Saturday, January 12, 2019

I'll Be Quirky: Elon

Still one of the best video games ever made.

The Flying Dutchmen cranked this sucker to 11 Thursday night, though it almost took that many overtimes to do it before Jalen Ray sank the go-ahead 3-pointer with 37 seconds left in the third overtime of a 93-90 win over William & Mary. The Dutchmen, owners of the nation’s third-longest winning streak, will try to make it an even dozen tonight, when they visit Elon. Here’s a look back at yet another barnburner against the Tribe and a look ahead to the Phoenix (Hey! Back-to-back games against singular nicknames!)

This is going to be a long paragraph. Justin Wright-Foreman (37 points) became the first Hofstra player in 19 years to score 30 points in three straight games, but Jalen Ray was the difference in his return to his home state Thursday, when he converted two four-point plays (!!!) and hit the 3-pointer to finally give the Dutchmen the lead for good in the latest instant classic against William & Mary The Dutchmen squandered all of a 14-point second half lead before Wright-Foreman missed the potential game-winning shot at the buzzer in regulation. The Dutchmen then came back from a three-point deficit in the first overtime before Nathan Knight sank a Christian Laettner-esque miracle 3-pointer at the buzzer to force a second overtime. The Dutchmen led by five in the middle extra session before Knight converted a game-tying nostalgic 3-pointer with 16 seconds left and Wright-Foreman missed a jumper just before the buzzer. Ray’s go-ahead basket started a 7-0 run for the Dutchmen, who survived L.J. Owens’ 3-pointer with under two seconds left, two missed free throws by Eli Pemberton and finally an off-the-mark full-court have by Knight. Wright-Foreman had seven rebounds but also seven turnovers while shooting just 2-of-14 from 3-point land. Ray set a career high with 19 points while going 5-for-10 from beyond the arc. Desure Buie had six points, eight assists and four steals in 46 minutes. Jacquil Taylor had 12 rebounds and two blocks.

3 STARS OF THE GAME (vs. William & Mary 1/10)
3: Jalen Ray
2: Justin Wright-Foreman
1: Desure Buie

Justin Wright-Foreman 45
Eli Pemberton 14
Desure Buie 13
Tareq Coburn 10
Jacquil Taylor 9
Jalen Ray 7
Stafford Trueheart 2
Kenny Wormley 1
Dan Dwyer 1

COACHSPEAK: “We just talked in the huddle about we’re gonna win. We should have won, OK, we’ll win it again. We beat them twice, we’ll have to beat them three times, because they kept coming back and tying it up. I think you’re right. I don’t know if eight’s the number, but I feel like we had them beat about three times. And they found a way to tie it and then we beat them a fourth time.” (Assistant coach Mike Farrelly told WRHU the Dutchmen frittered away eight chances to win the game)

Yes! The Dutchmen have had a couple 92-90 wins this decade (over Bradley during the 2016-17 season and over James Madison in overtime during the 2010-11 season). The other closest score to 93-90? A 93-89 win on Feb. 9, 1977 over La Salle, whose roster included JOE MIHALICH!!! Where else are you going to get content like this? The Dutchmen have recorded six unicorn scores this season.

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
1/10/19: 93-90 over William & Mary

The term unicorn score was coined by Mets superfan, historian and blogger Greg Prince to describe a score by which the Mets had never previously won

The Dutchmen won their 11th straight game Thursday. It is the longest winning streak for the program since the program’s Division I-record 18-game winning streak during the 2000-01 season and the eighth time in school history the Dutchmen have won at least 11 straight games. 

Houston’s 15-game winning streak was snapped when the Cougars fell to Temple 73-69 Wednesday night, so the Dutchmen now have the third-longest winning streak in the country. This is some pretty good company:

1.) Michigan, 16 games (all season)
2.) Virginia, 14 games (all season)
3.) HOFSTRA, 11 GAMES (Nov. 26-present)

The 11-game winning streak is the second-longest by a Joe Mihalich-coached team. The 2006-07 Niagara squad won 12 straight games from Feb. 2 through Mar. 13 before falling to Kansas in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. The final win in the streak for the Purple Eagles was a 77-69 victory over Florida A&M in a NCAA Tournament play-in game. 

