Underdogs after winning 16 straight? The Patriots have no idea what it means to be disrespected!
Your Flying Dutchmen remained the hottest team in this or any other land last Saturday, when they spotted Towson an early one-point lead before cruising to an 84-61 win. That’s 16 straight wins, in case you hadn’t heard. The Dutchmen will look to make it 17 straight this afternoon, when they visit preseason favorite Northeastern in the Barone Bowl. Here’s a look back at the win over the Tigers and a look ahead to the Huskies.
THE MOST RECENT GAME SUMMARIZED IN ONE PARAGRAPH
Justin Wright-Foreman (25 points on 9-of-15 shooting) had yet another monster game, but it was Desure Buie who did something no one’s achieved since Speedy Claxton as the Dutchmen beat Towson. Buie finished with 14 points, seven assists and six rebounds (more on that later) while Eli Pemberton had 22 points and six rebounds. Tareq Coburn (11 points) and Jacquil Taylor (10 points) also scored in double figures as the Dutchmen’s starting five accounted for all but two of the team’s points.
3 STARS OF THE GAME (vs. Towson, 1/26)
3: Justin Wright-Foreman
2: Desure Buie
1: Eli Pemberton
Justin Wright-Foreman 55
Eli Pemberton 26
Desure Buie 17
Jacquil Taylor 12
Tareq Coburn 10
Jalen Ray 8
Stafford Trueheart 2
Kenny Wormley 1
Dan Dwyer 1
COACHSPEAK: “It’s a big number. It’s a big number. But the reason that we keep having some success is we’re embracing it, we’re enjoying it and we know this: It could have been over today. It might be over Saturday. It might over the next game. We know it. So we’re going to enjoy it and ride it as far as we can.”
WAS THIS A UNICORN SCORE?
No! The Dutchmen most recently won a game 84-61 on Feb. 8, 1992, when they beat Buffalo in an ECC game. Oh yeah Litos. It was real and it was spectacular. The Dutchmen have recorded eight unicorn scores this season.
RIP JOHN CORSO
Before we get to discussing the latest news and notes from the Dutchmen’s winning streak, please take a moment to remember former Hofstra director of basketball operations John Corso, who died last Saturday following a long bout with cancer. Corso, who was most recently the athletic director at St. Dominic High School, was 58 years old. He and Pecora were close friends dating back to their days as undergraduate students at Adelphi in the early 1980s. Here is Newsday’s obituary on Corso.
WE’RE GOING STREAKING
The Dutchmen won their 16th straight game Saturday. 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 third time in school history the Dutchmen have won at least 16 straight games.
YES, VIRGINIA, WE HAVE THE LONGEST WINNING STREAK IN THE COUNTRY
Michigan and Virginia both lost two weeks ago today — the Wolverines fell to Wisconsin before Hofstra tipped off and the Cavaliers fell to Duke after the Dutchmen won — so the Dutchmen have the longest winning streak in the land! Is this really happening? Tennessee and Michigan State are tied for the second-longest winning streak in the country.
1.) HOFSTRA, 16 GAMES (Nov. 26-present)
2.) Tennessee, 14 games (Nov. 28-present)
3.) Gonzaga, 11 games (Dec. 18-present)
The 16-game winning streak the longest ever for Joe Mihalich as a head coach. 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.
However, this is not the longest winning streak Mihalich has ever experienced as a coach. He was the assistant coach for La Salle when the Explorers won 22 straight games during the 1989-90 season before falling to Clemson in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
STREAKING IN THE CAA
The Dutchmen’s 16-game winning streak is tied for the second-longest by a CAA team since the 2001-02 season and tied for the third-longest in league history. George Mason also won 16 straight games during the 2010-11 season (a streak that began after a loss to Hofstra, BTW, hee hee) while Navy and David Robinson won 16 straight during the 1985-86 season. The longest winning streak in CAA history is Drexel’s 19-game run during the 2011-12 season. CAA teams have authored 14 winning streaks of 10 games or longer since the 2001-02 season. Here is the entire list, with the number of league wins during the streak in parenthesis.
