Thursday, January 25, 2018

I'll Be Quirky: Northeastern

I spent my last 10 bucks at Simpsons World on this Bill Coen doll!

The rollercoaster season took another dip Saturday afternoon, when the Dutchmen squandered an 18-point first half lead against preseason CAA favorite College of Charleston and fell to the host Cougars, 76-70. The loss cost the Dutchmen a chance at a battle for first place tonight, when they host CAA co-leader Northeastern at the Arena. Here’s a look back at the loss to Charleston and a look ahead to the Huskies.

Justin Wright-Foreman (26 points, four assists, one steal) did Justin Wright-Foreman things, but the Dutchmen had no answer for the Charleston 1-2 punch of Joe Chealey (33 points) and Grant Riller (25 points) as the Cougars stormed back for the win. Chealey and Riller were a combined 19-of-26 from the field, including 16-of-19 from inside the 3-point arc. Rokas Gustys (10 points, eight rebounds) was the only other player to score in double figures for the Dutchmen. Desure Buie had seven points, five assists and five rebounds while Eli Pemberton added eight points.

3 STARS OF THE GAME (vs. College of Charleston 1/20)
3: Justin Wright-Foreman
2: Rokas Gustys
1: Desure Buie

Justin Wright-Foreman 51
Rokas Gustys 26
Eli Pemberton 20
Desure Buie 8
Jalen Ray 6
Joel Angus 4
Kenny Wormley 2
Stafford Trueheart 1
Hunter Sabety 1

The Dutchmen blew a lead of at least 10 points and lost for the first time this season and the 15th time in the Joe Mihalich Era (2013-present). The 18-point blown lead was the second-biggest under Mihalich. The Dutchmen frittered away a 20-point lead against UNC Wilmington on Feb. 4, 2016. I have good and bad news about how that season ended.

vs. Charleston 1/20/18 (18 1st, L 76-70)
vs. Delaware 3/3/17 (10 1st, L 81-76 CAAT)
vs. Towson 2/9/17 (10 2nd, L 69-65)
vs. Towson 1/19/17 (16 1st, L 86-80)
vs. UNCW 3/7/16 (12 2nd, L 80-73 OT CAAT)
vs. JMU 2/7/16 (14 1st, L 98-95 OT)
vs. UNCW 2/4/16 (20 1st, L 70-67)
vs. JMU 1/24/15 (14 1st, L 69-63)
vs. South Florida 11/25/15 (15 2nd, L 71-70)
vs. Delaware 2/19/14 (15 1st, L 81-77)
vs. Northeastern 1/25/14 (10 1st, L 70-57)
vs. Delaware 1/8/14 (13 1st, L 86-79)
vs. Belmont 11/24/13 (10 1st, L 85-75)
vs. Richmond 11/19/13 (11 2nd, L 74-63)
vs. Monmouth 11/8/13 (13 2nd, L 88-84)

Junior guard Justin Wright-Foreman scored at least 10 points Saturday for the 42nd straight game. It is the fifth-longest active streak in Division I, per Hofstra SID Stephen Gorchov, and snapped a tie with Loren Stokes for the fourth-longest streak streak by a Hofstra player since 1989-90 (as far back as my records go, at least at home). Thankfully, the record-tying effort did not come with a punch to the nuts. Wright-Foreman is one game away from tying former teammate Juan’ya Green for third on the list.

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 
Justin Wright-Foreman: 42 straight games 12/11/16-present
Loren Stokes 41 straight games 2/20/06-3/14/07*** 
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
The six-point loss to Charleston Saturday marked the 12th time in 19 games this season a Hofstra game has been determined by six points or fewer or in overtime, the most in the CAA. The Dutchmen are 9-3 in their “close shaves.” 

HOFSTRA 12 (9-3)
Drexel 11 (5-6)
James Madison 11 (4-7)
Elon 10 (7-3)
UNC Wilmington 9 (3-6)
Towson 8 (3-5)
College of Charleston 8 (4-4)
Delaware 6 (4-2)
Northeastern 5 (3-2)
William & Mary 3 (3-0)

While recency bias makes these nail-biters seem new and unusual, “Team Barbasol” is a well-earned moniker for the Dutchmen. Of the 86 games the Dutchmen have played since the start of the 2015-16 season, a whopping 48 have been decided by six points or fewer or in overtime. They are 29-19 in the “close shaves.”

