Sunday, December 30, 2018

I'll Be Quirky: Drexel

The guy from Taxi starring in the funniest, raunchiest sitcom on TV isn't even close to the weirdest thing about 2018. 

The Flying Dutchmen made their 18th #CAAHoops opener a historic one Friday night, when they routed Delaware, 91-46, in the program’s most lopsided victory ever over a Division I opponent. The Dutchmen, who have won their last two games by a combined NINETY-EIGHT POINTS and have won eight in a row overall, will look to keep the good times rolling this afternoon, when they host another ECC opponent, Drexel. Here’s a look ahead at the win over the Blue Hens and a look ahead to the Dragons.

Justin Wright-Foreman (10-of-14 from the field, including 5-of-6 from 3-point land) could have outscored the Blue Hens by himself but scored “just” 29 points in just 29 minutes before Joe Mihalich pulled the anti-Larranaga by beginning to empty the bench just beyond the midway point of the second half. The Dutchmen led by as many as 48 points and never led by fewer than 40 points over the final 14 minutes. Eli Pemberton scored 17 points in his return to the lineup while Tareq Coburn added 12 points. Jacquil Taylor had two points and 12 rebounds in just 20 minutes.

3 STARS OF THE GAME (vs. Delaware 12/28)
3: Justin Wright-Foreman
2: Eli Pemberton
1: Jacquil Taylor

Justin Wright-Foreman 37
Eli Pemberton 14
Tareq Coburn 10
Desure Buie 9
Jacquil Taylor 6
Jalen Ray 4
Stafford Trueheart 2
Kenny Wormley 1
Dan Dwyer 1

COACHSPEAK: “Obviously, you want to raise the level of your play for conference play now that the non-conference season is over. First one tonight, I mean, literally, we’re playing for first place. The best we can do is be tied with five other teams for first place and we were playing for first place. We took care of business here. Proud of these guys. They all, to a man, they were all focused, locked in, hungry, wanting to show that we’re a good team in this league.”

Yes! But of course it was, since it was the Dutchmen’s largest margin of victory over a Division I foe. The Dutchmen have now recorded five unicorn scores this season, including two in a row and three in their last four games.

11/14/18: 92-72 over North Carolina A&T
12/8/18: 89-73 over Rider
12/10/18: 80-50 over Manhattan
12/22/18: 107-54 over Rosemont
12/28/18: 91-46 over Delaware

The Dutchmen won their eighth straight game Friday. It is the longest winning streak for the program since an eight-game run during the 2015-16 season and the 20th time in school history the Dutchmen have won at least eight straight games. 

With the win over Delaware, the Dutchmen improved to 8-0 at home this season while extending their overall home winning streak to 12 games dating back to Feb. 15. The eight straight wins to open the home schedule are the most by a Dutchmen squad since the 2006-07 team won its first eight home games. Per Hofstra SID Stephen Gorchov, the longest home winning streak for the Dutchmen in the CAA era (2001-present) is a 21-game streak from Jan. 22, 2005 to Mar. 16, 2006.

The Dutchmen followed up their most lopsided win ever as a Division I program — the 107-54 victory over Division III Rosemont on Dec. 22 — with their most lopsided win ever over a Division I foe. The rout of Delaware only the 15th time Hofstra has won a game by 45 points or more, the fifth time the Dutchmen have won a game by at least 40 points at the Division I level — that’s right, 40 percent wins have come in the last two games — as well as the second time the Dutchmen have beaten a Division I foe by at least 40 points. Prior to Friday, the Dutchmen’s most lopsided win against a Division I opponent was a 105-64 victory over Coppin State on Dec. 10, 2014.

65 (75-10 over USMMA, 1955-56)
59 (73-14 over Queens, 1937-38)
55 (77-22 over Bloomfield, 1940-41)
54 (95-41 over Hillyer, 1951-52)
54 (80-26 over Webb, 1951-52)
53 (107-54 over Rosemont, 12/22/18)
53 (85-32 over Mitchel Field, 1941-42)
53 (88-35 over Queens, 1940-41)
51 (110-59 over USMMA, 1963-64)
49 (102-53 over Southampton, 1978-79)
48 (69-21 over Columbia Pharmacy, 1939-40)
47 (115-68 over Delaware, 1954-55)
46 (86-40 over New Bedford, 1946-47)
45 (91-46 over Delaware, 12/28/18)

As The News-Journal’s Kevin Tresolini pointed out in his game story, Hofstra’s second-biggest win ever over Delaware came on the 64th anniversary of the Dutchmen’s most lopsided victory in the series. How wild is that?

