Saturday, December 9, 2017

I’ll Be Quirky: Rider

The other John Carpenter made a movie about the ECC!

The Flying Dutchmen went viral for all the right reasons Wednesday night, when Jalen Ray’s 3-pointer off Justin Wright-Foreman’s intentional miss of a free throw capped a comeback from a 14-point deficit and gave the Dutchmen an 85-84 win over Monmouth in one of the wildest games in recent memory. You’ve probably seen and heard a little bit about it the past few days, but here’s a look back at the win over the Hawks as well as a look ahead to tonight, when the Dutchmen try to extend their winning streak to three by visiting Rider.

The Dutchmen trailed by 14 points with 15 minutes left, took the lead fewer than 10 minutes later and trailed by five with 24 seconds left before mounting one more stunning comeback. A third-opportunity putback by Joel Angus (17 points, 11 rebounds) pulled the Dutchmen within three with 10 seconds left, after which Monmouth’s Deion Hammond missed two free throws. Justin Wright-Foreman (24 points) was fouled just beyond half court and made the first shot before purposely missing the second. Stafford Trueheart, who collected all of his career-high seven rebounds in the second half, tapped the ball out to Jalen Ray, who drained the 3-pointer. Monmouth somehow missed a game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer. Wright-Foreman led all scorers and Angus recorded his first double-double for the Dutchmen while spending most of his time at center in place of foul-plagued Rokas Gustys, who had just five points and four rebounds in 15 minutes. Eli Pemberton added 17 points while Ray scored all of his career-high 14 points in the second half.

3 STARS OF THE GAME (vs. Monmouth 12/6)
3: Joel Angus
2: Jalen Ray
1: Justin Wright-Foreman

Justin Wright-Foreman 18
Rokas Gustys 11
Eli Pemberton 10
Joel Angus 4
Jalen Ray 2
Desure Buie 2

The Flying Dutchmen came back from a deficit of at least 10 points for the first tie this season and the 13th time in five seasons under Joe Mihalich. The 14-point comeback was tied for the fourth-biggest comeback the Dutchmen have mounted under Mihalich.

vs. Monmouth 12/6/17 (trailed by 14 in 2H, won 85-84)
vs. Drexel 2/4/17 (trailed by 13 in 2H, won 79-77)
vs. Delaware 2/2/17 (trailed by 14 in 1H, won 73-65)
vs. Coppin State 11/11/16 (trailed by 11 in 1H, won 74-72)
vs. UNCW 2/25/16 ( trailed by 18 in 1H, won 70-69)
vs. Drexel 1/30/16 (trailed by 12 in 2H, won 70-64)
vs. Sacred Heart 12/28/15 (trailed by 11 in 2H, won 80-73)
vs. St. Bonaventure 11/28/15 ( trailed by 10 in 1H, won 89-83)
vs. Canisius 11/13/15 (trailed by 18 in 1H, won 96-85)
vs. Towson 2/18/15 (trailed by 14 in 1H, won 87-82)
vs. UNCW 1/3/15 (trailed by 13 in 1H, won 68-56)
vs. UNCW 2/8/14 (trailed by 15 in 2H, won 61-52)
vs. Charleston 1/11/14 (trailed by 14 in 1H, won 75-71)

The 55-point second half by the Dutchmen was their biggest half against a Division I opponent this season and tied for the fourth-biggest output in a half during the Joe Mihalich era. The Dutchmen have scored at least 50 points in a half 19 times under Mihalich and are 15-3 in games in which they produce at least one 50-point half (they scored at least 50 points in both halves against Molloy on Nov 30).

59 (2H vs. Molloy 11/16/15, 96-64 W)
57 (2H vs. Coppin State 12/10/14, 105-64 W)
56 (2H vs. Molloy, 11/30/17, 107-72 W)
55 (2H vs. Monmouth, 12/6/17, 85-84 W)
55 (2H vs. W&M 2/23/17, 96-82 W)
53 (2H vs. W&M 1/24/16, 91-63 W)
52 (2H vs. SBU, 12/13/16, 96-58 W)
52 (2H vs. Appalachian State 12/6/15, 86-80 W)
52 (2H vs. St. Bonaventure 11/28/15, 89-83 W)
52 (1H vs. Jacksonville 11/14/14, 94-61 W)
51 (1H vs. Molloy, 11/30/17, 107-72 W)
51 (2H vs. FAU, 12/3/16, 88-80 W)
51 (2H vs. Canisius 11/13/15, 96-85 W)
51 (2H vs. Vermont 3/18/15, 85-81 L CBI)
50 (1H vs. Auburn 11/19/17, 89-78 L)
50 (1H vs. W&M 1/2/17, 95-93 L OT)
50 (2H vs. Delaware 2/13/16, 77-66 W)
50 (2H vs. Towson 2/18/15, 87-82 W)
50 (1H vs. Fairleigh Dickinson 11/10/13, 80-58 W)

