Whaddya mean you aren't rooting for Hofstra to win the CAA I'll kill you!!!
We knew it couldn’t be that easy, right? The Flying Dutchmen came as close as humanly possible to clinching the CAA regular season title without actually doing so last Saturday, when they blew a nine-point lead in the final seven minutes of regulation, gave up a game-tying 3-pointer at the buzzer and squandered a five-point lead during a wretchedly officiated overtime on their way to a 104-99 (!!!!!) loss to James Madison. The Dutchmen will take a second shot at winning the no. 1 seed this evening, when they visit Drexel. Here’s a look back at the loss to the Dukes and a look ahead to *checks his notes* the Fighting Bryce Harpers.
THE MOST RECENT GAME SUMMARIZED IN ONE PARAGRAPH
Justin Wright-Foreman poured in 33 points for the Flying Dutchmen, who overcame a 10-point deficit early in the second half and scored 57 second half points yet still fell to James Madison. Matt Lewis (40 points) forced overtime for the Dukes by draining a 3-pointer at the buzzer and the Dutchmen scored the first five points of overtime before James Madison took control with consecutive 5- and 4-point plays. Nope. Still don’t believe it happened. Eli Pemberton had 15 points and five rebounds for the Dutchmen while Tareq Coburn had 14 points, including 11 in the first four minutes of the second half. Coburn also had three blocks. Desure Buie collected eight points and 12 assists while Jacquil Taylor 10 points, four rebounds and four assists before fouling out in just 24 minutes. Dan Dwyer chipped in with six points, eight assists and two blocks.
3 STARS OF THE GAME (vs. James Madison 2/23)
3: Justin Wright-Foreman
2: Tareq Coburn
1: Desure Buie
Justin Wright-Foreman 67
Eli Pemberton 32
Desure Buie 27
Jacquil Taylor 20
Tareq Coburn 15
Jalen Ray 9
Stafford Trueheart 2
Kenny Wormley 1
Dan Dwyer 1
SENIOR DAY HEARTBREAK
The Dutchmen lost on Senior Day for just the fifth time in the DD era. They also fell to Army 87-76 in 1994, Towson 61-60 in 2001, Delaware 57-56 in 2013 and 83-76 to UNC Wilmington in 2017.
STARTS FOR THE SENIORS
Dan Dwyer and Kenny Wormley each made their first starts of the season for the Dutchmen. Every scholarship senior has started for the Dutchmen on Senior Day since 2009, when Mike Davis-Sabb sat because the Dutchmen had six seniors.
NO LONGER HOME SWEET HOME
The loss to James Madison was the Dutchmen’s since Feb. 15, 2018 and snapped an 18-game winning streak. It also cost them a chance to go a perfect 16-0 at home in the regular season. The home winning streak was the longest for the Dutchmen since a 21-game streak that lasted from Jan. 22, 2005 to Mar. 16, 2006 and is the longest home winning streak for the Dutchmen in the CAA era.
THE CAA RACE
Despite the loss, the Dutchmen can still clinch the CAA regular season championship — and with it the number one seed in the conference tournament and the automatic NIT bid if necessary, which we certainly hope it isn’t — with one more win or one more Northeastern loss. If the Dutchmen and Northeastern tie at 14-4 or 13-5, the Dutchmen will win the tiebreaker by virtue of sweeping Charleston and Charleston splitting with Northeastern.
The Dutchmen are already assured of finishing no lower than second place. This will be just the second time Hofstra has finished higher than third in the CAA. The Dutchmen tied UNC Wilmington for the regular season crown in 2015-16 but earned the no. 1 seed in the conference tournament.
OK MAYBE DON’T GET TO THE WORKIN’ OVERTIME PART
The Dutchmen played their second straight overtime game and went to overtime for the fourth time this season.They are 2-2 in overtime with a 69-67 loss to VCU on Nov. 24, a 93-90 win over William & Mary on Jan. 10 and the 91-82 double overtime win over Towson last Thursday. The Dutchmen are now 4-9 in overtime games under Joe Mihalich and 20-15 mark in overtime games during the CAA era (2001-present).
NOT SO TWICE AS NICE
The Dutchmen played back-to-back overtime games for the first time since Jan. 16-21, 2016, when they fell to James Madison 86-82, before outlasting Northeastern 96-92 in three overtimes.
DO WE CALL THIS EXECUTIVE TIME?
The Dutchmen went to overtime with James Madison for the seventh time since joining the CAA. That’s by far the most overtime games Hofstra has played against a CAA foe. The Dutchmen are 4-3 in those contests, which include double- and triple-overtime wins. Other CAA opponents against whom the Dutchmen have endured multiple overtime games include Drexel (five), UNC Wilmington (five), William & Mary (four—are we sure, it seems like 40) and Northeastern (two).
