Holy '90s flashback! (Also, please don't make me sing "The Dutchmen make me cry" tonight)
The team actually, temporarily, let’s make it permanently known as the Flying Dutchmen turned Throwback Thursday into a raving success as Eli Pemberton scored 27 points in a nearly wire-to-wire in a 96-76 win over UNC Wilmington. The Dutchmen will hope the magic from returning to their roots remains tonight, when they host Charleston in a legitimately big game. Here’s a look back at the win over the Seahawks and a look ahead to the Cougars.
THE MOST RECENT GAME SUMMARIZED IN ONE PARAGRAPH
The Dutchmen took the lead for good with an 11-0 run late in the first half and led by fewer than 10 points just once in the second half of a lopsided win over UNC Wilmington. Eli Pemberton was 7-of-10 from the field and 11-of-12 from the free throw line on his way to collecting 27 points, one shy of his career high. He also added seven rebounds and three assists in a Loren Stokes-ian performance. Rokas Gustys (17 points, 16 rebounds) got the best of Devontae Cacok in a battle of the CAA’s best big men while Justin Wright-Foreman had a “quiet” 23 points on 9-of-13 shooting. Desure Buie had 10 assists, the most by a Hofstra player this season, while Kenny Wormley chipped in a season-high 12 points off the bench. If you are interested in reading about the game form the UNCW perspective, check out this gamer from some slackwit who strung the game for the StarNews in Wilmington.
3 STARS OF THE GAME (vs. UNC Wilmington 2/1)
3: Eli Pemberton
2: Rokas Gustys
1: Justin Wright-Foreman
Justin Wright-Foreman 57
Rokas Gustys 33
Eli Pemberton 24
Desure Buie 8
Jalen Ray 6
Joel Angus 4
Kenny Wormley 3
Stafford Trueheart 1
Hunter Sabety 1
COACHSPEAK: “It’s February and we want to be good in February. Because to be good in March, you’ve got to be good in February.”
NO CLOSE SHAVE II: ELECTRIC BOOGALOO
The Dutchmen played an atypically lopsided game Thursday in earning the 20-point win over UNC Wilmington. It was just the fourth time in 11 CAA games, and the 10th time in 23 games overall, that the Dutchmen have played a game decided by more than six points. Only Drexel (14) and James Madison (13) have exceeded or matched the Dutchmen’s number of “close shaves.”
The Dutchmen’s 10-3 record in close shaves gives them by far the best winning percentage of any CAA team in such contests. However, the Dutchmen are also one of just three CAA teams with two 20-point wins this season, along with William & Mary and Towson.
Drexel 14 (8-6)
HOFSTRA 13 (10-3)
James Madison 13 (4-9)
Elon 11 (7-4)
UNC Wilmington 11 (4-7)
Towson 10 (5-5)
College of Charleston 9 (5-4)
Delaware 8 (4-4)
Northeastern 7 (3-4)
William & Mary 5 (4-1)
While recency bias makes these nail-biters seem new and unusual, “Team Barbasol” is a well-earned moniker for the Dutchmen. Of the 89 games the Dutchmen have played since the start of the 2015-16 season, a whopping 49 have been decided by six points or fewer or in overtime. They are 30-19 in the “close shaves.”
NUMBER ONE AT DIVISION I
Rokas Gustys cemented his case as the best rebounder Hofstra’s had in the Division I era Thursday night, when he moved past John Irving into second place with the second of his 16 rebounds. The milestone rebound came off a Gustys miss with 12:51 left in the first half and led to a 3-pointer by Kenny Wormley. Gustys (1,201 rebounds) ranks behind only Bill Thieben, who pulled down a whopping 1,837 rebounds from 1953-56, back when the Flying Dutchmen were a Division III program.
Rokas Gustys recorded his 10th double-double of the season and the 44th of his career Thursday, when he scored 17 points and pulled down 16 rebounds against UNC Wilmington. The Dutchmen had just 46 double-doubles (points-rebounds) combined in the five seasons prior to Gustys’ arrival on campus in the fall of 2014. The only player with more than 10 double-doubles from 2009-10 through 2013-14 was Stephen Nwaukoni, who had 11 double-doubles.
BUIE DROPPING DIMES
Desure Buie dished out a career-high 10 assists Thursday night. It was the first 10-assist game by a Hofstra player since Deron Powers collected 11 assists against Charleston on Feb. 16, 2017. The last Dutchman to have multiple 10-assist games in a season was Juan’ya Green, who racked up at least 10 assists in eight games during the 2015-16 campaign.
NUMBER THREE IS NUMBER TWO (FOR ONCE)
Justin Wright-Foreman didn’t lead the Dutchmen in scoring Thursday, when his 23 points ranked behind Eli Pemberton’s game-high 27 points. It was just the fourth time this season, and the seventh time in 41 games since Wright-Foreman’s emergence began Dec. 31, 2017, that Wright-Foreman has not held at least a share of the team lead in scoring. Pemberton has led the Dutchmen in scoring in five of those seven games while Deron Powers held the team lead in the other two contests.
DOUBLE DIGIT JWF
Junior guard Justin Wright-Foreman scored at least 10 points Thursday for the 45th straight game. It is the fifth-longest active streak in Division I, per Hofstra SID Stephen Gorchov, and the third-longest streak by a Hofstra player since 1989-90 (as far back as my records go, at least at home).
Charles Jenkins 58 straight games 12/12/09-3/15/11***
Antoine Agudio 48 straight games 3/6/06-1/17/08****
Justin Wright-Foreman: 45 straight games 12/11/16-present
Juan’ya Green: 43 straight games 11/14/14-12/9/15
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
MOVIN’ ON UP
Justin Wright-Foreman and Rokas Gustys, the newest members of the 1,000-point club at Hofstra, continued moving up the list Thursday night by surging past ex-teammates on the all-time list.
