Hempstead, N.Y. -- One last regular season game remains before the Hofstra men's basketball team gears up for the Colonial Athletic Association Tournament, and the Pride will be looking to enter the postseason with momentum when the team hosts UNC Wilmington on Saturday at 4 p.m. from the Mack Sports Complex.
The contest will mark the final regular season home game for seniors Mike Moore, Nathaniel Lester and Dwan McMillan. Hofstra (9-21, 2-15) is locked into the 11th seed and will face sixth-seeded Georgia State in the first round of the CAA Tournament on Friday, March 2 at 8:30 p.m.
The Pride will face a UNCW team that (9-19, 5-12) that can clinch the eighth spot with a victory. Hofstra has won seven of the last eight in the series, though the Pride lost to the Seahawks, 86-80, in the first meeting at Trask Coliseum on Jan. 7.
Keith Rendleman, a CAA all-first team candidate, scored 19 points and grabbed eight rebounds and was one of four Seahawks to score in double figures in that contest. The 6-8 junior forward is one the league's most dynamic players and is the CAA' s second-leading rebounder at 10.6 boards per game and is fifth in scoring by averaging 15.5.
UNCW also has one
of the best freshmen in the league in guard Adam Smith, who is averaging 14.3
points while connecting on 53 three-pointers. Smith is shooting 32.9 percent
from beyond the arc and has also been lethal from 15 feet away, shooting 80.8
percent from the free throw line for the league's fifth-best showing.
Despite having one of the best rebounders down low, the Seahawks have the CAA's worst scoring defense. UNCW is surrendering 70.6 points per contest, making them one just three schools in the conference to allow more than 70 (William and Mary and James Madison are the other two).
Hofstra will try and attack Wilmington's defense and the Pride will look to Moore, the CAA's top scorer, to lead the charge. Moore scored 22 points against the Seahawks in the first meeting and has recorded a 20-point game in 16 of the Pride's 30 contests, including a 25-point effort at William and Mary in the previous contest.
In his final appearance before the Hofstra fans, Moore needs seven rebounds to reach 500 for his career. Lester, a five-year member of the Hofstra program, will also be among the trio of seniors honored before the game. Lester needs 25 points to move past Wandy Williams for 23rd on the team's all-time scoring list. Williams played from 1966-69.
Moore and Lester continue to be the offensive catalysts. The duo has combined for 1,026 of Hofstra's 1,948 points this season, comprising more than 50 percent of the team's total point production.
is the other senior on the list and the guard will try and continue to generate
scoring chances for his teammates. The Brooklyn native already has racked up
five-plus assists on 14 occasions this year. Despite starting just 23 games,
McMillan has the second-most assists in the league with 136, just four behind
VCU's Darius Theus for the lead.
McMillan is also just .2 behind Theus in assists-per-game by averaging 4.5. He is third in the CAA in assist-to-turnover ratio and his total assists are 73 more than the next-closest teammate in Moore.
contest will also feature an in-game ceremony for former Hofstra star and
current Golden State Warriors guard Charles Jenkins, who will be presented with a
commemorative basketball to recognize him as the program's all-time leading scorer.
Before the game, there will be a book signing for "Hofstra
Athletics" by Chris Vaccaro. The signing will take place from 3:15-3:45
p.m. in the W.B. Mason Pride Lounge of the Mack Sports Complex.
Books will be available for purchase in the lobby of the Mack Sports Complex on the day of the game/signing for $21.99. Visa, Mastercard, checks and cash are accepted for purchase.
Fans can also sign up to watch and listen to the game through Pride Zone.