Previewing @Towson_MBB at Hofstra
Courtesy: Mat Schlissel, TowsonTigers.com  
Release: 02/15/2013
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There's a first time for everything. Thanks to a quirk in the schedule, the Tigers (14-13, 9-5 Colonial Athletic Association (CAA)) will face Hofstra (6-19, 3-9 CAA) for the first time this season on Saturday at 4 p.m. in the Mack Sports Complex in Hempstead, N.Y.

These teams have met 55 times in the history of the series with Hofstra holding a 36-19 all-time lead. Last season, Hofstra beat the Tigers with ease, 74-49, in Hempstead and has won seven straight dating back to the 2007-08 season.

The Pride have had a difficult season, but don't let the record fool you. This is one of the most dangerous teams in the conference, especially at home, where they are 5-6. On the road, the Pride is just 1-12 and is 0-1 on a neutral floor.

Hofstra had high hopes for this season but lost four players early in the season to suspension including freshman Jimmy Hall (12.7 ppg in seven games) and sophomore Hawaii transfer Shaquille Stokes (10 ppg in seven games). They also lost Connecticut transfer Jamal Coombs-McDaniel to a knee injury in December. Coombs-McDaniel averaged 5.6 points per game as a reserve on the Huskies' National Championship team in 2010-11.

Amazingly, Hofstra has rebounded to be a competitive team despite the lack of depth. Hofstra averages 58.9 points per game and allows 67.5 points per game. The Pride shoots 38.4 percent from the field and allow teams to shoot 44 percent. They shoot 29 percent from beyond the arc, while opponents shoot 31 percent from 3-point range. They average 14.8 turnovers per game and force 12.6 per game.

In conference play, Hofstra has beaten Georgia State (52-50) and William & Mary (70-59) at home, and UNC Wilmington (72-59) on the road on Feb. 9. The Pride is coming off a 61-43 road loss at Georgia State on Feb. 13.

Hofstra is led by sophomore guard Taran Buie (6-2, 185), a Penn State transfer. Buie averaged 13.5 points per game and shoots 34 percent from the field and 32 percent (43-134) from beyond the arc. He averages 3.4 rebounds per game, and has 41 assists with 71 turnovers.

Senior Stevie Mejia (5-9, 175) runs the point for the Pride, averaging 11.1 points per game and leading the team with 3.9 assists per game (77 turnovers) in 25 games. He also leads the team with 46 steals and shoots 37 percent from the field and 30 percent (21-69) from beyond the arc.

Up front, senior David Imes (6-7, 240) is a tough customer up front who averages 7.1 points per game, 5.2 rebounds per game and 1 block per game. He shoots 34 percent from the floor and 24 percent (21-for-87) from beyond the arc. He also leads the team in free throw percentage (81.3 percent).

Redshirt freshman Jordan Allen (6-6, 200) has started 19 of 25 games. He averages 4.6 points per game and 3 rebounds while shooting 52 percent from the floor and 48 percent from the line.

Junior Stephen Nwaukoni (6-8, 240) starts at center and does the dirty work on the boards. He leads the Pride in rebounding with 7.9 per game, while averaging 6.9 points per game. He shoots 46 percent from the floor and 59 percent from the line.

Even though the bench is thin, the Pride does have some talent and can go nine deep. Sophomore Moussa Kone (6-7, 220) is the top player off the bench. He averages 5.2 points per game while shooting 51 percent from the floor and 54 percent from the line.

Towson takes on Hofstra at 4 p.m. on Saturday, and the game will be broadcast on the Towson Sports Network starting at 3:30 p.m. I'll be blogging live on TowsonTigers.com at 4 p.m.

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