The Dutchmen are 4-0 in CAA play for the fourth time since joining the league in 2001-02. They opened 4-0 in 2014-15 and 5-0 in 2006-07 and 2010-11.

The CAA schedule is only in its third weekend, but the Dutchmen are already the only unbeaten team in league play. This is the third time Hofstra has been the last unbeaten atop the CAA. The Dutchmen were the final unbeaten team at 4-0 in 2014-15 and 5-0 in 2010-11.

In addition, the Dutchmen are at least two games ahead of every team in the loss column except Delaware, which is 4-1 with four straight wins following a 91-46 loss to the Dutchmen in the CAA opener.

Since 2001-02, when the CAA expanded to include the America East Four, the last unbeaten in league play has won the CAA and reached the NCAA Tournament five times. UNC Wilmington did it in 2001-02 and 2016-17 while Delaware (2013-14), VCU (2006-07) and Old Dominion (2004-05) did it once apiece).

The Dutchmen played an overtime game Thursday for the first time since Jan. 5, 2018, when they edged James Madison, 87-81. The back-to-back wins in overtime games gives the Dutchmen a 3-7 record in overtime games under Joe Mihalich and a 19-13 mark in overtime games during the CAA era (2001-present). You’re not going to believe this, but only four of the Dutchmen’s overtime games have been against William & Mary. 

The Dutchmen played in and won a three-overtime game for the fourth time in program history. All the marathons have come since the program joined the CAA. In CAA history, only nine league games have ever gone to three overtimes. Hofstra has played in four of the five three-overtime games since 2001-02. Here’s the list of all the CAA three-overtime games.

1/10/19: Hofstra 93, William & Mary 90
2/18/16: Northeastern 95, James Madison 94
1/21/16: Hofstra 96, Northeastern 92
1/14/06: Hofstra 92, UNC Wilmington 87
2/9/05: Hofstra 95, James Madison 88
2/29/00: American 97, VCU 88
3/5/94: UNCW 100, George Mason 97***
1/20/92: American 98, UNCW 97
2/16/87: Richmond 94, James Madison 92

***CAA Tournament

The Dutchmen’s 93-90 win marked the ninth time in 13 games during the Joe Mihalich era (2013-present) that a game against William & Mary was decided by six points or fewer or in overtime. With the victory Thursday, the Dutchmen improved to 4-5 in such “close shaves.”

1/10/19: Hofstra 93, William & Mary 90 (3OT)
2/15/18: Hofstra 90, William & Mary 84
12/30/17: William & Mary 90, Hofstra 87
1/2/17: William & Mary 95, Hofstra 93 (OT)
3/6/16: Hofstra 70, William & Mary 67***
2/11/16: Hofstra 86, William & Mary 80
3/8/15: William & Mary 92, Hofstra 91 (2OT)***
2/22/15: William & Mary 80, Hofstra 78
2/26/14: William & Mary 79, Hofstra 74

***CAA semifinals

So that’s one overtime game, one two-overtime game and one three-overtime game. Get a babysitter for the Dutchmen-Tribe rematch at the Arena on Feb. 9.

Another streak continued Thursday, when the Dutchmen led 38-28 at the half. It was the second straight time the teams were separated by more than seven points at halftime. The Dutchmen carried a 48-36 lead into the locker room on Feb. 18. That game ended a streak of eight straight games between the rivals, dating back to Feb. 22, 2015, that they were separated by fewer than seven points at halftime.

With his 37 points against William & Mary, Justin Wright-Foreman extended his streak of double-digit scoring efforts to 70 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: 70 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

The 70 straight double-digit scoring efforts snapped a tie on the all-time list with future actor Lew Alcindor, who enjoyed his streak for UCLA from 1967-69. Yeah I know I posted this Thursday night but when I can post Airplane! clips, I’m gonna do so.

