It isn’t often the Kaplan Arena public address announcer has to sound out “from Williamsburg” when reading the pregame starting lineups.
Hosftra senior point guard Deron Powers, who had 19 points with five assists and five rebounds, received that treatment Thursday in the Pride's 96-82 win at William and Mary, much to the delight of his hometown support behind Hofstra’s bench.
The Hampton University transfer said there was no way he was going to have a bad game in front of his friends and family.
The former Williamsburg Christian Academy star did not disappoint, shooting 6-for-13 from the field including a 3-pointer. He was 6-for-8 from the free throw line and scored Hofstra’s first bucket of the game by driving to the hoop for a left-handed layup.
“For me, personally, I know a lot of family and friends came out,” Powers said. “That really helped me out a lot. It helped me stick to my game and play hard.”
Powers had played once before at Kaplan as a Hampton freshman and the Pride have one more in-state game left on its current road swing at James Madison on Saturday to close out the regular season.
Powers helped seal the win with a minute and a second left on the clock when he drove inside for a lay-in, plus the foul, to make it 89-82.
William and Mary's Omar Prewitt was whistled for a technical foul on the play, although the personal foul was on Nathan Knight, leading to a pair of Brian Bernardi free throws before Powers finished off the five-point swing with another free throw to make it 92-82.
"I think towards the end, we were just tougher than them," Powers said. "I think when we needed to make plays, we made plays. When we needed stops, we made stops."
Mihalich said of Powers, “So happy for him because we all know this: There’s some added pressure when you have to play in your hometown. More people come to the game. You’re going to try a little harder. Sometimes that can go against you, so I thought he kept his poise tonight.”
Holtzman can be reached by phone at 757-298-5830.