The Elon University men’s basketball team could not keep pace with the Hofstra University Pride, falling 97-64 on Feb. 15.
Elon struggled with Hofstra’s three-point shooting, as the Pride hit 17 threes en route to the blowout victory. Head coach Mike Schrage said Elon has had a hard time defending teams with versatile offenses this season and could not handle Hofstra’s efficient attack.
“We’re having a hard time guarding teams right now that shoot it and drive it,” Schrage said. “We’re having a hard time balancing between the two.”
Elon led at the first media timeout, but Hofstra began to pull away midway through the first half with a barrage of three-point shots. The Phoenix struggled against Hofstra guard Omar Silverio in the first half, as the senior came off the bench to hit seven three-pointers on his way to scoring 25 points.
“We knew how dangerous Silverio was and we said if he sees it go in early, it could be a long night,” Schrage said.
Silverio and Aaron Estrada scored 37 points in the first half for Hofstra, outscoring Elon’s entire team. Estrada hit a shot from over the half court line as the buzzer sounded to take a 56-34 advantage into the locker room. The Pride made 20 of 32 field goals in the first half, including going 10-20 on three-pointers.
Elon’s defensive struggles continued in the second half, as Hofstra outscored Elon 41-30 behind seven made three-pointers. The Pride led by as many as 36 at times in the second half.
Turnovers and bench scoring proved costly for Elon, as the Phoenix gave the ball away 16 times. Bench scoring was also a pivotal difference, as Hofstra outscored Elon’s bench 55-17.
With senior guards Torrence Watson and Jerald Gillens-Butler currently out with injury, Schrage said Elon is looking to find contributions from its bench and has mixed lineups in recent games in an attempt to find a spark.
“We are trying to figure it out a little bit,” Schrage said. “We’re a work in progress, even this late into the season.”
Junior guard Hunter McIntosh led the Phoenix with 19 points. Senior forward Chuck Hannah and sophomore guard Darius Burford both pitched in 10. Silverio ended the game with a career-high 40 points for the Pride.
Elon has lost its last two games by a combined 69 points after losing to Towson University by 36 on Feb. 12.
“We got our butts beat for a second time in a row,” Schrage said. “We just can’t dig ourselves a hole like that and expect to make a comeback.”
Elon will play Hofstra again on Feb. 24 in Hempstead, New York. The Phoenix continues its three game homestand on Thursday, Feb. 17 against the University of Delaware Blue Hens. The game at Schar Center will begin at 7 p.m.