And here is the list of the Dutchmen’s wins by 35 points or more over Division I opponents:

45 (91-46 over Delaware, 12/28/18)
41 (105-64 over Coppin State, 12/10/14)
39 (93-54 over UNC Wilmington, 1/27/10)
39 (84-45 over Northeastern, 1/4/00)
38 (96-58 over SUNY-Stony Brook, 12/13/16)
38 (83-45 over New Hampshire, 1/23/00)
36 (92-56 over Brooklyn, 2/27/92)

The Dutchmen have won at least two straight games by at least 30 points for the 10th time in program history but the first time since the program moved to Division I. Hofstra last earned back-to-back wins by at least 30 points during the 1962-63 season, when the Dutchmen beat Wilkes 92-61 and Lycoming 95-64.

Plus, as my wife points out, this is two straight games the Dutchmen have come within one point of doubling up their opponent. That doesn’t happen very often.

Do you feel lucky enough to look ahead? The Dutchmen have won three straight games by at least 30 points twice, first in 1946-47 (79-44 over Queens, 69-39 over Cathedral-Brooklyn, 67-36 over Montana Billings) and again in 1961-62 (95-61 over Wagner, 99-57 over Lycoming, 93-60 over Queens).

The Dutchmen’s 35-point win marked the biggest victory in a CAA game since Jan. 27, 2010, when VCU destroyed Towson and Pat Kennedy’s suit jacket, 112-53. Yup. That means the Dutchmen had only the second-most lopsided win in a CAA game that night. 

The rout Friday marked the 17th time a CAA game has been decided by more than 30 points this decade and the first since Jan. 5, 2017, when Northeastern beat Delaware, 90-54. The Blue Hens have been on the losing end of the last three 30-point CAA games.

12/28/18: Hofstra 91, Delaware 46
1/5/17: Northeastern 90, Delaware 54
1/7/16: Northeastern 88, Delaware 56
1/2/16: Hofstra 90, Towson 58
2/25/15: Hofstra 73, Charleston 40
1/3/15: William & Mary 75, Charleston 45
2/19/14: Charleston 87, William & Mary 54
3/2/12: Georgia State 85, Hofstra 50***
1/18/12: Old Dominion 71, Towson 41
1/7/12: Old Dominion 75, Towson 38
1/4/12: Drexel 60, Towson 27
12/3/11: Georgia State 66, William & Mary 34
1/5/11: James Madison 99, Towson 68
3/6/10: Old Dominion 86, Towson 56***
2/2/10: Drexel 97, Towson 55
1/27/10: VCU 112, Towson 53
1/27/10: Hofstra 93, UNC Wilmington 54

The win over Delaware marked just the third time in the Joe Mihalich Era (2013-present) the Dutchmen have surrendered fewer than 50 points and only the ninth time in Mihalich’s head coaching career — spanning 21 seasons and 646 games — that his team has allowed fewer than 50 points.

12/28/18: Hofstra 91, Delaware 46
2/8/18: Hofstra 67, Elon 48
2/25/15: Hofstra 73, Charleston 40
11/21/09: Niagara 63, Central Florida 46
2/12/09: Niagara 57, Canisius 41
1/31/09: Niagara 68, Manhattan 49
11/28/08: Niagara 71, Monmouth 48
2/13/02: Niagara 65, Loyola (MD) 42
1/12/99: Niagara 51, Manhattan 49

In addition, the win over Delaware marked the 22nd straight time the Dutchmen have won a game in which they held the opponent under 60 points. Under Mihalich, the Dutchmen are 24-1 when holding opponent to fewer than 60 points. The only loss was absorbed Feb. 10, 2014, when the Dutchmen fell to James Madison, 59-53.

