#530 Elon University Phoenixvs.#529 Hofstra University Pride
Thursday, January 1 2017, at 7:00pm EST
Written by Benjamin Hayes
Hofstra Pride (9-8 SU, 5-7-1 ATS, 8-5 O/U) at Elon Phoenix (9-8 SU, 8-5 ATS, 5-8 O/U)
When and Where: Thursday, Jan. 12, Alumni Gym, Elon, N.C., 7pmET
Line: Elon -3.5
Hofstra has lost three straight games to open their conference slate, after they beat Delaware on Dec. 31 (58-56) to open CAA play. Elon had lost three straight to open the CAA slate, before beating Towson, 72-61 on Saturday night at home. Last season, Hofstra swept the series, including winning on the road, 80-76.
Hofstra shot 49.1 percent from the field and scored 71 points on Saturday against one of the best defensive teams in the nation in Charleston. However, the Pride didn’t get the job done on the defensive end, allowing the Cougars to shoot 51.9 percent from the floor and 9-of-15 from the three-point line (60%). Hofstra outrebounded the Cougars by five and committed just 10 turnovers. But they also shot just 9-of-17 from the line. Eli Pemberton led the way with 21 points on 7-of-9 from the field and Justin Wright-Foreman added 20 points on 8-of-15 shooting.
Pemberton (45.5% 3pt) and Wright-Foreman (48.8% FG) both averages 13.5 points per game to lead the Pride. Guard Brian Bernardi adds 12.5 points and shoots 37.1 percent from the field. Center Rokas Gustys (6-9, 260) is a powerhouse in the middle with 8.5 points and 12.8 rebounds to lead the nation.
Elon missed their first six shots of the game against Towson and wound up behind 19-6 with 12:18 left in the first half. But the Phoenix went on a 27-10 run and never looked back in a 12-point home win. Guard Steven Santana Ana led the way for Elon with 15 points on three 3-pointers. Big man Karolis Kundrotas (6-11, 240) added 10 points in 17 minutes off the bench. Elon shot 42.3 percent from the field and made 8-of-24 from 3-point range. But they also made 19 of 23 from the line (82.6%) and held the Tigers to just 37.3 percent from the field (4-15 3pt).
The Phoenix are averaging 75.9 points per game and 45.5 percent from the field. They are allowing 72.8 points per game and 43.1 percent from the field. Santa Ana and Brian Dawkins (6-8, 240) lead the Phoenix in scoring with 12.5 points per game. Forward Tyler Seibring adds 12.4 points and 6.5 rebounds to lead the Phoenix.
College Basketball Trends:
Elon has some talent but they don’t have a Gustys in the middle. Their guards are average and they will struggle to rebound against the Pride. Elon’s fouls shooting (64.2%) will also cost them in tight games.
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Ben has been a sports writer for over 30 years, dabbling in college and pro basketball, college and pro football, baseball, college lacrosse, minor league baseball and even college gymnastics. He's also been involved in the gaming industry for over 25 years and has been looking to beat the books since he was 13!