Drexel 19 games 2011-12 (18 CAA wins, including two tourney)
George Mason 16 games 2010-11 (15 CAA wins, including one tourney)
HOFSTRA 16 games 2018-19 (9 CAA wins)
Delaware 13 games 2013-14 (11 CAA wins)
Old Dominion 12 games 2006-07 (11 CAA wins, including one tourney)
Charleston 11 games 2017-18 (11 CAA wins)
UNC Wilmington 11 games 2015-16 (11 CAA wins)
VCU 11 games 2011-12 (11 CAA wins)
Georgia State 11 games 2011-12 (3 CAA wins)
Northeastern 11 games 2010-11 (8 CAA wins)
Towson 10 games 2017-18 (0 CAA wins)
William & Mary 10 games 2009-10 (2 CAA wins)
VCU 10 games 2006-07 (10 CAA wins)
Drexel 10 games 2006-07 (4 CAA wins)
HOW MANY WINS IN A ROW? NIIIIIINE WINS
The Dutchmen are 9-0 in CAA play for the first time ever. They opened 5-0 in 2006-07 and 2010-11. The Dutchmen are the seventh CAA team to open 9-0 in league play and the first since UNC Wilmington started out 9-0 in 2016-17.
VCU 11-0 (2006-07)
Delaware 11-0 (2013-14)
Richmond 11-0 (1985-86)
UNCW 9-0 (2016-17)
HOFSTRA 9-0 (2018-19)
James Madison 9-0 (1991-92)
James Madison 9-0 (1990-91)
LAST TO LOSE
The Dutchmen, obviously, are the last 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 three games ahead of every team in the loss column and have the tiebreaker over the only team with fewer than four losses, Northeastern. The three-game lead is the largest for any conference leader IN THE COUNTRY.
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.
Entering today, the Dutchmen are one of 13 teams unbeaten in conference play. Only the Southern Conference’s Wofford (10-0) has as many wins without a loss in league action as the Dutchmen.
Wofford 10-0 (Southern)
HOFSTRA 9-0 (CAA, duh)
Lipscomb 8-0 (Atlantic Sun)
Sam Houston State 8-0 (Southland)
Villanova 8-0 (Big East)
Washington 8-0 (Pac 12)
Gonzaga 7-0 (West Coast)
Prairie View A&M 7-0 (Southwestern Athletic)
Tennessee 7-0 (SEC)
LSU 7-0 (SEC)
Norfolk State 7-0 (Mid-Eastern Athletic)
North Carolina A&T 6-0 (Mid-Eastern Athletic)
Princeton 3-0 (Ivy)
THE SPRINTING DUTCHMEN
Per Hofstra SID Stephen Gorchov, the 19-3 start is the Dutchmen’s best record through 22 games since the program moved to Division I. The Dutchmen opened up 18-4 in 1982-83, 2000-01 and 2005-06.
SELECT SECOND HALF COMPANY
The Dutchmen, obviously, led in the second half Saturday. But did you know they’ve led in the second half of every game this season? The Dutchmen are one of just seven Division I teams to hold a lead after halftime in every game thus far. Michigan fell off the list after trailing in the entire second half of Friday night’s loss to Iowa. Here is the list in alphabetical fashion, which I was going to do even before I realized it would pair old ECC foes Buffalo and Hofstra one after the other OH YEAH LITOS YOU LIKE DEM APPLES?
STREAKING NOW VS. STREAKING THEN
As we’ve noted, the Dutchmen’s 16-game winning streak is the program’s longest since the 2000-01 team won 18 in a row heading into the NCAA Tournament. The margin of victory against Division I teams during this streak is 226 points (the Dutchmen didn’t play a non-Division I foe during the 2000-01 streak, so we’re disregarding the 53-point win over Rosemont). The Dutchmen’s margin of victory during their 2000-01 streak? Two hundred twenty-five points. This is the good content, kids!
