By David Cordova
The start of the college basketball season is here and many teams are ready to show and prove. It is time for the upperclassmen to show how they have matured in their games and the freshmen to show off their skills on the opposition for the first time.
For both Hofstra and Coppin State, it was time for both teams to show up and show out for the new season. This game showed that a small school should not be taken lightly, and when the lights are on, it is time to perform.
Hofstra 74, Coppin State 72
The beginning of the game started out as a battle as Coppin State fired from all cylinders in the first few minutes behind senior Joshua Treadwell, as he scored eight points early. But Hofstra kept the game close, only trailing 11-8 with 15:56 left in the first half.
It seemed that everything the Pride threw up ended up missing, as the Eagles capitalized on the woes of the opposition by making most of their shots and staying aggressive on defense.
Hofstra got back on track early on behind the shooting of senior Deron Powers as he hit two three-pointers in a row and helped them get to a 23-19 lead with 7:23 left in the first half.
In the later stages of the first half, Coppin State continued being aggressive, with baskets by junior Tre’ Thomas and Treadwell that helped the Eagles go up by five, 28-23, with 2:57 left before intermission. Their hot shooting brought them into the half with a 38-26 lead.
As the second half got underway, the Pride snapped back into focus, with two quick baskets in the opening two minutes by sophomore Justin Wright-Foreman and Rokas Gustys to cut the deficit to 36-33 with over 18 minutes left.
But then, Coppin State continued their strong pressure defense, which translated into baskets by Treadwell and fellow senior Joseph Gripper to bring the Eagles up eight, 45-37, with 15:11 left on the clock.
Moments later, Hofstra went on a run, ignited by a dunk by junior Hunter Sabety, two baskets by Wright-Foreman and a three-pointer by sophomore Desure Buie for the Pride to capture the lead for the first time in the game, 52-50, with 9:37 left in the game.
The rest of the game became a duel between both teams in the second half as both programs stepped up their intensity.
Freshman Elijah Pemberton helped spark a run of his own as he hit two consecutive three-pointers to give Hofstra a 69-66 lead with 2:22 left in the game. But then Treadwell hit a three-pointer with 17.7 seconds left to cut the Coppin State deficit to 72-71. But free throws by senior Brian Bernardi helped seal the deal for the Pride.
Pemberton had 20 points and Powers added 12 points, while Gustys had 10 points and an astonishing 23 rebounds for Hofstra. As for Coppin State, Treadwell had an outstanding game with 25 points and eight rebounds and DeJuan Clayton added 11 points in the loss.