Saturday, November 25, 2017

I’ll Be Quirky: Siena

This is just sad. Not as sad as going 0-3 in the CBI, of course.

The Flying Dutchmen return from the Thanksgiving break this afternoon, when they’ll take a two-game losing streak upstate for a game with regular non-conference rival Siena. Here’s a look back at Sunday’s loss to Auburn and a look ahead to the court-storming Saints.

The Dutchmen carried a one-point lead into halftime against Auburn but allowed the Tigers to score the first 18 points of the second half and never got closer than seven the rest of the way in an 89-78 loss in the third-place game of the Charleston Classic. Eli Pemberton scored a game-high 23 points but was limited to four points in the second half, when he played through an ankle injury, Justin Wright-Foreman scored 16 points for the Dutchmen, who put five players in double figures for the first time this season. Rokas Gustys (11 points, nine rebounds) flirted with a double-double while Kenny Wormley and Stafford Trueheart each had 10 points apiece in their first double-digit efforts at Hofstra. Desure Buie added six assists. 

3 STARS OF THE GAME (vs. Auburn 11/19)
3: Eli Pemberton
2: Justin Wright-Foreman
1: Rokas Gustys

Justin Wright-Foreman 12
Eli Pemberton 8
Rokas Gustys 6
Desure Buie 2
Joel Angus 1

COACHSPEAK: “Like to have those eight minutes back to start the second half. I think that’s obvious. I just told the team the same thing: Take those eight minutes out, I feel like we outplayed them. Played really well for 32 minutes. So I’m going to try to build on that.”

Sophomore guard Eli Pemberton earned CAA player of the week honors last week after averaging 19 points and 3.8 rebounds in four games. It is the first player of the week honor for Pemberton and the first time a Hofstra player has been named CAA player of the week since Justin Wright-Foreman took home the honors for the week ending Feb. 13. Pemberton earned three rookie of the week honors last season. 

Hofstra fell to 22-24 in preseason tournament play in the CAA era. The Dutchmen participated in the Gulf Coast Showcase last season, when they beat Bradley (92-90) and South Dakota (65-57) while falling to Vermont (87-73) in Florida before beating Division III Medaille 89-56 at Hofstra (don’t ask).

The Dutchmen led Auburn 51-50 at halftime. It was just the third time in the last 10 seasons the Dutchmen have led a power conference foe at halftime.

11/19/17: Hofstra 51, Auburn 50
11/17/17: Clemson 42-32
12/11/16: Kentucky 48-33
11/22/15: South Carolina 46-39
11/20/15: Hofstra 41, Florida State 35
11/17/14: North Carolina State 45-39
11/12/13: Louisville 46-31
11/11/12: Purdue 42-17
11/16/11: Hofstra 41, Oregon State 39
11/21/10: Nebraska 32-21
11/18/10: North Carolina 58-33
11/17/09: UConn 30-23
11/13/09: Kansas 48-27
11/14/08: Clemson 39-24

Senior center Rokas Gustys has a chance to reach some rarefied air this afternoon. He enters today’s game with 987 rebounds, the third-highest total in school history and the 10th-highest total in CAA history. He is seven rebounds shy of moving past George Mason’s Will Thomas (aww too bad) for ninth place all-time in the CAA and 13 rebounds away from becoming the ninth player in conference history and only the third player in Hofstra history to reach 1,000 rebounds. In addition, Gustys is exactly 200 rebounds away from surpassing John Irving for second place all-time at Hofstra. Irving’s 1,186 rebounds are the most in Hofstra’s Division I history.

Siena is 0-4 this season following a 115-92 loss to Bucknell on Monday night. The Saints are one of just 20 winless teams in Division I entering Saturday. Siena was picked sixth in the MAAC’s preseason poll.

At today, Hofstra is ranked 128th while Siena is ranked 278th. Per the wise guys, for entertainment purposes only, the Dutchmen are 4.5-point favorites. It is the first time this year the Dutchmen have been favored. Hofstra is 1-2 against the spread this season.

Hofstra and Siena have three mutual foes thanks to the Dutchmen’s MAAC-heavy non-conference schedule. In December, the Dutchmen are scheduled to visit Monmouth and Rider before “hosting” Manhattan at Adelphi. Siena faces Monmouth and Manhattan twice apiece and Rider once.

Hofstra has not faced four opponents from one league since the 1993-94 season, when the Dutchmen played four North Atlantic Conference foes in the program’s final pre-NAC season.

Hofstra is 5-2 all-time against Siena. Six of those meetings have taken place since the 2005-06 season. This is the third game of a four-year series. The Dutchmen won the most recent game between the teams last season by earning an 84-64 victory in Hempstead.

Siena is the most frequent opponent for Joe Mihalich, who is 19-19 against the Saints dating back to his days as Niagara’s head coach. The Dutchmen are 2-1 against Siena under Mihalich. The four games against Siena will be the most Hofstra has played against a non-conference foe under Mihalich until the Dutchmen trek out east to play SUNY-Stony Brook Dec. 12.

Hofstra is 93-116 all-time against current MAAC schools. This marks the 11th time in the last 12 seasons the Dutchmen have played at least two MAAC schools (the 2014-15 schedule had no MAAC teams).

Hofstra will carry live audio and video and offer live stats here.

You storm the court for winning the CBI bias! (That really happened in 2014, see above)
At least you win in the CBI bias! (Duh)
Matt Brady bias! (The former James Madison head coach played for Siena under Mike Deane)

@gheorghetheblog bias! (Our good Twitter friend and William & Mary frenemy grew up in the Loudonville area)

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