HEMPSTEAD, NY (November 14, 2018) – North Carolina A&T men’s basketball coach Jay Joyner has not put a timetable on when his team will gel and start working well together but his preference would be sooner rather than later.
Once again, the Aggies looked effective on offense, but the Hofstra Pride shot 54 percent from the floor and placed five players in double figures in a 92-72 win at the David S. Mack Sports and Exhibition Complex Wednesday night.
“You cannot turn the ball over 19 times. That’s just unacceptable,” said Joyner. “Until we become disciplined and take care of the basketball we’re going to continue to struggle.”
The Pride doubled the Aggies in points off turnovers as they turned 19 N.C. A&T turnovers into 33 points. N.C. A&T had 16 points off turnovers as they fell to 0-4 on the season.
The Aggies were prepared for The Pride’s zone. The Aggies shot a season-high 52 percent from the floor including seven made 3-pointers. Two reserves led the Aggies. Graduate guard Amari Hamilton played 16 second-half minutes and responded with 12 points on 5-for-6 shooting. Junior Ronald Jackson, Jr., ended the night with 11 points.
The Aggies took a 22-17 lead on an Andre Jackson 3-pointer with 8:58 remaining in the first half. A 3-point play by The Pride got the game within two before freshman Tyrone Lyons expanded the Aggies lead to four before The Pride’s offense took off. The Pride went 6-for-7 from the floor over a three-minute span.
It resulted in a 17-0 run by Hofstra that gave them a 37-24 lead with five minutes remaining in the first half. Hofstra’s first-half lead grew to as many as 16, 42-26, on a Stafford Trueheart dunk. N.C. A&T worked that lead down to 10 on a Hamilton jump shot before going into the half trailing 47-35.
“We need to start gelling and we need to start having a sense of urgency on defense,” said Joyner. “I thought we had a good game plan, but I also think we had a lot of blown assignments on defense.”
N.C. A&T was not able to put any significant dents in The Pride’s lead in the second half. They trailed by as many as 21 with 4:26 to play in the game. Hofstra had a significant advantage at the free throw line. The Pride was 25-for-28 at the line while the Aggies went to the line 15 times connecting on 13 of them.
Justin Wright-Foreman led Hofstra with 22 points and seven assists.
The Aggies return to action 7 p.m., Monday as they travel to Huntington, WVa., to face the Marshall Thundering Herd.