THAT’S NOT THE KIND OF HISTORY YOU WANT TO MAKE
The 99 points for the Dutchmen were their most ever in a loss, exceeding the 97 points they scored in a 109-97 loss to Georgetown way back in the 1971-72 season. In addition, the 104 points surrendered were the most given up by Hofstra since a 108-75 loss to Drexel in the North Atlantic Conference quarterfinals on Mar. 4, 1995. That’s so long ago, the Shaq of the NAC was playing for Drexel and I was covering the game as a collegian!
Lastly, the Dutchmen lost a game in which they scored at least 50 points in a half for just the fourth time under Joe Mihalich and the first time since they fell to Auburn, 89-78, despite a 50-point first half on Nov. 19, 2017.
PERFECT TAYLOR (AGAIN)
Jacquil Taylor was 5-for-5 from the field Saturday afternoon on his way to scoring 10 points. It marked the second straight game he went 5-for-5 (he also had 14 points on 5-for-5 shooting against Towson last Thursday) and the fifth time this year Taylor has been perfect from the field (minimum five attempts). Rokas Gustys is the only other Hofstra player in the CAA era (2001-present) to even have five perfect shooting games in his career. In addition, Taylor is the first Hofstra player in the CAA era to go least 5-for-5 from the field in back-to-back games.
Jacquil Taylor 5/5 vs. James Madison 2/23/19
Jacquil Taylor 5/5 vs. Towson 2/21/19
Jacquil Taylor 6/6 vs. Elon 2/7/19
Jacquil Taylor 5/5 vs. Towson 1/26/19
Jacquil Taylor 7/7 vs. Rosemont 12/22/18 (4-4)
Rokas Gustys 5/5 vs. UNCW 3/4/18 (CAAT)
Rokas Gustys 6/6 vs. Northeastern 1/25/18
Rokas Gustys 8/8 vs. Towson 2/18/16
Rokas Gustys 5/5 vs. St. Bonaventure 11/28/15
Rokas Gustys 6/6 vs. Vermont 3/18/15
Ameen Tanksley 9/9 vs. Norfolk State 12/2/14
Darren Payen 6/6 vs. Fairleigh Dickinson 11/10/13
Stephen Nwaukoni 5/5 vs. Belmont 11/24/13
Stephen Nwaukoni 5/5 vs. Cleveland State 11/26/11
Greg Washington 6/6 vs. William & Mary 1/22/11
David Imes 8/8 vs. Drexel 1/3/11
Adrian Uter 6/6 vs. Nebraska 3/16/06
Kenny Adeleke 6/6 vs. Illinois State 11/25/01
CARRYING PERFECTION OVER
Jacquil Taylor has drained his last 10 field goal attempts. According to my not-quite-complete research, that is likely the longest streak of consecutive made field goals by a Hofstra player since Ameen Tanksley made 12 straight field goals from Nov. 28 through Dec. 7, 2014. Tanksley made his last two field goals against Jackson State on Nov. 28, went 9-for-9 against Norfolk State on Dec. 2 and hit his first attempt against Appalachian State on Dec. 7.
TAYLOR HUNTING SABETY
With his recent surge, Jacquil Taylor has moved into position to threaten Hunter Sabety as the most effective field goal shooter of the DD era. Entering tonight’s game Taylor is shooting 72.1 percent (101-of-140), just behind Sabety, who shot 72.6 percent last year (53-of-73). Sabety is the only Hofsra player to shoot at least 70 percent form the field since 1993-94 (minimum two field goal attempts per game).
YOU’RE JUSTIN WRIGHT-FOREMAN! YOU PLAY BASKETBALL FOR THE HOFSTRA FLYING DUTCHMEN!
With his 33 points against James Madison, Justin Wright-Foreman extended his streak of double-digit scoring efforts to 82 straight games, the most ever by a Hofstra player as well as the most ever by a CAA 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: 82 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
Per Gorchov, Wright-Foreman’s streak is tied for the 10th-longest in HISTORY. This is some rarefied air.
JWF IS A TOP-FIVE HIT
Justin Wright-Foreman moved into fourth place on the all-time Hofstra scoring list Saturday, when he scored 33 points against James Madison to surpass Loren Stokes (but not get punched in the nuts). Wright-Foreman spent just one game in fifth place but is likely to spend at least a couple games in fourth place. He enters tonight 73 points shy of surpassing Steve Nisenson for third place.
