Friday, March 8, 2013

TGTBATQ: Northeastern 62, Hofstra 57 (Or: We’re still waiting for the punchline)

Can't find Extreme's "Waiting For The Punchline"--the hidden last song on the album of the same name--on YouTube, so you get the Defiantly Dutch anthem instead!

(Note: I have been terribly derelict about posting game recaps this season, partially because I’ve been busy with work and fatherhood but mostly because this season has been devastatingly depressing. However, I hate the idea of not properly archiving these games, so to speak, so I came up with a compromise that will allow me to chronicle #HofstraPun the season in a basic, quick-hit fashion. So welcome to The Good, The Bad & The Quirky. Or, as I like to call it, TGTBATQ. Pretty self-explanatory, and probably something I should consider employing from the start next year so that I don’t fall into this trap again. Enjoy!)

THE GOOD: The Flying Dutchmen lost to Northeastern, the wire-to-wire regular season leader, by five points for the second time in 21 days. But unlike in Boston, where Northeastern led the entire time, the Dutchmen had the Huskies reeling for a 20-minute stretch spanning the halves in which Hofstra outscored Northeastern 39-21 to turn an eight-point deficit into a 10-point lead with 10:12 to play.

The rally was fueled by of all people, walk-on point guard Adam Savion, who played a career-high 24 minutes. He entered with 11:20 left in the first and the Dutchmen down 11-3. With Savion manning the point, the Dutchmen finished the half on a 21-8 run. Overall, the Dutchmen outscored Northeastern 42-31 with Savion on the floor. Those numbers are a bit misleading—he played almost 11 consecutive minutes in the second half, during which time the Dutchmen came back from a one-point deficit, built their 10-point lead and then fell behind by two points—but there’s no denying the spark he provided with Stevie Mejia in foul trouble and Taran Buie once again misfiring at will.

The Dutchmen also got unexpected contributions from reserve big men Daquan Brown and Moussa Kone, who were each 3-of-3 from the field. Kone added five rebounds. Stephen Nwaukoni had another big game with 11 points and a career-high tying 13 rebounds. Mejia had 11 points (on 4-of-5 shooting), three assists and two steals.

THE BAD: Well, there was that whole blowing a 10-point lead to the eventual regular season champion thingie. Mejia played a season-low 22 minutes because of his foul trouble. David Imes had eight points, eight rebounds and four assists but was just 2-of-9 from the field. The Dutchmen shot a wretched 11-of-22 from the free throw line and missed the front end of a one-and-one three times in the second half. Buie was just 4-of-18 from the field and had a potential game-tying 3-pointer blocked by Quincy Ford with two seconds left.

THE QUIRKY: Only the 2012-13 Dutchmen could wonder what-if about two buzzer-beater desperation heaves that barely missed. Imes’ shot from the opposite foul line rimmed in and out as the first half buzzer sounded while Buie’s meaningless chuck at the end of the game actually got wedged in between the backboard and the rim. Seriously. Only Hofstra, only this year. Oh, and Mejia displayed some amusing senior leadership when he went up to Northeastern sophomore Danny Walker before each of his free throw attempts with 1:20 left and the Huskies up four. Walker missed both. (Well, it was amusing to me, anyway)

3 STARS OF THE GAME (vs. Northeastern, 2/5)
3: Stephen Nwaukoni
2: Stevie Mejia
1: Adam Savion

31: Stevie Mejia
31: Taran Buie
23: Stephen Nwaukoni
14: David Imes
7: Jordan Allen
5: Moussa Kone
3: Daquan Brown
2: Matt Grogan
1: Adam Savion

***21 points vacated

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