With his 23 points, Wright-Foreman moved past Brian Bernardi and Juan’ya Green, each of whom collected 1,186 points at Hofstra, into sole possession of 22nd place on the all-time list. He has a chance tonight to move past another tandem in Demetrius Dudley and John Mills, who are tied for 20th place with 1,220 points. Wright-Foreman is also within striking distance of 19th-place Carlos Rivera.
Gustys, meanwhile, scored 17 points to move past Ameen Tanksley into 30th place. He is 16 points shy of surpassing Richie Swartz for 29th place.
18.) Roberto Gittens 1,240 (1997-2001)
19.) Carlos Rivera 1,225 (2003-07)
20t.) Demetrius Dudley 1,220 (1991-93)
20t.) John Mills 1,220 (1941-43/46-47)
22.) JUSTIN WRIGHT-FOREMAN 1,201 (2015-present)
23t.) Brian Bernardi 1,186 (2014-17)
23t.) Juan’ya Green 1,186 (2014-16)
25.) Ted Jackson 1,159 (1958-61)
26.) Nathaniel Lester 1,139 (2007-12)
27.) Wandy Williams 1,132 (1966-69)
28.) Mike Moore 1,128 (2010-12)
29.) Richie Swartz 1,107 (1959-62)
30.) ROKAS GUSTYS 1,092 (2014-present)
31.) Ameen Tanksley 1,090 (2014-16)
32.) Derrick Flowers 1,069 (1987-91)
33.) Darius Burton 1,060 (1993-97)
34.) Percy Johnson 1,045 (1950-53)
35.) Jim Shaffer 1,022 (1991-95)
36.) John Irving 1,018 (1974-77)
CLIMBING THE CHARTS
Justin Wright-Foreman has gained at least one spot on the Hofstra all-time scoring list in every game since he joined the 1,000-point club on Jan. 7. Here is his ranking following each game:
Elon (Jan. 7): 35th place
Towson (Jan. 12): 33rd place
Drexel (Jan. 14): 32nd place
Delaware (Jan. 19): 30th place
Charleston (Jan. 21): 29th place
Northeastern (Jan. 26): 26th place
Delaware (Jan. 28): 25th place
UNCW (Feb. 1): 22nd place
NEXT UP: THE ADMIRAL
Rokas Gustys is just 114 rebounds away from surpassing the CAA’s all-time leading rebounder, Hall of Famer David Robinson (1,314 rebounds for Navy from 1983-87). At his current season average of 11.7 rebounds per game, Gustys would need to play 10 more games to move past Robinson. The Dutchmen are scheduled to play at least eight more games (seven regular season CAA games and at least one tournament game).
OVER THE AIR
Hofstra will provide a video and radio feed of tonight’s game, as well as live stats, at the Pride Productions hub.
SCOUTING COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON
The Cougars, under fourth-year head coach Earl Grant, are 17-6 this season and 8-3 in CAA play. Charleston ran its winning streak to five games Thursday, when it edged Northeastern, 69-64, in battle of first-place teams. The Cougars and William & Mary enter today tied for first in the CAA, one game ahead of Northeastern and Hofstra.
The Dutchmen and Cougars had one common foe during non-league play. Charleston beat Siena, 68-60, on Nov. 10 while Hofstra fell to the Saints, 85-76, on Nov. 25. Both the Dutchmen and Cougars have swept Delaware and beaten UNC Wilmington and James Madison. The Dutchmen beat Towson, which split with Charleston, split with Northeastern, which was swept by the Cougars, and beat Drexel, which edged Charleston. Both teams have lost to Elon.
The Dutchmen, who were picked fourth in the CAA preseason poll, enter today ranked 164th at KenPom.com. The Cougars, who were picked first, enter today ranked 157th at KenPom.com.
According to the efficiency rankings at KenPom.com, the Dutchmen rank third in the CAA in conference-only offensive efficiency (113.9) and sixth in conference-only defensive efficiency (109.9). The Cougars rank fourth in the CAA in conference-only offensive efficiency (112.2) and second in conference-only defensive efficiency (105.1).
KenPom.com predicts a 73-71 win by Hofstra. Per the wise guys in Vegas, for entertainment purposes only, the Dutchmen are 1.5-point favorites. Hofstra is 9-10 against the spread this season.
ALL-TIME VS. COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON
Hofstra is 4-5 against Charleston in a series that began with the Cougars joining the CAA prior to the 2013-14 season. Charleston earned its third straight win over the Dutchmen on Jan. 20, when the Cougars came back from an 18-point first half deficit in a 76-70 victory. The Cougars swept the season series from the Dutchmen last year for the first time.
Both the Flying Dutchmen and Joe Mihalich have fared well in February. With their win on Thursday, the Dutchmen improved to 77-57 Since joining the CAA in 2001-02, the Dutchmen are 76-57 (.575) in regular season games played on or after Feb. 1. The Dutchmen went 5-3 last February.
In addition, Mihalich is 101-55 (.647) in regular season games in February or March.
THINGS YOU CAN SHOUT ON TWITTER IF CALLS GO DO NOT GO HOFSTRA’S WAY
Darius Rucker bias! (Per Wikipedia, which is never wrong, the Hootie & The Blowfish singer was born in Charleston)
Stephen Colbert bias! (Wikipedia also reports the talk show host was born in Charleston)
You used to be in the TAAC bias! (Google it, Crain!)
Your nickname is also slang for older women bedding younger men bias! (We are not very mature here)