Hofstra hammers Charleston

What kind of night was it for the College of Charleston?

As the Cougars and Hofstra made their way to the locker room at halftime, Pride forward Moussa Kone had as many points by himself, 14, as the Cougars had as a team.

That’s what kind of night it was for the Cougars.

Kone finished with 16 points and pulled down 10 rebounds, while Ameen Tanksley added 15 points to lead Hofstra past College of Charleston, 73-40, Wednesday night at the Mack Sports Complex in Hempstead, N.Y.

“It was an ugly game, it was a disappointing game,” said College of Charleston coach Earl Grant. “We’ve got to have some pride with that Charleston on the front of our jerseys. We talked about pride after the game. From the beginning of the game, Hofstra really set the tone. They were ready to play on Senior Night. We were not ready to play and me and my staff have to take the blame for not getting them ready to play. I told the players that they’ve got to take some ownership. We didn’t have very much pride tonight. We didn’t play basketball tonight. We were a bad team.”

Another poor shooting night doomed the Cougars. Charleston actually got off to a quick start, hitting its first two baskets for the game. However, things quickly went downhill from there as the Cougars managed to connect on just three of their next 26 shots from the floor during the first half. The 14 points in the first half were the fewest by the Cougars as a Division I team. The Cougars (8-22, 3-14 in CAA) shot just 23 percent from floor, making only 12 of 52 field goal attempts.

“I thought we settled for some jump shots when we had opportunities to get to the rim,” Grant said. “There were times when we should have drove the ball to the rim and we shot it. And then there were times when we drove it, but we had open looks that we should have shot. Hofstra was going zone for the first eight seconds of the possession and then going man-to-man for the rest of the time on the shot clock.”

To make matters worse, the Cougars were called for five traveling violations on their first 12 possessions.

Hofstra (19-11, 10-7) outrebounded the Cougars, 47-30, and shot 48 percent from the floor.

“They have a physical, aggressive team,” Grant said. “They’ve got some big bodies and length and that bothered us tonight.”

One of the few bright spots for the Cougars was the play of true freshman Donovan Gilmore, who had 11 points, four rebounds and a blocked shot.

“Donovan played well, he was one of the few that did,” Grant said. “He scored the ball, he got to the front of the rim and got to the free throw line and rebounded the ball. That was good to see him come out and play with that kind of energy off the bench and give us a little bit of a spark. He’s good player. We just didn’t have enough guys contribute tonight.”

While the Cougars were struggling offensively, Kone or Tanksley were having their way with the Cougars’ defense.

Trailing 31-14 at halftime, the Cougars had a brief spark as they scored the first six points to close within, 31-20, on Adjehi Baru’s short jumper with 18:18 to play. But the Pride answered with three straight 3-pointers to end any hopes of a Charleston comeback.

“We were not mentally into the game,” Grant said. “You have games like this. It happens once or twice a year, especially for teams that are not accustomed to winning. They made shots and we didn’t. They were making shots and we dug ourselves a deep hole that we couldn’t get out of.”

The Cougars face Northeastern on Saturday at TD Arena in the final regular-season home game of the year.