Justin Wright-Foreman and Rokas Gustys, the two newest members of the 1,000-point club at Hofstra, could each move up multiple spots on the list tonight. With his 26 points on Saturday afternoon, Wright-Foreman moved into 28th place all-time and needs just three points to move past Mike Moore, seven points to surpass Wandy Williams and 14 points to surge past Nathaniel Lester, who is 25th on the list. Gustys, meanwhile, enters tonight needing just three points to move past Darius Burton into 32nd place and 12 points to surpass Derrick Flowers.

24.) Ted Jackson 1,159 (1958-61)
25.) Nathaniel Lester 1,139 (2007-12)
26.) Wandy Williams 1,132 (1966-69)
27.) Mike Moore 1,128 (2010-12)
28.) JUSTIN WRIGHT-FOREMAN 1,126 (2015-present)
29.) Richie Swartz 1,107 (1959-62)
30.) Ameen Tanksley 1,090 (2014-16)
31.) Derrick Flowers 1,069 (1987-91)
32.) Darius Burton 1,060 (1993-97)
33.) ROKAS GUSTYS 1,058 (2014-present)
34.) Percy Johnson 1,045 (1950-53)
35.) Jim Shaffer 1,022 (1991-95)
36.) John Irving 1,018 (1974-77)

Hofstra will provide a live video and radio feed, as well as live stats, at the Pride Productions hub.

The Huskies, under 12th-year head coach Bill Coen, are 13-7 this season and 6-2 in CAA play. The latter mark ties them for first place in the league with William & Mary. Northeastern earned its third straight win Saturday with a 76-64 win over Delaware.

The Dutchmen and Huskies had no common foes during non-league play. Both teams have beaten James Madison and Delaware in CAA action, with Northeastern already completing the season sweep of the Dukes, and both squads have lost to Charleston. Northeastern has beaten Elon and William & Mary, both of whom beat Hofstra.

The Dutchmen, who were picked fourth in the CAA preseason poll, enter today ranked 158th at The Huskies, who were picked sixth, are ranked 116th at

This game marks the Dutchmen’s first rematch of the 2017-18 CAA season. Hofstra edged Northeastern, 71-70, in Boston on Jan. 2. The Dutchmen will be looking for their third straight season sweep. 

According to the efficiency rankings at the Dutchmen rank second in the CAA in conference-only offensive efficiency (114.5) and eighth in conference-only defensive efficiency (111.0). The Huskies rank fifth in the CAA in conference-only offensive efficiency (113.7) and second in conference-only defensive efficiency (103.5). predicts a 75-74 win by Hofstra. Per the wise guys in Vegas, for entertainment purposes only, the Dutchmen are 2.5-point favorites. Hofstra is 7-9 against the spread this season.

Hofstra is 22-20 against Northeastern in a series that began during the 1949-50 season. All but three of the meetings have come in conference play since the 1994-95 season, when Hofstra joined the North Atlantic Conference. The Dutchmen took the all-time lead by virtue of sweeping last season’s series with a 78-73 win in Hempstead and a 74-64 win in Bahston. The Dutchmen’s current five-game winning streak in the series comes immediately after they lost seven straight games to Northeastern prior to the 2015-16 season.

The Barone Bowl was established by me and Northeastern graduate Mike Brodsky during the 2009-10 season, after Northeastern and Hofstra dropped football within two weeks of one another (Hofstra’s decision, of course, was reached after a multi-year study, wink wink nudge nudge). The Barone Bowl pays homage to the episode of Everybody Loves Raymond in which a Hofstra kicker boots a 68-yard field goal against Northeastern but Frank Barone catches the ball and refuses to give it up. Apparently that wasn’t the type of publicity either school liked. Anyway.

Northeastern leads the Barone Bowl series, 10-8, though Hofstra is looking tonight to retain the Barone Bowl for the third straight season. This, unfortunately, is a purely symbolic trophy, one which you will not find displayed by either school. But you can find me and Brodsky talking about it on Twitter!

Bill Coen never ditches his jacket bias! (It’s true, I read it on Twitter)
Bill Coen is an Al Gore doll come to life! (He really is)
Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch bias! (C’mon people)

Let us have this you’re gonna win another Super Bowl in 10 days anyway! (C’mon people)

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