Justin Wright-Foreman recorded his sixth 30-point game of the season Thursday afternoon and the 17th of his career. That’s the most by a Hofstra player since at least the 1989-90 season. But Wright-Foreman has played just 107 games and registered all of his 30-point games in his last 66 games dating back to Jan. 2, 2017. Here is the list of all players with multiple 30-point games since 1989-90 (career games in parenthesis).

Justin Wright-Foreman 17 (107)
Demetrius Dudley 12 (55)
Charles Jenkins 12 (128)
Antoine Agudio 10 (122)
Speedy Claxton 8 (119)
Loren Stokes 7 (124)
Zeke Upshaw 3 (33)
Mike Moore 3 (65)
Ameen Tanksley 2 (68)
Rick Apodaca 2 (108)
John Mavroukas 2 (90)

THE 30/30/30/30/30/30 (AT LEAST) CLUB
The six 30-point games this season by Justin Wright-Foreman mark the fifth time since 1989-90 that a Hofstra player has recorded at least five 30-point performances. Wright-Foreman, not surprisingly, has done it two straight years. The only other player to collect at least five 30-point games in back-to-back years since 1989-90 is Demetrius Dudley.

Justin Wright-Foreman 7 (2017-18)
Demetrius Dudley 7 (1991-92)
Antoine Agudio 6 (2007-08)
Speedy Claxton 6 (1999-2000)
Justin Wright-Foreman 6 (2018-19)
Demetrius Dudley 5 (1992-93)

Justin Wright-Foreman actually did something he’d never done before Thursday, when he produced his third straight 30-point game. He is the first player to score 30 points in three straight games since Speedy Claxton, who put together his streak from Jan. 14-21, 2000. Wright-Foreman’s streak of three straight 30-point games is the third since 1989-90. Demetrius Dudley also had a three-game 30-point streak from Nov. 23-30, 1991. 

Wright-Forman now has six back-to-back 30-point efforts, the most such back-to-back games since at least 1989-90. Here is the entire list of Hofstra:

Justin Wright-Foreman 12/30/18-1/10/18 (34 vs. Drexel, 42 vs. Northeastern, 37 vs. William & Mary)
Justin Wright-Foreman 1/7/18-1/11/18 (39 vs. Elon, 35 vs. Towson)
Justin Wright-Foreman 12/9-12/12/17 (30 vs. Rider, 33 vs. SUNY-Stony Brook)
Justin Wright-Foreman 1/21-1/26/17 (30 vs. Northeastern, 30 vs. Drexel)
Charles Jenkins 12/8-12/11/10 (40 vs. Binghamton 32 vs. Florida Atlantic)
Charles Jenkins 2/16-2/20/10 (30 vs. Delaware, 31 vs. Rider)
Antoine Agudio 12/1-12/5/07 (34 vs. UNCW, 36 vs. Fordham)
Loren Stokes 1/21-1/26/06 (32 vs. Northeastern, 31 vs. Towson)
Speedy Claxton 12/18/99-12/22/99 (39 vs. Iona, 31 vs. St. John’s)
Speedy Claxton 1/14/00-1/21/00 (30 vs. Vermont, 40 vs. Hartford, 40 vs. Maine)
John Mavroukas 1/6/95-1/8/95 (35 vs. New Hampshire, 33 vs. Vermont)
Demetrius Dudley 11/23/91-11/30/91 (33 vs. Navy, 32 vs. Lehigh, 30 vs. Manhattan)
Demetrius Dudley 2/6/92-2/8/92 (37 vs. Towson State, 33 vs. Buffalo)

Justin Wright-Foreman FINALLY moved up another spot on the all-time Hofstra scoring list Thursday, when his 37 points vaulted him past David Taylor into eighth place. Sheesh. Wright-Foreman spent four games languishing in ninth place. To be fair, he needed to make up 132 points on Taylor after moving into ninth place against SUNY-Stony Brook on Dec. 19. Wright-Foreman is 173 points away from seventh-place Speedy Claxton, so he’ll probably spend more than four games in eighth place. Probably.

7.) Speedy Claxton, 2015 (1996-2000)
8.) JUSTIN WRIGHT-FOREMAN 1,843 (2015-present)
9.) David Taylor 1,818 (1979-83)
10.) Norman Richardson 1,677 (1997-2001)

Eli Pemberton, the newest member of the Hofstra 1,000-point club, scored 14 points Saturday to move past Ameen Tanksley into 31st place. Pemberton enters tonight 11 points away from supplanting Richie Swartz for 30th place.

