Thursday, January 9, 2020

I'll Be Quirky: Northeastern

You hate to see it, you really do.

The second game of the 2020s went a bit better than the first one for the Flying Dutchmen, who overcame a slow start and rode the latest Justin Wright-Foreman impersonation by Desure Buie (FORTY-FOUR POINTS!!!!) to a 102-75 rout of Elon. The Dutchmen, who now have a net-point differential this decade of zero, head to Boston tonight for a pivotal early-season #CAAHoops clash Northeastern. Here’s a look back at the win over the Phoenix and a look ahead to the CAA title game rematch with the Huskies.

Desure Buie had one of the most efficient games in memory for the Flying Dutchmen, who trailed 13-4 before running away from Elon. Buie hit a pair of 3-pointers to begin and end a 21-9 run that gave the Dutchmen the lead for good with 7:15 left in the first half. After a 16-point first half, Buie went into supercharged mode in the second half, when he scored 28 points — more than he’d ever scored in a single game entering the season — while going 8-of-9 from the field and 3-of-3 from 3-point land. At one point, Buie scored seven unanswered points, including the 1,000th of his career. Buie finished a whopping 15-of-19 from the field, including 6-of-8 from beyond the arc, and 8-of-8 from the free throw line. For good measure, he added five rebounds, three assists and two steals. Isaac Kante tied a career-high with 19 points on 7-of-8 shooting and added eight rebounds while Omar Silverio had 13 points off the bench and Jalen Ray added 10 points.

3 STARS OF THE GAME (vs. Elon 1/4)
3: Desure Buie (duh)
2: Isaac Kante
1: Omar Silverio

Desure Buie 32
Eli Pemberton 24
Isaac Kante 15
Tareq Coburn 15
Jalen Ray 13
Omar Silverio 2
Stafford Trueheart 1

COACHSPEAK: “This is one of the most incredible stories in all of Hofstra basketball. Go back 80 years or however old the school is. You run out of superlatives. This is a special guy, what he’s doing on the court, what he does off the court.”

The One Where Desure Turned Into JWF

Yes! But that’s not really surprising since the Dutchmen scored more than 100 points for the 37th time in program history. This is the Dutchmen’s seventh unicorn score of the season. They recorded 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. 

11/9/19: 94-74 over Monmouth
11/15/19: 111-69 over New York Tech
11/21/19: 88-78 over UCLA
12/1/19: 91-69 over Holy Cross
12/2/19: 64-57 over Canisius
12/10/19: 71-63 over SUNY-Stony Brook
1/4/20: 102-75 over Elon

With the win over Elon, the Dutchmen improved to 12-5. This ties the 2019-20 team for the 16th-best record through 16 games. Eight other teams began 12-5, most recently the 2015-16 squad. Here is how some other notable Hofstra teams have fared through 17 games:

1975-76: 9-8
1976-77: 12-5
1999-2000: 12-5
2000-01: 13-4 (marked fifth win in program-record 18-game winning streak)

1998-99: 11-6
2004-05: 11-6
2005-06: 13-4
2006-07: 12-5
2015-16: 12-5 
2018-19: 14-3 (marked 10th win in the 16-game winning streak)

1958-59: 12-5
1961-62: 15-2 (loss in 17th game snapped 14-game winning streak, most recent 15-2 start)
1962-63: 11-6
1963-64: 14-3

Some other notable 17-game starts:

2017-18: 10-7 (most recent 10-7 start)
2016-17: 9-8 (most recent 9-8 start, last time over .500)
2014-15: 13-4 (most recent 12-4 start)
2013-14: 6-11 (most recent 6-11 start, Joe Mihalich’s first team)
2012-13: 5-12 (most recent 5-12 start)
2011-12: 6-10 (most recent 6-10 start)
2010-11: 11-6 (most recent 11-6 start)
2008-09: 10-6 (most recent 10-6 start)
2007-08: 4-13 (most recent 4-13 start)
2003-04: 7-10 (most recent 7-10 start)
2001-02: 7-9 (most recent 7-9 start, Tom Pecora’s first team)
1994-95: 3-14 (most recent 3-14 start, Jay Wright’s first team)
1993-94: 2-15 (only 2-15 start, VBK’s last team)
1990-91: 8-9 (most recent 8-9 start, last time under .500)
1987-88: 4-13 (loss in 17th game was seventh loss of program-record 13-game losing streak)
1985-86: 8-9 (last time under .500)
1964-65: 9-8 (last time over .500)
1959-60: 16-1 (most recent 16-1 start & Hofstra’s winningest team, percentage-wise; win in 17th game was sixth win of season-ending 13-game winning streak)
1957-58: 13-4 (loss in 17th game snapped 10-game winning streak)
1939-40: 9-8 (over .500 for good)
1936-37: 10-7 (season complete)

Hofstra has never been 17-0, 1-16 or 0-17 through 16 games. 

