Women’s basketball pulls away, silences Pride’s roar in win over Hofstra


Photo courtesy Jim Pierce

Junior forward Deja Bristol jumps to land a basket in a home game against UNCW Jan. 8. Bristol netted a career-high 16 points in Sunday’s match against Hofstra.

Eamonn Ryan, news staff

When it rains, it pours.

The Northeastern women’s basketball team (9-8, 4-2 CAA) discovered that in its 68-48 win at Hofstra (8-10, 2-5 CAA) in Hempstead, New York, on Sunday afternoon after shooting 10-of-18 (56%) from three-point range and 26-of-48 (54.2%) from the floor.

A career day from junior forward Deja Bristol (16 points) was the main highlight on offense, as entry passes from the wing opened up her inside game. Junior guard Derin Erdogan finished with 16 as well, shooting 4-of-6 from beyond the arc in her 30 minutes of play. Graduate student guard JaMiya Braxton added another 13 points for the Huskies as she shot 3-of-6 from three.

“[Bristol] was able to position herself to catch the passes from her teammates,” said Bridgette Mitchell, the Huskies’ head coach. “Her ability to finish today was really what we needed to give us some momentum and confidence going in.”

The defensive effort from Northeastern was perhaps even more impressive, as the Huskies held the Pride to just 18-of-58 (31%) shooting and forced 16 turnovers, including 12 steals. Hofstra’s guards couldn’t handle the pressure that the Huskies brought, rarely allowing them to get to the paint without tough defense. 

Mitchell opened the game by throwing a variety of defenses at the Pride, including a full court press and a hefty serving of half court traps, forcing Hofstra into seven turnovers in the first quarter.

The chaos that the Huskies desired didn’t fully work, however, as the Pride led 13-12 after shooting 6-of-12 in the opening frame and forced six turnovers themselves. 

That full court press was key in the second quarter, as Northeastern opened the first five minutes on an 11-2 run buoyed by impressive steals from senior guard Jaelyn Batts and two treys from Erdogan. The Huskies took a 33-24 lead into the halftime break.

“I was just telling them, ‘You’re not imposing your will, you guys have to make them do something,’” Mitchell said. “As a team we’ve been most effective when our defense leads our offense.”

Batts only scored four points, but her exceptional passing stole the show, as she finished with a team-high seven assists and continuously found the open shooter.

“[Batts] brings the intensity on the defensive end,” Mitchell said. “She’s going to bring that defensive presence we need, and then she’s going to take pride in finding our teammates in position when they’re wide open.”

Erdogan kept up the momentum in the third quarter, opening the Huskies’ scoring with a triple to make it a ten-point game. She then added another pull-up jumper four minutes into the second half.

From there, the Huskies went on a 12-0 run spanning the end of the third quarter and first two minutes of the final stanza. Bristol scored eight of her 16 points in that run, working down low and using her strength to score.

Mitchell emptied the bench after the Huskies got the lead up to 27 points with five minutes left as the Huskies rolled to their fourth CAA win. 

“I’m proud that everyone was able to step up and contribute,” Mitchell said. “The game started off slow, but when we got going, it was awesome to see.”

The Huskies will head home to face Towson for the first time this season in the Cabot Center Friday, Jan. 27 at 7 p.m.