The Dutchmen limited Delaware to just 18 points in the first half Friday. It was the third-fewest points scored by an opponent during the Joe Mihalich era and just the fifth time a team has scored 20 points or fewer in a half.

vs. Charleston 14 pts (1H, 2/25/15)
vs. UNC Wilmington 17 pts (2H, 2/8/14)
vs. Delaware 18 points (1H, 12/28/18)
vs. UNC Wilmington 20 pts (2H, 1/3/15)
vs. Elon 20 pts (2H, 2/7/18)

One game after carrying a 40-point lead into halftime against Rosemont, the Dutchmen raced out to a 48-18 lead at the half Friday. These are almost surely the Dutchmen’s two biggest halftime leads in the CAA era (2001-present), but I don’t have access to the 2001-02 boxscores at home. The Dutchmen have led by at least 20 points at the half 13 times since the start of the 2002-03 season.

40 (62-22) Rosemont, 12/22/18***
30 (48-18) Delaware, 12/28/18
29 (54-25) UNC Wilmington 1/27/10
27 (51-24) Towson 1/7/04
25 (53-28) Farmingdale State 11/20/09***
23 (50-27) Fairleigh Dickinson 11/10/13
22 (47-25) Central Connecticut 12/31/14
22 (48-26) Coppin State 12/10/14
21 (53-32) Jacksonville 11/14/14
21 (42-21) Elon 11/23/09
20 (44-24) SUNY-Stony Brook 12/13/16
20 (45-25) Long Island U. 12/28/14
20 (45-25) UNCW 2/25/12

***non-Division I foes

With his 29 points against Delaware, Justin Wright-Foreman extended his streak of double-digit scoring efforts to 67 straight games, the most ever by a Hofstra player. In addition, Wright-Foreman’s streak is now the second-longest active streak in Division I, per Hofstra SID Stephen Gorchov.

Justin Wright-Foreman: 67 straight games 12/11/16-present
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*** 
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

Justin Wright-Foreman remained in ninth place on the all-time Hofstra scoring list Friday. He is 89 points away from eighth-place David Taylor, so Wright-Foreman will probably spend multiple games in ninth place. Probably.

8.) David Taylor 1,818 (1979-83)
9.) JUSTIN WRIGHT-FOREMAN 1,730 (2015-present)
10.) Norman Richardson 1,677 (1997-2001)
11.) Frank Walker 1,437 (1985-89)
12.) Leroy Allen 1,435 (1983-87)

Eli Pemberton, the newest member of the Hofstra 1,000-point club, gained a spot-and-a-half on the all-time scoring list by collecting 17 points in his return to the court Friday. Pemberton, who missed the Rosemont game with an injury suffered against SUNY-Stony Brook on Dec. 19, broke a tie for 34th place with Percy Johnson by scoring his first point of the night and also surpassed Darius Burton to move into sole possession of 33rd place. He enters tonight just eight points away from moving past Derrick Flowers into 32nd place (25 points).

31.) Ameen Tanksley 1,090 (2014-16)
32.) Derrick Flowers 1,069 (1987-91)
33.) ELI PEMBERTON 1,062 (2016-present)
34.) Darius Burton 1,060 (1993-97)
35.) Percy Johnson 1,045 (1950-53)
36.) Jim Shaffer 1,022 (1991-95)
37.) John Irving 1,018 (1974-77)

Something went wrong for the Dutchmen Friday night: Desure Buie’s consecutive free throw streak ended when he missed his second attempt of the night. That snapped his streak at 31 straight made free throws, which left him tied with Justin Wright-Foreman for the second-longest streak of the Joe Mihalich era, one free throw behind the streak authored by Brian Bernardi during the 2016-17 season.

Brian Bernardi, 32-for-32 (12/11/16-2/25/17)
DESURE BUIE, 31-for-31 (11/11/18-12/28/18)
Justin Wright-Foreman, 31-for-31 (2/11/17-11/10/17)***
Juan’ya Green 24-for-24 (11/22/15-12/6/15)
Dion Nesmith 23-for-23 (11/25/14-1/13/15)

***Wright-Foreman hit his final 29 free throw attempts of the 2016-17 season and his first two attempts of the 2017-18 season

For the season, Buie is shooting a robust 92.3 percent (36-of-39) from the line, which ranks 12th in the country heading into today’s games. At his current rate, Buie would break the Hofstra single-season record for free throw percentage of 91.3 percent, which was set by Steve Nisenson during the 1963-64 season. Nisenson and Brian Appel (90.5 percent during the 1977-78 season) are the only players to shoot at least 90 percent from the line over a full season for the Dutchmen (minimum two free throws made per game).

