime in Philadelphia last year, scoring eight of the Pride's overtime points, including the final six in the last 20 seconds, as Hofstra won 76-75. Rivera made a three-pointer last year to pull the Pride within two, then made three foul shots to provide the margin of victory.
The Pride led 47-43 at the two-minute mark, but senior guard Dominick Mejia had a put-back basket with 1:45 left to pull the Dragons within 47-45. Agudio then drew a foul on an up-fake with 1:14 to go and made one of two to leave the Pride up 48-45, but Mejia was fouled in the act of shooting a three-pointer with 13 seconds left and made all three to tie the score. Senior guard Loren Stokes (Buffalo, NY) then got the ball on a clearout but missed a 12-footer under pressure from Drexel senior guard Bashir Mason at the buzzer to force the game into overtime.
Hofstra trailed for most of the second half, but Stokes hit a 15-foot jumper and Agudio nailed a three-pointer in transition to even the score at 39-39 with 7:43 to play. Drexel reserve guard Tramayne Hawthorne answered with a three-pointer after a time out to give the Dragons the lead back at 42-39, but two foul shots from Agudio and two from sophomore forward Chris Gadley (Amherst, NY) gave the Pride its first lead of the second half at 43-42 with 5:35 left. Agudio then made a tough floating jumper on the baseline to complete an 11-3 run and put the Pride up by three at 45-42.
Drexel was hot from outside early and jumped out to a quick 17-9 lead at the 13:32 mark behind eight points from senior guard Dominick Mejia and seven from senior guard Bashir Mason. Hofstra, though, tightened up the defense and went on a 10-1 run, taking a 19-18 lead on a floating jumper from Agudio at the 4:10 mark. Drexel hit three foul shots over the final four minutes to take a 21-20 lead into halftime, despite not making a single field goal over the final 13:32 of the first half. The
streak lasted for 14:50 until a Mejia three-pointer 1:18 into the second
half put the Dragons ahead 24-20.
Agudio led the way with his 26 points, while Stokes added 13 and Rivera
had nine, giving the Pride 48 of its 55 points from its three-man
backcourt. Mejia led the way for Drexel with 21 points. Hofstra is now
14-2 in its last 16 overtime games, dating back to 1990-91.