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Hofstra Edges Saint Joseph’s in Overtime

March 21, 2006

PHILADELPHIA (AP) _ Antoine Agudio scored 24 points and Loren Stokes had 22 to send Hofstra to the NIT quarterfinals with a thrilling 77-75 overtime win over Saint Joseph’s on Monday night.

Aurimas Kieza added 17 for the Pride (26-6), who won only their second Division I postseason game, and both came in this tournament. They beat Nebraska last week, and their win over the Hawks matched the school record for wins in a season set by the 1951-52 and 2000-01 teams.

Hofstra awaits the winner of the Manhattan-Old Dominion game.

Abdulai Jalloh led the Hawks (19-14) with 21 points, Pat Calathes had 17 and Chet Stachitas added 14.

The Hawks needed a thrilling finish just to force OT, getting three free throws from Jalloh in the final seconds to extend the game.

The Pride, though, made all the big plays in the extra period _ none bigger than Rivera’s clean pick of a Stachitas dribble that was eventually converted into Kieza’s go-ahead layup that made it 76-75 with 19.8 seconds left.

Agudio, who went over 1,000 career points in the game, sank one of two free throws with 8.8 seconds left and Jalloh’s desperation 3-point attempt hit the side of the backboard.

Hofstra thought it deserved an NCAA tournament at-large bid after a solid regular season that included two wins over the Colonial Athletic Association round of 16 representative, George Mason. Instead of griping about a missed opportunity, the Pride are making the most of their postseason.

The Pride wasted a great chance to win the game in regulation after Stokes snapped a 62-all tie with a 3 from the top of the arc. With the Pride ahead 67-64, Carols Rivera missed the front end of a one-and-one with 13.6 seconds left and the Hawks grabbed the rebound.

Then Jalloh was fouled by Kieza on a 3-attempt with 5.2 seconds left that sent the packed crowd into a frenzy. Jalloh, an 84 percent free-throw shooter, sank the first two foul shots and had some time to think about the tying one during a timeout. The freeze failed. Jalloh hit the third and tied the game at 67.

Rivera’s last-chance layup attempt rattled around the hoop before it fell out, sending the game to overtime.

It was one more thrilling play during an exciting second half where one run was matched by another and neither team ever got comfortable.

The Hawks used a 13-3 run to climb out of a double-digit deficit and pulled within one on Jalloh’s 3-pointer. Adrian Uter was whistled for a technical foul after he got physical with Jalloh, and the Hawks sank three of four free throws to tie it at 50 in the second half.

Calathes got hot for the Hawks at the right time, sinking a 3-pointer, a jumper and a driving layup that kept them tied at 62.

Agudio scored 13 straight points in the first half to help Hofstra take a 37-32 halftime lead. The Pride shot 52 percent from the floor in the first half.

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