Is Amy Schumer also providing Towson some publicity from I-AA football here?
The Flying Dutchmen overcame a slow start in impressive fashion Saturday afternoon, when they rode a blistering second half shooting effort to storm back from a 13-point deficit and beat James Madison, 82-76, in the #CAAHoops opener. The Dutchmen will look to make it a perfect season-opening road trip and extend their winning streak to five games this afternoon, when they visit Towson, Here’s a look back at the win over the Dukes and a look ahead to the Tigers.
THE MOST RECENT GAME SUMMARIZED IN ONE PARAGRAPH
Eli Pemberton kept the Dutchmen afloat in the first half, when he scored 17 of his game-high 25 points, and Desure Buie, Tareq Coburn and Jalen Ray shook off the rust in the second half and sparked the comeback win by scoring 39 of the Dutchmen’s 52 points. The Dutchmen trailed 45-32 with 17:39 left before Coburn scored all 10 of his second half points in a 16-7 run that closed the gap to 52-48. Buie gave the Dutchmen a pair of short-lived leads with baskets on consecutive possessions before Ray’s 3-pointer with 3:29 left put the Dutchmen ahead for good. The Dutchmen hit 16 of their final 20 field goal attempts, including nine in a row at one point, and drained 13 of 16 free throws in the final 20 minutes. James Madison, meanwhile, had a historically bad day at the charity stripe by going just 7-of-22. Ray scored 14 of his 18 points in the second half while Buie scored all 15 of his points after intermission. Coburn finished with 15 points and Pemberton collected a team-high eight rebounds.
3 STARS OF THE GAME (vs. James Madison 12/28)
3: Eli Pemberton
2: Jalen Ray
1: Desure Buie
Desure Buie 26
Eli Pemberton 22
Tareq Coburn 13
Jalen Ray 11
Isaac Kante 10
Stafford Trueheart 1
Omar Silverio 1
COACHSPEAK: “We kept our poise, kept our composure. We had some stars certainly not playing like stars who had a little talk with themselves and second half decided to play the way they know how to play. We’re really proud of this win. It’s tough to win on the road. It’s tough to win on the road. And a conference road win’s like gold.”
THIS IS THE 25TH ANNIVERSARY OF FRIENDS’ FIRST SEASON, WHAT WOULD THIS GAME BE TITLED IF IT WAS AN EPISODE OF FRIENDS?
The One With The Big Second Half Comeback
WAS THIS A UNICORN SCORE?
No! An 82-76 final sounds fairly common and the Dutchmen did indeed earn a win by that very score when they upset George Mason in the CAA quarterfinals way back on Mar. 2, 2002. You hate to see it, you really do. The Dutchmen have recorded six unicorn scores this season after recording 10 unicorn scores last season. 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 FLYING DUTCHMEN AFTER FOURTEEN GAMES
With the win over James Madison, the Dutchmen improved to 10-4. This ties the 2019-20 team for the 15th-best record through 14 games. Eleven other teams began 10-4, most recently the 2015-16 squad. The 10-4 record is the most common 14-game record. Here is how some other notable Hofstra teams have fared through 14 games:
NCAA DIVISION I TOURNAMENT TEAMS
2018-19: 11-3 (marked seventh win in the 16-game winning streak)
NCAA DIVISION II TOURNAMENT TEAMS
1963-64: 12-2 (most recent 12-2 start)
Some other notable 14-game starts:
2017-18: 8-6 (most recent 8-6 start)
2016-17: 9-5 (most recent 9-5 start)
2013-14: 4-10 (most recent 4-10 start, Joe Mihalich’s first team)
2012-13: 4-10 (won game no. 14 to snap eight-game losing streak)
2011-12: 6-8 (most recent 6-8 start)
2007-08: 3-11 (most recent 3-11 start)
2002-03: 2-12 (most recent 2-12 start)
2001-02: 6-8 (Tom Pecora’s first team)
1996-97: 5-9 (most recent 5-9 start)
1995-96: 7-7 (most recent 7-7 start, last time at .500)
1994-95: 2-12 (Jay Wright’s first team)
1993-94: 1-13 (VBK’s last team, most recent 1-13 start)
1988-89: 6-8 (win in 14th game was a 48-34 victory over Rider that still stands as the fewest points allowed by Hofstra in the last 32 seasons)
1986-87: 7-7 (last time at .500)
1966-67: 7-7 (last time at .500)
1961-62: 13-1 (most recent 13-1 start)
1959-60: 13-1 (Hofstra’s winningest team, percentage-wise; win in 14th game was third win of season-ending 13-game winning streak)
1937-38: 10-4 (season complete)
Hofstra has never been 14-0 or 0-14 through 14 games.
Full records not available for the following seasons: 1936-37, 1941-42, 1942-43, 1945-46, 1948-49, 1954-55.
This feature is inspired by Greg Prince, who measures how the current Mets compare, record-wise, to previous teams through the same point in the season.
The Flying Dutchmen mounted a comeback from a double-digit deficit for the second time this season and the first time since storming back from a 13-point deficit to beat UCLA, 88-78, on Nov. 21. The comeback from a 13-point second half deficit was the biggest second half comeback for the Dutchmen since they came back from 14 down to beat Monmouth, 85-84, on Dec. 6, 2017.