In addition, the Dutchmen had six wins by fewer than 10 points during their 2001-01 streak, including one overtime victory. The Dutchmen have six wins by fewer than 10 points during their current streak, including one overtime victory. And in 2000-01, they had three wins by more than 20 points. The current team has five wins by more than 20 points.
DEMOCRACY MAY NOT BE BROKEN AFTER ALL
The Dutchmen garnered votes in the AP poll for the third straight week Monday, when they received nine votes. How many votes? Niiiine votes. That places the Dutchmen 33rd, just behind Wofford and two votes ahead of TCU. The Dutchmen received one vote each of the previous two weeks.
THEY SHOULD JUST NAME THE AWARD AFTER HIM AT THIS POINT
Justin Wright-Foreman made some more history Monday, when he was named the CAA Player of the Week for the sixth time this season. That’s the most awards earned by a player in a season since 2001-02. Did we mention there’s four more weeks left in this season? Wright-Foreman also earned the awards for the weeks ending Nov. 18, Nov. 25, Dec. 9, Dec. 30 and Jan. 6. He didn’t win it for three whole weeks, slacker.
YOU’RE JUSTIN WRIGHT-FOREMAN! YOU PLAY BASKETBALL FOR THE HOFSTRA FLYING DUTCHMEN!
With his 25 points against Towson, Justin Wright-Foreman extended his streak of double-digit scoring efforts to 75 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: 75 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 the 17th-longest in HISTORY. This is some rarefied air.
JWF IS A TOP TEN HIT
Justin Wright-Foreman remained in eighth place on the all-time Hofstra scoring list Saturday, when he scored 25 points. To be fair, he needed to make up 80 points to catch up to seventh-place Speedy Claxton, so Wright-Foreman will probably spend at least two more games in eighth place. Probably.
7.) Speedy Claxton, 2,015 (1996-2000)
8.) JUSTIN WRIGHT-FOREMAN 1,950 (2015-present)
9.) David Taylor 1,818 (1979-83)
10.) Norman Richardson 1,677 (1997-2001)
PEMBERTON POUNCES UP THE LIST
Eli Pemberton, the newest member of the Hofstra 1,000-point club, moved up two more spots on the all-time list Saturday, when he scored 22 points to surge past two Joe Mihalich-era players — Juan’ya Green and Pemberton’s former teammate, Brian Bernardi — into sole possession of 23rd place. Pemberton could make up more ground today. He is 17 points away from surpassing another tandem, Demetrius Dudley and John Mills, who are tied for 21st place with 1,220 points, and 22 points away from moving past Carlos Rivera into 20th place.
20.) Carlos Rivera 1,225 (2004-07)
21t.) Demetrius Dudley 1,220 (1991-93)
21t.) John Mills 1,220 (1941-43, 1946-47)
23.) ELI PEMBERTON 1,204 (2016-present)
24t.) Brian Bernardi, 1,186 (2014-17)
24t.) Juan’ya Green 1,186 (2014-16)
WE FOUND SOMETHING THAT WENT WRONG AGAINST TOWSON
The Dutchmen were a robust 17-of-19 from the free throw line against Towson. But the only two misses were registered by their best free throw shooters, Justin Wright-Foreman and Desure Buie, each of whom were 3-for-4. Wright-Foreman is tied for 25th in the nation in free throw shooting percentage (88 percent) while Buie would rank in the top 20 if he had enough makes.
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. As noted, the Dutchmen were 17-of-19 from the line against Towson, which improved their season-long percentage to 79.7 percent. That is, 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 (81.6 percent) and just ahead of Louisiana-Monroe (78.5 percent), Lafayette (78.3 percent) and Toledo (78.3 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.
