Reprinted from yesterday's late edition.
Junior guard Derrick Melvin made three key plays in the final 31 seconds to bring Hofstra an 81-78 comeback victory over a disappointed host Catholic University last night.
The Cardinals' lapses of execution and concentration in the final minutes of the game hurt them as much as Melvin did.
With the score 76-all and 1:34 remaining, the Flying Dutchmen went into a spread offense to play for the last shot. Hofstra dribbled away 1:03 before Cardinal guard Dave Butler fouled Melvin, who converted the one-and-one to make it 78-76.
Then, Kevin Dziwulski, who had been CU's bread-and-butter man with 27 points got the ball on the left side of the basket. When Dziwulski tried to drive, Melvin slapped the ball loose from him and passed to Alvin Woods for a breakaway slam dunk. It gave Woods 19 points and Hofstra an 80-76 spread with 0:12 to play.
Stan Cooper drove the length of the floor and put up a soft 12-footer which made it 80-78 with five seconds left.
CU's Donnie Farrell fouled. Hoftra's Henry Hollingworth on the inbounds play. Hollingsworth, made the first free throw, but his missed second shot was rebounded by Catholic's Pete Gruzinskas, who turned to pass downcourt. There was Melvin again to make his final steal and end the game.
"I figured it was up to me to make something happen down the strech," said Melvin, one of the few veterans on the roster for Hofstra (7-16), which lost its first seven men from last season.
"I gambled for the steals because I felt that Catholic thought we'd slack off to keep them from committing foolish fouls," he added.
The red-hot Dziwulski made 10 of 12 field goal attempts in the opening half on a variety of shots. When Hofstra went into a zone, Dziwulski shot over it from outside; when the Dutchmen switched to man-to-man, he drove for three layups, including a tomahawk dunk.
Guard Hollingsworth, Hofstra's leading scorer (23.9), was held to four points in the first half by the Cardinals' box-and-one, but Doug Swanson took up the slack with his outside shooting (14 points) to help limit Catholic to a 38-36 half time lead.