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Hot guard play propels Hofstra past Charleston

The red-hot Hofstra Pride used terrific backcourt play to fend off the Charleston Cougars on Thursday night to push their winning streak to five games.

Hofstra Athletics

If you were looking for a backcourt dominated affair on Thursday night, Hofstra's 71-66 win over the College of Charleston fit that bill.

The Pride's score-first backcourt duo of Juan'ya Green (26) and Ameen Tanksley (17) combined for 43 points in the victory, edging the Cougars' guards in an explosive second half.

The game started off slow for Green, scoring just two points in the game's first 16 minutes. He closed the first half with seven of the Pride's final eight points to give Hofstra a four-point halftime advantage.

It was after the intermission that both backcourts caught fire, helping the teams combine for 85 second half points.

Charleston's Canyon Barry broke out of his recent slump, scoring 21 points, including 12 in the second half.

After the Cougars took a two-point lead midway through the second half, Green drilled a three ball, which started a seven-minute shootout between the two teams, primarily featuring Tanksley and Barry answering each other's big shots.

Barry accounted for eight points in that stretch for the Cougars, while guards Joe Chealey and Cameron Johnson added shots from three-point range, helping Charleston gain a three-point lead with just under five minutes remaining.

With the game locked at 57 with three minutes on the clock, Green buried a jumper that gave the Pride the lead for good.

Green got to the free throw line 14 times in this game, making 13 of those attempts. He currently ranks second in the nation in free throw attempts.

This game, which featured nine ties and six lead changes, was never supposed to be that close. Hofstra came in to the matchup winners of eight of their last 10, while Charleston had lost their last six contests. And while the Cougars may have dropped this one, it certainly could be a confidence booster that they had the CAA's lead dog on the ropes late.

Charleston may have hung with the Pride down the stretch, but their offensive struggles were obvious much of the evening. As they drop to 0-3 in the Colonial, head coach Earl Grant may start to wonder if he will have enough offensive firepower to stay afloat in conference play.

Hofstra will next face an Elon team that knocked off William & Mary on Thursday night, while Charleston will try to get back in the win column against a 1-13 Delaware squad.