A DESURE THING, PART ONE
Desure Buie had a notable game last Saturday, when he finished with 14 points, seven assists, six rebounds and six steals against Towson. Per my research, he is the first Hofstra player t score at least 10 points and finish with at least six in each of the other categories since Speedy Claxton collected 24 points, six assists, six rebounds and six steals against New Hampshire on Feb. 18, 2000. That’s pretty good company.
A DESURE THING, PART TWO
Desure Buie went 3-for-4 from the free throw line last Saturday, which kept him on the verge of moving back into into contention for the national free throw shooting title. Buie is shooting a robust 90 percent (54-of-60) from the line this season, which would tie him for 15th nationally if Buie had enough made free throws to qualify for the title. NCAA.org's minimum is 2.5 made free throws per game, which means Buie needed 55 makes through 22 games and will need to make four free throws today, in the Dutchmen’s 23rd game, in order to qualify for the leaderboard.
However, Hofstra’s specifications are two free throws made per game, which means Buie is on pace 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.
Joe Mihalich earned his 107th win at Hofstra last Saturday. Mihalich is in sole possession of sixth place on the Hofstra coaching win list, 16 wins shy of 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
6.) JOE MIHALICH 107
7.) Dick Berg 102
8.) Jack McDonald 100
OVER THE AIR
Hofstra will provide a video and radio feed of today’s game, as well as live stats, at the Pride Productions hub. The game will also be broadcast on MSG Network, which apparently decided it wanted to show a basketball team with a chance at actually winning a game in 2019.
The Huskies, under 13th-year head coach Bill Coen, are 12-9 this season and 6-3 in CAA play following a 78-68 win over James Madison last Saturday.
The Dutchmen and Huskies had no common foes during non-league play. Today’s game marks the first time both teams are facing an opponent for the second time in the CAA.
The Dutchmen, who were picked third in the CAA preseason poll, were ranked 61st at KenPom.com this morning. The Huskies, who were picked first, were ranked 99th at KenPom.com this morning.
According to KenPom.com, the Dutchmen rank first in the CAA in conference-only offensive efficiency (122.4) and second in conference-only defensive efficiency (100.5). The Huskies rank second in the CAA in conference-only offensive efficiency (115.1) and third in conference-only defensive efficiency (104.1).
Senior guard Vasa Pusica leads the Huskies with 16.0 points and 4.3 assists per game. Juniors Jordan Roland (15.3 ppg) and Donnell Gresham Jr. (10.0 ppg) are also averaging in double figures. Junior guard Shawn Occeus, the reigning CAA defensive player of the year, has been limited to just 11 games due to injury as well as a brief leave for a personal matter but is averaging 9.9 points per game.
KenPom.com predicts a 77-76 win by Northeastern. Per the wise guys in Vegas, for entertainment purposes only, the Dutchmen are 1.5-point underdogs. Pfft nobody believes in us, we’re the least-respected team in America this side of the New England Patriots. Hofstra is 16-5 against the spread this season.
ALL-TIME VS. NORTHEASTERN
Hofstra is 23-21 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 have won six of the last seven games in the series, including the most recent matchup Jan. 5, when Justin Wright-Foreman hit a running 34-footer at the buzzer to cap a late nine-point comeback and give Hofstra a rather exciting 75-72 win.
THE BARONE BOWL
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, 11-9, though Hofstra has retained the Barone Bowl for three straight seasons. A team can retain the trophy with a split of the season series. Of course, Hofstra’s win on Jan. 5 guarantees nothing since the teams can play a third time in the CAA Tournament. 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!
THINGS YOU CAN SHOUT ON TWITTER IF CALLS GO DO NOT GO HOFSTRA’S WAY
No respect bias! (The great Extreme has a song called “No Respect,” true story)
We’re all sick of your football team making the Super Bowl bias! (Duh)
RTZ bias! (Former Boston band members Brad Delp and Barry Goudreau formed this short-lived supergroup in the early ‘90s this is the good stuff kids)
Kylie Irving might be coming to the Knicks bias! (Yeah right)