The 1937-38 season was already complete (10-4).
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 Dutchmen won a game by 27 points immediately after losing a game by 27 points. It’s the first time they’ve split back-to-back games decided by at least 25 points since Feb. 25-Mar. 2, 2012, when the Dutchmen beat UNC Wilmington 93-64 in the regular season finale before falling to Georgia State, 85-50, in the opening round of the CAA Tournament.

The Dutchmen scored at least 100 points Saturday for the 37th time in program history and the first time a 102-61 win over Elon on Feb. 7, 2019. It’s the first time the Dutchmen have scored 100 points in back-to-back games against an opponent since the then-Flying Dutchmen beat Virginia Wesleyan, 100-77, during the 1982-83 season and 105-74 during the 1984-85 season.

Where do we start with the Desure Buie blurbs? How about with the 1,000-point club, which Buie joined by hitting a fast break lay-up off his own steal with 13:09 left in the game. Buie is the 38th player to score 1,000 points at Hofstra and the first to join the club since Eli Pemberton on Dec. 1, 2018. In addition, Buie is the seventh player to reach 1,000 points under Joe Mihalich, who is in just his seventh season at Hofstra. Buie enters tonight with a chance to gain a handful of spots on the all-time list. He is seven points away from surpassing John Irving for 37th place, 11 points away from moving past James Shaffer for 36th place and 34 points away from supplanting Percy Johnson for 35th place.

34.) Darius Burton 1,060
35.) Percy Johnson 1,045
36.) James Shaffer, 1,022
37.) John Irving 1,018
38.) DESURE BUIE 1,012

Desure Buie’s 44 points are tied for the fifth-most ever scored by a Hofstra player in a single game and the most since (you guessed it) Justin Wright-Foreman tied Bill Thieben’s school record with 48 points against William & Mary last Feb. 9. Thieben scored 48 points against Wilkes in a game during the 1954-55 season. Steve Nisenson (a 47-point game agains Wagner in 1964-65, a 45-point game against West Chester during the 1962-63 season and a 44-point game against Catholic during the 1963-64 season) and Demetrius Dudley (44 points against Central Connecticut on Feb. 9, 1993) are the only other players to score at least 44 points sin a game. 

Buie’s monster game was the 16th 40-point game in program history and the first since (yup, you guessed it) Justin Wright-Foreman scored 42 points in a 78-74 overtime win over Delaware in the CAA semifinals Mar. 11. Only nine players have scored 40 points in a single game.

Justin Wright-Foreman 3
Steve Nisenson 3
Speedy Claxton 2
Rich Laurel 2
Bill Thieben 2
Demetrius Dudley 1
Bernard Tomlin 1
Charles Jenkins 1
Desure Buie 1

Desure Buie’s game Saturday may have been the most efficient by any Division I player this season as well as the most efficient by a Hofstra player this century. Only three other players have scored more points in a game this season than Buie and only three other players have matched or exceeded Buie’s field goal percentage (78.9 percent) on Saturday. The only player to score more points while shooting better from the field than Buie was Eastern Washington’s Mason Peatling, who scored a Division I-high 54 points while going 24-of-30 from the field against non-Division I Multnomah on Dec. 13. The other players to score at least 40 points against a Division I foe while shooting at least 78.9 percent from the field are UNC-Asheville’s Lavar Batts Jr. (14-of-17 against South Carolina State on Dec. 11) and Hampton’s Benjamin Stanley (15-of-19 against Howard on Dec. 5) and both finished with a mere 40 points.

In addition, Buie’s big game marked the seventh time since 2000 that a Hofstra player has scored at least 40 points. Justin Wright-Foreman, Speedy Claxton and Charles Jenkins all had more field goal attempts than Buie (19) and none matched his shooting percentage.

Desure Buie 44 pts (15-of-19 FG) vs. Elon, 1/4/20
Justin Wright-Foreman 48 pts (16-of-24 FG) vs. William & Mary, 2/9/19
Charles Jenkins 40 pts (14-of-22 FG) vs. Binghamton 12/8/10
Justin Wright-Foreman 42 pts (15-of-30 FG) vs. Delaware 3/11/19
Justin Wright-Foreman 42 pts (15-of-30 FG) vs. Northeastern 1/5/19

In addition, only Buie (8-for-8) was perfect from the free throw line in his 40-point game.

