HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. – The Elon University men’s basketball team rallied from a 13-point deficit with 6:34 remaining in the second half to take a 64-63 lead with 1:12 remaining, but Juan’ya Green made a jumper with 2.1 seconds remaining and the Pride blocked Elon’s last shot attempt as Hofstra held on for the 66-64 victory on Thursday, Jan. 28, inside the David S. Mack Sports Complex.
Elon (12-10, 3-6 CAA) was led by Dmitri Thompson, who scored a team-high 17 points, grabbed seven rebounds, has four assists and two steals. Christian Hairston, who had a key bucket to give Elon a late lead, finished with 12 points and nine rebounds for the Phoenix.
Hofstra (15-6, 7-2 CAA) was led by a double-double from Rokas Gustys, as he finished with 23 points and 19 rebounds for the Pride. Green scored 12 points and had six assists for Hofstra, while Ameen Tanksley chipped in 13 points and Denton Koon scored 11 points.
The Pride started strong taking a 12-2 lead with 13:48 left in the first half after a Gustys jumper. Elon took its first lead of the game with just 1:30 left in the half 25-24 after a layup by Tyler Seibring, but Koon drained a three-pointer for Hofstra and the host held a 27-25 lead at halftime.
It was another quick start for the Pride to start the second half, as Hofstra climbed to a 13-point lead, 43-30 with 13:35 on the clock. Over the next 6:33, Elon traded buckets with Hofstra, but the Pride would ultimately get back out to a 13-point lead, 60-47, after Koon nailed a three pointer with 6:34 remaining.
Elon began its comeback making a 15-3 run over the next 4:14 to take its second lead of the game 64-63 with 1:12 left in the game. Dainan Swoope and Seibring hit big three-pointers and Hairston’s dunk gave the Phoenix the lead.
After Koon made one of two from the line with 35 ticks on the clock, Luke Eddy was unable to make a free throw with 17.1 secons left and Hofstra got a final possession. Green’s jumper with 2.1 seconds left from the left side inside the arc gave Hofstra a 66-64 lead. The Pride blocked Elon’s desperation three-pointer, denying the Phoenix of a comeback victory.
– Elon gave up 66 points against the Pride, the second-lowest amount the Phoenix has given up against a Division I opponent this season. The lowest was 64 against College of Charleston on Jan. 16. The Phoenix also gave up 66 points against Syracuse on Nov. 21.
– Tanner Samson moved into the Top-20 on Elon’s all-time scoring list with his six points tonight. He is now at 1,242 career-points and is 20th all time. Drew Spradlin is currently 19th all time with 1,259 career-points.
Elon takes on Northeastern on Saturday, Jan. 30, to complete the team’s road trip. Tipoff in Boston at Matthews Arena begins at 7 p.m.