Sunday, January 7, 2018

I'll Be Quirky: Elon

At least there's no Joe West amongst #CAAHoops refs?

The Flying Dutchmen continued to garner national attention for their high-wire act Friday, when Justin Wright-Foreman first forced overtime with a SportsCenter-leading 3-pointer with 1.1 seconds left and then scored eight points in the extra session as the Dutchmen escaped with an 87-81 win over James Madison at the Arena. The Dutchmen will look to extend their winning streak to three games, and perhaps not give us all a nervous breakdown, this afternoon, when they host Elon. Here’s a look back at the exciting win over the Dukes and a look ahead to the Phoenix.

Justin Wright-Foreman scored 18 of his team-high 26 points in the final 13 minutes as the Dutchmen came back from an eight-point second half deficit to edge James Madison. Wright-Foreman was stuck on eight points until a nostalgic, game-tying 3-point play with 7:43 left set off a frantic sequence in which the Dutchmen and Dukes combined for 13 ties and lead changes the rest of the way. Eli Pemberton’s free throws with 1:41 left in overtime gave the Dutchmen the lead for good. Wright-Foreman and Stafford Trueheart went 8-for-8 from the free throw line the rest of the way. Rokas Gustys (12 points, 18 rebounds) recorded his second straight double-double and scored his 1,000th career point on a second half layup. Freshman Jalen Ray drained five 3-pointers and scored a career-high 18 points while Pemberton added nine points and Hunter Sabety scored eight points on 4-of-4 shooting. 

3 STARS OF THE GAME (vs. James Madison 1/5)
3: Justin Wright-Foreman
2: Rokas Gustys
1: Jalen Ray

Justin Wright-Foreman 39
Rokas Gustys 19
Eli Pemberton 16
Jalen Ray 4
Desure Buie 4
Joel Angus 4
Kenny Wormley 2
Hunter Sabety 1

COACHSPEAK: "The discussion in the locker room right there was about as basic as it could be: How hard it is to win in college basketball. How hard it is to win in college basketball. You've got to be ready to go. Everybody's good in this day and age. Time was when three teams in the league wouldn't even show up and that was six wins for you on the schedule. Not like that anymore. Everybody's talented, everybody's good and everybody's playing hard. We could have lost that game and we didn't. We found a way. Really proud of our guys."

The Dutchmen are 2-1 or better through three CAA games for the fourth time in five seasons under Joe Mihalich and the 11th time in 17 seasons since joining the CAA prior to the 2001-02 campaign.

The Dutchmen played their first overtime game of the season Friday, when they improved to 2-7 in overtime games under Joe Mihalich and 18-13 in overtime games during the CAA era (2001-present), The Dutchmen are 4-2 in overtime against James Madison, with whom they have gone to an extra session more than any other CAA foe. The Dutchmen have gone to overtime five times apiece with Drexel and UNC Wilmington.

Senior Rokas Gustys joined a select club Friday, when he scored his 1,000th career point on a layup with 7:10 left in the second half. Gustys is the 35th member of Hofstra’s 1,000-point club and just the third player in Hofstra history to collect 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds. He is the second to do it during the Division I era.

Bill Thieben (1953-56) 2,045 points/1,837 rebounds***
John Irving (1974-77) 1,018 points/1,186 rebounds
Rokas Gustys (2014-present) 1,002 points/1,096 rebounds

***Thieben’s rebounds are the most in school history.

In addition, Gustys is only the second active Division I player with 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds. Seton Hall’s Angel Delgado has 1,362 points and 1,241 rebounds.

With his first rebound Friday night, Rokas Gustys broke a tie with Delaware’s Jamelle Hagins and moved into sole possession of third place on the CAA’s all-time rebounding list. Gustys, who enters today with 1,096 rebounds, has more rebounds than any CAA player this century. He is just 20 rebounds shy of moving past Navy’s Vernon Butler (1,115), who played from 1982-86, into second place and 219 rebounds away from moving ahead of Hall of Famer David Robinson (1,314), who played for Navy from 1983-87.

The Dutchmen are likely to welcome another player into the 1,000-point club today. Justin Wright-Foreman needs just nine points to become the 36th member of the club. Wright-Foreman has scored in double digits in each of his last 37 games. Hey that sounds familiar.

Junior guard Justin Wright-Foreman scored at least 10 points Friday for the 37th straight game. It is the fifth-longest active streak in Division I, per Hofstra SID Stephen Gorchov, as well as the fifth-longest streak by a Hofstra player since 1989-90 (as far back as my records go, at least at home), a stretch in which a Hofstra player has scored in double digits in at least 30 straight games only six times.

Charles Jenkins 58 straight games 12/12/09-3/15/11*** 
Antoine Agudio 48 straight games 3/6/06-1/17/08****
Juan’ya Green: 43 straight games 11/14/14-12/9/15 
Loren Stokes 41 straight games 2/20/06-3/14/07*** 
Justin Wright-Foreman: 37 straight games 12/11/16-present
Loren Stokes: 34 straight games 1/14/04-1/31/05

***streak ended with the end of the player’s Hofstra career
****Agudio had three DNPs during his streak

Hunter Sabety was a perfect 4-for-4 from the field Friday. It marked the seventh time this season and the 15th time in 47 career games he’s missed one field goal or fewer (minimum three attempts).

The overtime win over James Madison marked the ninth time in 15 games this season for the Dutchmen that the outcome was determined by six points or fewer or in overtime The Dutchmen are 7-2 in those games. The nine “close shaves” lead the CAA.

HOFSTRA 9 (7-2)
Drexel 8 (5-3)
Elon 7 (6-1)
James Madison 7 (2-5)
Towson 6 (3-3)
College of Charleston 5 (2-3)
UNC Wilmington 5 (1-4)
Delaware 4 (2-2)
Northeastern 4 (2-2)
William & Mary 2 (2-0)

Hofstra will provide a video and radio feed of tonight’s game, as well as live stats, at the Pride Productions hub.

The Phoenix, under ninth-year head coach Matt Matheny, are 10-6 this season and 2-1 in CAA play. Elon fell to Northeastern, 72-60, on Friday night. The loss snapped a three-game winning streak for the Phoenix.

The Dutchmen and Phoenix had no common foes during non-league play, though Hofstra beat Northeastern last Tuesday, 71-70.

The Dutchmen, who were picked fourth in the CAA preseason poll, enter today ranked 154th at The Phoenix, which was picked third, is ranked 187th at

Per the wise guys in Vegas, for entertainment purposes only, the Dutchmen are 4-point favorites. Hofstra is 4-7 against the spread this season.

The Phoenix have four players averaging in double figures, led by junior Dainan Swoope (14.3 points per game), whose name is almost as great as Stuckey Mosley’s. Junior Tyler Seibring (6.1 rebounds per game) leads the Phoenix in rebounding.

Hofstra is 5-2 against Elon, which joined the CAA prior to the 2014-15 season. Elon earned its first wins over the Dutchmen by sweeping last season’s series by virtue of a 96-80 victory and an 84-70 win in Hempstead. Hofstra and Elon first opposed each other on Nov. 23, 2009, when the Dutchmen cruised past the Phoenix, 70-46, in a preseason NIT game at the Arena.

He Got Game bias! (According to Wikipedia, which is never wrong, Spike Lee filmed part of “He Got Game” at Elon)
Joe West is a terrible umpire bias! (The terrible attention-seeking umpire went to Elon)
Frank Haith bias! (The program-wrecking men’s basketball coach also went to Elon)
At least you still play I-AA football bias! (Sigh)

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