THE BEST THINGS IN LIFE ARE FREE (which unfortunately was released in 1992)
It’s early, but you’re not wrong if you’re thinking you’ve never seen a Dutchmen team shoot free throws this well. The Dutchmen were 15-of-19 from the line against Delaware, which kept their season-long percentage at 79.3 percent. That is, and I can’t believe I’m typing these words, the second-best percentage in the country entering today’s games. The Dutchmen rank just behind Incarnate Word (80.2 percent) and are ahead of Toledo (78.8 percent), La Salle (78.8 percent) and Nicholls State (78.5 percent). At this rate, the Dutchmen would shatter the program record for free throw percentage set by the 2010-11 team, which drained 76.1 percent of its free throws.

In addition, as reader Evan Jones notes, the Dutchmen are just behind the pace set last season by William & Mary, which set the single-season CAA record by shooting .810 from the free throw line. Technically, the Tribe were at 81.049 percent (479-for-591).

Last year’s Dutchmen shot 68.2 percent from the free throw line. But subtracting Rokas Gustys’ performance (45-of-120, 37.5 percent), the Dutchmen would have shot 74.7 percent, which would have been the third-best single-season mark in program history. 

Joe Mihalich enters today with 99 wins at Hofstra. He is aiming to become the eighth head coach in Hofstra history with at least 100 wins. With a win today, in his 178th game, Mihalich would become the fifth-fastest Hofstra coach to reach the milestone. Tom Pecora reached 100 wins in his 179th game and Jay Wright reached 100 wins in his 180th game. Potentially neat, right? All information courtesy of Stephen Gorchov.

Hofstra will carry live audio and video of today’s game and offer live stats here.

The Dragons, under third-year head coach Zach Spiker, are 6-8 this season after suffering their third straight defeat Friday, a 93-83 loss to Northeastern in the CAA opener.

The Dutchmen and Dragons had no common foes during non-league play.

The Dutchmen, who were picked third in the CAA preseason poll, were ranked 84th at this morning. That’s a gain of 21 spots since Friday! The Dragons, who were picked ninth, were ranked 265th at as of early this morning.

According to, the Dutchmen rank first in the CAA in offensive efficiency (111.5) and second in defensive efficiency (103.2). The Dragons rank fifth in the CAA in offensive efficiency (105.6) and 10th and last in defensive efficiency (113.5).

Senior Troy Harper leads four Dragons averaging in double figures with 15.4 points per game. Junior Alihan Demar is collecting a team-high 7.4 rebounds per game while ranking second in scoring at 14.2 points per game. Early CAA Rookie of the Year frontrunner Camren Wynter, who is a Hempstead native, is averaging 11.4 points and a team-high 5.1 assists per game. Junior guard Kurk Lee, who was an honorable mention selection on the all-CAA preseason team, has been limited to three games due to injury. predicts an 88-73 win by Hofstra. Per the wise guys in Vegas, for entertainment purposes only, the Dutchmen are 14.5-point favorites. Hofstra is 11-2 against the spread this season.

Hofstra is 41-46 against Drexel in a series that began during the 1958-59 season. The Dutchmen swept the season series last season for the third time in four years and have won eight of the last nine games between the teams dating back to the 2014-15 season. 

The Dutchmen and Dragons have opposed one another as members of the East Coast Conference, the North Atlantic Conference/America East and the CAA. The only opponent Hofstra has faced more than Drexel is Delaware, whom the Dutchmen have played 89 times.

The Gang Won The Big Game bias! (Hopefully one day I’ll get to make a similar episode for “It’s Always Sunny In Hempstead”)
What the hell is a Gritty bias! (The Flyers have a new, horrifying mascot)
Steve Carlton bias! (Know your Phillies, kids)
Maneater bias! (Know your Hall & Oates, kids)

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