Rokas Gustys had perhaps his worst game since his freshman year Wednesday when he scored just five points and pulled down four rebounds while playing only 15 minutes due to foul trouble. Gustys collected two fouls in the first half and went back to the bench after picking up his third and fourth fouls (the latter a technical) fewer than two minutes into the second. He returned with 4:05 to play but didn’t score or record a rebound before fouling out with 1:42 remaining. The 15 minutes played marked the first time Gustys played fewer than 15 minutes since he logged just 13 minutes against Columbia on Nov. 29, 2016. In addition, Wednesday was the first time he failed to record more than five points or five rebounds since he had four points and four rebounds against Siena on Dec. 9, 2015.

Thanks to his quiet performance against Monmouth, Rokas Gustys remained in eighth place on the CAA’s all-time rebounding list with 1,021. Gustys needs six rebounds tonight to surpass George Mason’s Kenny Sanders (1986-89) for seventh place. He is fewer than 100 rebounds away from second-place Vernon Butler (1,115) and 294 rebounds away from moving ahead of Hall of Famer David Robertson (1,314) atop the list.

Junior guard Justin Wright-Foreman enters today averaging 37.2 minutes per game, which ranks him 13th in the country. Two of the players ahead of him are conference foes — Drexel’s Kurt Lee, who leads the nation with 38.9 minutes per game, and Drexel’s Sammy Mojica, who is tied for sixth at 37.9 minutes per game. Wright-Foreman has played 298 total minutes this season, nearly three times as many as he played in his entire freshman season (110).

Rider is 5-4 this season but has lost three straight, including a 78-75 defeat at the hands of Robert Morris in its most recent game Wednesday night. The Broncs’ other losses came to a pair of Big East teams (Xavier earned a 101-75 win on Nov. 13 while Providence notched an 88-84 win on Nov. 29) as well as CAA foe Drexel, which beat Rider 89-77 on Dec. 2. Rider was picked seventh in the MAAC’s preseason poll.

At today, Hofstra is ranked 150th while Monmouth is ranked 178th. Per the wise guys, for entertainment purposes only, the Dutchmen are 2.5-point underdogs. Hofstra is 2-3 against the spread this season.

Rider has five players averaging at least 10 points per game, led by Jordan Allen (17.6 points per game). Not that Jordan Allen, we checked.

Hofstra and Rider have four mutual foes thanks to the Dutchmen’s MAAC-heavy non-conference schedule. In addition to beating Monmouth on Wednesday, the Dutchmen lost to Siena, 86-75, on Nov. 25, will “host” Manhattan at Adelphi on Dec. 20 and will face Drexel twice during the CAA season. Rider faces Monmouth and Manhattan twice apiece and Siena once during MAAC play. 

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 19-17 all-time against Rider, which was a conference rival in the ECC from 1974 through 1992. This will be just the third game between the schools since Rider left the ECC and the first one not necessitated by the blasted Bracketbusters. Hofstra won the previous two — a 92-89 overtime win at the Arena in a Bracketbuster Feb. 20, 2010 and a 58-48 win in the return game at Rider on Nov. 29, 2010.

The Flying Dutchmen established the program’s shot clock era for fewest points allowed in a game on Jan. 18, 1989, when Hofstra beat Rider, 48-34, at the Physical Fitness Center. 

Hofstra is 94-117 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).

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

Your ex-coach become the commissioner of the ECC bias! (Rider coach John Carpenter was the final commissioner of the ECC)
Bannon bias! (Before he ruined his career by being abad guy at Rutgers, Kevin Bannon coached Rider to consecutive NCAA Tournaments in 1993-94)
You played your most recent NCAA Tournament game at Nassau Coliseum bias! (And I was there for it)
Clair Bee bias! (The legendary coach began his career at Rider)

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