(All statistics courtesy of the Play Index at

Desure Buie also had five rebounds Saturday, which made him the 12th Division I player this season to collect at least 40 point and five rebounds in a game. He is the second CAA player after Northeastern’s Jordan Roland, who scored 42 points and pulled down six rebounds against Harvard on Nov. 8. 

Hey, you don’t win by 27 without other guys having big games too. Isaac Kante flirted with another double-double Saturday, when he tied a career-high with 19 points — his most against a Division I foe — and pulled down eight rebounds. While Jacquil Taylor left big shoes to fill, Kante is averaging 9.7 points and 6.8 rebounds over 26 minutes in his first 17 games, figures that compare favorably to Taylor’s numbers (6.1 points and 7.9 rebounds in 22.5 minutes per game) through the first half of last season.

Omar Silverio provided a spark off the bench Saturday, when he drained a trio of 3-pointers and tied a career high with 13 points. It was the fourth double-digit scoring effort for Silverio, who also scored 13 points against Monmouth on Nov. 9.

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, who scored a whole lot of points Saturday to extend his streak to 13 straight double-digit efforts.

Jay Wright began his head coaching career 25 years ago this fall and winter at the helm of the Flying Dutchmen, who rang in 1995 with a 77-66 win over Maine at the Physical Fitness Center on Jan. 1 before embarking upon a nine-game losing streak that would span the rest of Intersession. The first three losses all came at the PFC via a 70-68 loss to Northeastern on Jan. 3, a 99-84 loss to New Hampshire on Jan. 6 and an 88-86 loss to Vermont on Jan. 8. Those losses dropped the Dutchmen to 2-8 overall and 1-5 in the NAC.

Tonight’s game will be aired on CBS Sports Network, which you can watch on the CBS app or channel 215 if you live under our Altice overlords. Hofstra will carry live audio and offer live stats here.

The Huskies, under 14th-year head coach Bill Coen, is 12-6 this season and 3-1 in CAA play after falling to William & Mary, 66-64, on a buzzer-beater by the Commodore last Saturday afternoon. 

The Dutchmen and Phoenix had one common foe in non-league play. Hofstra beat Holy Cross, 91-69, on Dec. 1 while Northeastern handed the Crusaders a 101-44 drubbing on Nov. 19.

Both teams have beaten Towson and Elon and lost to William & Mary in CAA play.

The Dutchmen, who were picked first in the CAA preseason poll, are ranked 147th at The Huskies, who were picked third, are ranked 135th at

According to, the Dutchmen rank third in the CAA in offensive efficiency (104.5) and sixth in defensive efficiency (102.7). The Huskies rank second in the CAA in offensive efficiency (104.9) and fifth in defensive efficiency (102.1).

Senior guard Jordan Roland leads the Huskies with 21.3 points per game. Another senior guard, Bolden Brace, is pulling down a team-high 6.1 rebounds per game while adding 10.2 points per game. Freshman Tyson Walker leads Northeastern with 3.4 assists per game and ranks second with 11.9 points per game. Junior forward Tomas Murphy has missed the last 12 games with an injury. predicts 75-71 loss for the Dutchmen. Per the wise guys in Vegas, for entertainment purposes only, the Dutchmen are 4-point underdogs. The Dutchmen are 11-5 against the spread this season.

“Tempo battle. Higher score, I think, favors Hofstra. Northeastern is guarding pretty good. Can Hofstra get in the lane enough and make drive and kick threes, get to the foul line and get off block outs? Northeastern is good at not fouling and blocking out.”

Hofstra is 23-23 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 nine games in the series (nice), but the Huskies have won the last two meetings (not so nice), including, of course, the CAA title game Mar. 12, when they broke open a tie game midway through the second half and pulled away for an 82-74 win. It was only the second game of the season in which Hofstra did not lead in the second half. The first? A 75-61 loss to Northeastern on Feb. 2 that ended the Dutchmen’s 16-game winning streak. The Dutchmen won the first game of the season between the teams last 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 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, 13-9, and won possession of the trophy for the first time since the 2014-15 season last spring. Grumble grumble. 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!

Ha ha the Patriots lost bias! (duh)
Turns out the Red Sox are also cheaters maybe you are too bias! (double duh)
Adam Ottavino bias! (The Yankees reliever graduated from Northeastern)
Gary Cherone got a raw deal as Van Halen’s vocalist bias! (Always gotta make an Extreme reference)

No comments: