UNCASVILLE, Conn. -- Dion Nesmith scored a career-high 27 points and Hofstra hit enough free throws down the stretch to hold off Hartford 81-78 in the Hall of Fame Tip-Off Saturday night.
Hofstra (2-3) hit 6 of 8 free throws, the last by Nesmith producing the three-point advantage with 16 seconds left. Then the Pride forced a final turnover by Hartford (2-4).
Nesmith's three-point play at 8:08 tied the game and about 90 seconds later he put the Pride up for good with two free throws. Hofstra was 31 of 41 from the line with Nesmith making 8 of 11. Zek Upshaw, who made to clutch free throws in the final minute, added 12 points.
Hartford, which was only 11 of 16 from the foul line, had five players in double figures. Taylor Dawson led the way with 16 and Mark Nwakamma had 15.
Hartford shot 53 percent but got out-rebounded 36-24.