1.) Charles Jenkins 2,513 (2007-11)
2.) Antoine Agudio 2,276 (2005-08)
3.) Steve Nisenson 2,222 (1962-65)
4.) JUSTIN WRIGHT-FOREMAN 2,150 (2015-present)
5.) Loren Stokes 2,148 (2003-07)
6.) Rich Laurel 2,102 (1973-77)
7.) Bill Thieben 2,045 (1953-56)
8.) Speedy Claxton, 2,015 (1996-2000)
9.) David Taylor 1,818 (1979-83)
10.) Norman Richardson 1,677 (1997-2001)
SEVENTEEN FOR ELI
Eli Pemberton, the newest member of the Hofstra 1,000-point club, moved up to 17th place on the all-time scoring list Thursday, when he collected 15 points to surpass Kenny Adeleke (la la la la). Pemberton enters tonight 24 points away from moving past Dave Bell into 16th place.
16.) Dave Bell 1,330 (1969-72)
17.) ELI PEMBERTON 1,307 (2016-present)
18.) Kenny Adeleke 1,296 (2001-04)
19.) Mike Tilley 1,286 (1963-66)
20.) Roberto Gittens 1,240 (1997-2001)
A DESURE THING
Desure Buie remained eligible for the national free throw shooting title Saturday, when he was 6-for-6 from the line against James Madison. That increased his season average to 89.9 percent (80-of-89), which was good enough for ninth in the nation entering today’s games. NCAA.org's minimum to qualify for the leaderboards is 2.5 made free throws per game, which means Buie will remain qualified even if he doesn't make a free throw today.
However, Hofstra’s specifications are two free throws made per game, which means Buie is much safer in his effort to maintain the pace needed to threaten 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.
THE BEST THINGS IN LIFE ARE FREE (which unfortunately was released in 1992)
It’s not really early anymore, but you’re not wrong if you’re thinking you’ve never seen a Dutchmen team shoot free throws this well. The Dutchmen were 19-of-26 from the line against James Madison, which actually dropped their season-long percentage to 79.4 percent. That was, and I can’t believe I’m typing these words, good enough for the second-best percentage in the country entering today’s games. The Dutchmen rank just behind Incarnate Word (80.5 percent) and just ahead of Louisiana-Monroe (78.9 percent), California Baptist (78.8 percent) and Central Connecticut State (78.1 percent). Hey! Thats my parents’ alma mater! 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.
OVER THE AIR
Hofstra will provide a radio and video feed of today’s game, as well as live stats, at the Pride Productions hub.
The Dragons, under third-year head coach Zach Spiker, are 13-16 this season and 7-9 in CAA play. Drexel snapped a three-game losing streak Saturday by beating rival Delaware, 68-60.
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 90th at KenPom.com this morning. That’s a drop of 29 spots in 19 days. The Dragons, who were picked ninth, are ranked 237th at KenPom.com as of early this morning.
According to KenPom.com, the Dutchmen rank first in the CAA in conference-only offensive efficiency (121.9) and are tied for third in conference-only defensive efficiency (107.0). The Dragons rank sixth in the CAA in conference-only offensive efficiency (108.3) and are seventh in conference-only defensive efficiency (111.2).
The Dragons will be without leading scorer Troy Harper, who is averaging 15.8 points per game but is expected to miss the rest of his senior season with a foot injury.
Senior Troy Harper leads four Dragons averaging in double figures with 15.4 points per game. Junior Alihan Demar ranks second on the Dragons in both scoring (14.6 ppg) and rebounding (6.4 rpg). Potential CAA Rookie of the Year Camren Wynter, who is a Hempstead native, is averaging 10.8 points and a team-high 5.2 assists per game. James Butler is averaging 10.1 points and a team-high 8.3 rebounds per game.
KenPom.com predicts an 84-78 win by Hofstra. He was a lot more confident a couple weeks ago. Per the wise guys in Vegas, for entertainment purposes only, the Dutchmen are 7.5-point favorites. Hofstra is 18-10 against the spread this season, though it has lost three straight as far as the bookies are concerned.
ALL-TIME VS. DREXEL
Hofstra is 42-46 against Drexel in a series that began during the 1958-59 season. The Dutchmen beat the Dragons, 89-75, in Hempstead on Dec. 30 and will be looking to sweep the season series for the fourth time in the last five years. Hofstra has won nine of the last 10 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.
THINGS YOU CAN SHOUT ON TWITTER IF CALLS GO DO NOT GO HOFSTRA’S WAY
Bryce Harper bias! (Know your current events, kids)
You're stuck with Carson Wentz bias! (Same)
Charlie’s doing work bias! (Know your Always Sunny, kids)
Jeff Stone bias! (Know your obscure Phillies, kids)