SLOW START, FAST FINISH
Desure Buie went scoreless in the first half Saturday before collecting 15 points in the second half. He is the second Hofstra player this season to score in double digits despite a scoreless first half — Jalen Ray finished with 14 points after a scoreless first half against Princeton Dec. 19 — and the first to score at least 15 points following a scoreless first half since Justin Wright-Foreman scored 17 points against Manhattan on Nov. 18, 2016. Pretty good company.
SO WHO HAS A DOUBLE-DIGIT SCORING STREAK NOW?
Justin Wright-Foreman, as you may or may not recall, ended his Hofstra career by scoring in double figures in each of his last 88 games. The longest such streak now belongs to Desure Buie, whose big second half extended his streak to 10 straight double-digit efforts.
ANOTHER ELI BUZZER BEATER
Eli Pemberton gave the Dutchmen a much-needed lift by hitting a running 3-pointer at the first half buzzer to close James Madison’s lead to 36-30. It was the second straight season in which Pemberton drained an unlikely 3-pointer at the first half buzzer at James Madison. He hit his famous 85-footer on Jan. 21.
THE FIRST DQ (BUT NOT THE ONE WITH THE ICE CREAM)
Isaac Kante became the first Hofstra player to foul out of a game this season when he collected *does the math* five fouls against James Madison. He is the first Dutchman to earn a disqualification since Justin Wright-Foreman fouled out against Drexel in an 80-77 win on Feb. 28.
THEY’RE FREE YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO TAKE THEM
We usually focus on the Hofstra stats here, but James Madison’s performance from the free throw line was notable for all the wrong reasons Saturday. The Dukes were just 7-of-22 from the charity stripe. Per Eric Hornick, our friend, Islanders statistician and I’ll Be Quirky inspiration, that’s the worst performance from the line in a Division I game (more than 20 attempts) since UAB was also 7-of-22 against Troy on Dec. 21, 2018. Hey! ECC connection!
In addition, the Dukes’ performance was the worst from the line by a Hofstra opponent since at least the 2005-06 season, which is as far back as opponents game-by-game statistics are available at GoHofstra.com. Only two other teams in that span shot lower than 50 percent from the line while taking at least 20 free throws. Old Dominion was 14-of-34 (41%) in a 57-46 win over the Dutchmen on Jan. 9, 2010 while Towson was 14-of-33 (42%) in the Dutchmen’s 74-49 win on Feb. 1, 2012.
OVER THE AIR
Today’s game will be aired on FloHoops.com (subscription). Hofstra will carry live audio and offer live stats here.
The Tigers, under ninth-year head coach Pat Skerry, are 6-7 this season and 0-1 in CAA play after falling to Northeastern, 61-45, on Saturday. Towson has alternated wins with losses over its last six games. Oh no, the Dutchmen are doomed!
The Dutchmen and Tigers had no common foes in non-league play.
The Dutchmen, who were picked first in the CAA preseason poll, were ranked 131st at KenPom.com today. The Tigers, who were picked sixth, were ranked 175th at KenPom.com today.
According to KenPom.com, the Dutchmen rank second in the CAA in offensive efficiency (104.2) and second in defensive efficiency (101.5). The Tigers rank seventh in the CAA in offensive efficiency (99.0) and first in defensive efficiency (99.9).
Senior Brian Fobbs, who was named to the all-CAA preseason first team, leads the Tigers in scoring (16.0 ppg). Senior Nakye Sanders is puling down a team-high 6.5 rebounds per game while sophomore Allen Betrand is averaging 12.1 ppg.
KenPom.com predicts 71-70 loss for the Dutchmen. Per the wise guys in Vegas, for entertainment purposes only, the Dutchmen are 1.5-point underdogs. The Dutchmen are 9-4 against the spread this season.
A well-embedded CAA mole has agreed to provide me his take on each Hofstra league game this season. Here’s his thoughts on today’s game:
“Hofstra’s talent level is a little higher than I was expecting. They can really put the ball in the bucket. But Towson’s the only CAA team that goes nine-deep.”
ALL-TIME VS. TOWSON
Hofstra is 43-26 against Towson in a series that began during the 1982-83 season, when both schools were in the East Coast Conference. The Dutchmen won both meetings last season, when they beat Towson 84-61 in Towson on Jan. 26 and outlasted the Tigers, 91-82, in double overtime in Hempstead on Feb. 21. It was the third season sweep for Hofstra in the last four years.
Hofstra and Towson opposed one another in the ECC and the North Atlantic Conference/America East before moving together to the CAA for the 2001-02 school year. Hofstra has faced only two opponents as often as it’s faced Towson: Longtime conference rivals Delaware and Drexel.
THINGS YOU CAN SHOUT ON TWITTER IF CALLS GO DO NOT GO HOFSTRA’S WAY
You should still be Towson State bias! (Stick with the classics)
Amy Schumer bias! (The comedienne and actress went to Towson)
John Schuerholz bias! (The Hall of Fame architect of the NL East dynasty Braves played at Towson and has the baseball field named after him)
The Orioles are really bad bias! (Duh)