30.) Richie Swartz, 1,107 (1959-62)
31.) ELI PEMBERTON 1,097 (2016-present)
32.) Ameen Tanksley 1,090 (2014-16)
33.) Derrick Flowers 1,069 (1987-91)
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)

Sophomore Jalen Ray scored a career-high 19 points Thursday, when he converted two four-point plays. Even I don’t know how to figure out if that’s ever happened before, though Charles Jenkins did have an eight-point play once. The double-digit scoring effort was the fourth of the season for Ray and his first since Dec, 10 against Manhattan. He has scored at least 10 points 15 times in his first two seasons.

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 16-of-21 from the line against William & Mary, which actually dropped their season-long percentage to 78.6 percent. That is, and I can’t believe I’m typing these words, still good enough for the fourth-best percentage in the country entering today’s games. The Dutchmen rank just behind Incarnate Word (80.5 percent) and North Dakota State (80.1 percent) and La Salle (79,4 percent) and just ahead of Virginia (78.1 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 a little 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. 

Desure Buie hit all four of his free throws Thursday night and is now shooting a robust 93.3 percent (42-of-45) from the line this season. That would rank fifth nationally if Buie had enough made free throws to qualify for the title.'s minimum is 2.5 made free throws per game, which leaves Buie just one free throw shy of qualifying.

However, Hofstra’s specifications are two free throws made per game, which means Buie is on pace to break the school 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.

Joe Mihalich earned his 102nd win at Hofstra on Thursday. That lifted him into a tie with Dick Berg for sixth place on the all-time Hofstra wins list. He is 21 wins away from moving past some guy named Jay Wright.

1.) Butch van Breda Kolff 215
2.) Tom Pecora 155
3.) Paul Lynner 152
4.) Frank Reilly 146
5.) Jay Wright 122
6t.) Dick Berg 102
8.) Jack McDonald 100

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 10th-season head coach Matt Matheny, are 5-13 this season and 1-4 in CAA play. The Phoenix suffered a third straight loss Thursday, when it fell to Northeastern, 81-70.

The Dutchmen and Phoenix had two common foes during non-league play. Both teams beat Manhattan (Elon earned a 62-56 win in the season opener Nov. 4 while Hofstra cruised to an 80-50 victory on Dec. 10) and Kennesaw State (the Dutchmen won, 78-52, on Dec. 1 while the Phoenix recorded a 76-67 victory Dec. 18).

Both have faced Delaware, Drexel and Northeastern in CAA play. Elon has lost to all three teams.

The Dutchmen, who were picked third in the CAA preseason poll, were ranked 73rd at this morning. The Phoenix, who were picked eighth, were ranked 335th at as of early this morning.

According to, the Dutchmen rank first in the CAA in offensive efficiency (111.3) and second in defensive efficiency (102.1). The Phoenix rank 10th and last in the CAA in offensive efficiency (95.9) and ninth in defensive efficiency (112.3).

The Phoenix are led by a pair of seniors. Guard Steven Santa Ana is averaging a team-high 18.6 points and 6.2 rebonds per game. Forward Tyler Sebring (15.0 points and 5.0 rebounds per game) ranks second in both categories. predicts an 81-67 win by Hofstra. Per the wise guys in Vegas, for entertainment purposes only, the Dutchmen are 12-point favorites. Hofstra is 12-4 against the spread this season.

Hofstra is 6-3 against Elon, which joined the CAA prior to the 2014-15 season. The teams split the season series last year, when Elon earned an 89-76 win in Hempstead and Hofstra won, 67-48, at Elon. 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.

You have a new arena bias! (The Schar Center, which replaced the, ahem, cozy Alumni Gym, opened last year)
Fighting Christians bias! (That used to be Elon’s nickname)
You’re the youngest Division I program in the league bias! (Duh)
Your nickname still reminds me of Galaga bias! (An oldie but goodie)

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