Friday, March 8, 2013

TGTBATQ: Towson 57, Hofstra 50 (Or: Salvation in the blues)

(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: Stevie Mejia (yup, him again) had another impressive game as he led the Dutchmen with 13 points, four assists and an incredible seven steals. (Only one rebound though—c’mon Stevie) Moussa Kone was solid off the bench with 11 points (on 5-of-10 shooting) and five rebounds in 25 minutes. It was only the second time since Kone lost his starting job Jan. 1 that he played as many as 25 minutes in a game. The Dutchmen recovered from a slow start—they were down 14-4 eight minutes in—by forcing Towson to play their sludgy style of ball. Hofstra outscored Towson 25-9 over the next 15-plus minutes to open up a six-point lead. Kone scored six points in the final minutes of the first half while David Imes scored six unanswered points as Hofstra opened the second half with a 10-2 run. Jordan Allen (nine points), Imes (eight points) and Stephen Nwaukoni (seven points) provided balance behind Mejia and Kone. The Dutchmen racked up 15 steals, their most since they had 17 steals against Georgia State on Jan. 5, 2006.

THE BAD: This isn’t your grandfather’s Towson, as the Tigers proved in needing less than 10 minutes to turn that six-point deficit into an 11-point lead. Towson scored as many points in its 23-6 run as it did in the first 24 minutes combined. Towson big men Jerrelle Benimon, Marcus Damas and Bilal Dixon were limited to a manageable 36 points and 21 rebounds, but they were a combined 13-of-18 from the field. Taran Buie bottomed out by missing all 11 of his shots, the worst shooting performance by a Dutchmen player in the CAA era. Outside of Mejia and Kone, the Dutchmen shot just 10-of-34 from the field, including 1-of-8 from 3-point land. The Dutchmen left plenty of points on the floor as they went just 8-of-17 from the free throw line and converted their 15 steals into just 15 points. Mejia committed six turnovers for the second straight game. And while the Dutchmen only lost by seven, they never really threatened Towson over the final 10 minutes, a stretch in which they got as close as five points just once. 

THE QUIRKY: Mejia became the second Hofstra player in seven days to record seven steals in a game, which was a figure nobody had reached in the 287 games before Allen had seven steals against UNCW. Towson won at Hofstra for the first time since 2001-02 and only the second time since the two teams reconnected in the North Atlantic Conference in 1995-96.

3 STARS OF THE GAME (vs. Towson, 2/16)
3: Stevie Mejia
2: Moussa Kone
1: David Imes

40: Stevie Mejia
31: Taran Buie
26: Stephen Nwaukoni
15: David Imes
12: Jordan Allen
5: Moussa Kone
3: Daquan Brown
2: Matt Grogan
1: Adam Savion

***21 points vacated

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