Tonight's the last night we get to see the Commodore at the Arena. You should go. He's good.
We could get used to this. Desure Buie continued his superstar emergence Monday afternoon, when he scored a career-high 35 points as the Flying Dutchmen bid goodbye to the 2010s by overcome a double-digit second-half deficit for the second time in as many games to beat Towson, 75-67. The Dutchmen will look to stay unbeaten in #CAAHoops play tonight, when they open a new decade the same way they opened the last one — by hosting William & Mary. Hey, do you think the game will be bananas? Here’s a look back at the win over the Tigers and a look ahead to the Fighting Daniel Dixons.
THE MOST RECENT GAME SUMMARIZED IN ONE PARAGRAPH
The Flying Dutchmen fell behind by 12 points in the first minute of the second half, but Desure Buie scored 19 points the rest of the way as the Dutchmen stormed back to beat Towson. Buie’s first basket of the second half capped a 12-0 run that tied the game and he put the Dutchmen ahead for good at 53-50 by draining a 3-pointer with 12:04 remaining. Buie added six rebounds and six assists to go with those 35 points. Tareq Coburn scored 12 of his 14 points in the second half while Isaac Kante had all nine of his points in the final 20 minutes. Coburn had a team-high seven rebounds while Jalen Ray had nine points, four rebounds and four assists. Eli Pemberton was held to a season-low four points.
3 STARS OF THE GAME (vs. Towson 12/30)
3: Desure Buie
2: Tareq Coburn
1: Jalen Ray
Desure Buie 29
Eli Pemberton 22
Tareq Coburn 15
Jalen Ray 12
Isaac Kante 10
Stafford Trueheart 1
Omar Silverio 1
COACHSPEAK: “It’s starting to be like Justin — whatever he does doesn’t surprise me.”
THIS IS THE 25TH ANNIVERSARY OF FRIENDS’ FIRST SEASON, WHAT WOULD THIS GAME BE TITLED IF IT WAS AN EPISODE OF FRIENDS?
The One Where We Ended The ‘10s With A Win
WAS THIS A UNICORN SCORE?
No! But it’s not as common as you’d think. The Dutchmen’s previous 75-67 win came over Delaware during the 1960-61 season. I was more than 12 years from being born. Long time ago. 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 FIFTEEN GAMES
With the win over Towson, the Dutchmen improved to 11-4. This ties the 2019-20 team for the 13th-best record through 15 games. Four other teams began 11-4, most recently the 2014-15 squad. Here is how some other notable Hofstra teams have fared through 15 games:
NCAA DIVISION I TOURNAMENT TEAMS
2018-19: 12-3 (marked eighth win in the 16-game winning streak)
NCAA DIVISION II TOURNAMENT TEAMS
1961-62: 14-1 (most recent 14-1 start)
Some other notable 14-game starts:
2013-14: 4-11 (most recent 4-10 start, Joe Mihalich’s first team)
2001-02: 7-8 (Tom Pecora’s first team)
1995-96: 7-8 (under .500 for good after a buzzer-beating loss to Northeastern)
1994-95: 3-12 (Jay Wright’s first team)
1993-94: 1-14 (VBK’s last team, most recent 1-14 start)
Hofstra has never been 15-0 or 0-15 through 15 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 Dutchmen are 2-0 in CAA play for the second straight season and the sixth time since joining the league in 2001. The Dutchmen reached the CAA championship game each of the last two times they opened 2-0 (also 2016) and advanced to postseason play each of the first five times they opened 2-0. (This counts the CBI, which really shouldn’t count but whatever)
The Flying Dutchmen mounted a comeback from a double-digit deficit for the second straight game and the third time overall this season.
Towson 12/30/19 (-12 2nd, W 75-67)
James Madison 12/28/19 (-13 2nd, W 82-76)
UCLA 11/21/19 (-13 1st, W 88-78)
The Dutchmen last came back from double-digit deficits in back-to-back games on Feb. 2-4, 2017, when they overcame a 14-point first-half deficit to beat Delaware, 73-65, and a 13-point second-half deficit to edge Drexel, 79-77.
BUIE EARNS HONORS
Not surprisingly, Desure Buie earned the CAA’s player of the week honors for the week ending Monday after he scored 50 points and added 12 rebounds and 10 assists in the wins over James Madison and Towson. It was the second player of the week honor of the season and of his career for Buie, who previously won the award for the week ending Nov. 25.
BUIE BUIE BUIE OH OH OH! (Part one)
Desure Buie created a brand new club Monday, when he finished with 35 points, six rebounds and six assists. It’s the first time in the Defiantly Dutch Era (1993-present) that a player had at least 35 points, six rebounds and six assists in the same game. Justin Wright-Foreman came close twice (37 points, five rebounds and six assists against Cal State Fullerton on Nov. 21, 2018 and 39 points, five rebounds and six assists against Elon on Jan. 7, 2018) while Charles Jenkins (40 points, five rebounds and six assists against Binghamton on Dec. 8, 2010) and Speedy Claxton (40 points, seven rebounds and five assists against Hartford on Jan, 16, 2000) came close once each.
BUIE BUIE BUIE OH OH OH! (Part two)
Wait! There’s a second brand new club Buie created Monday, when he was 6-of-7 from 3-point range. That’s the best shooting percentage from beyond the arc by a Hofstra player with at least six made 3-pointers in a game since 2010-11, the first season in which CollegeBasketballReference.com has individual game logs. Brian Bernardi (Nov. 11, 2014 and Nov. 20, 2015) and Justin Wright-Foreman (Jan. 27, 2018) shared the previous standard by going 6-of-8 from 3-point land.
Desure Buie also joined some select company with his 35-point effort Monday. Buie is the first Hofstra player other than Justin Wright-Foreman to score 35 points in a game since the late great Zeke Upshaw scored a career-high 37 points against Richmond on Nov. 19, 2013.
SO WHO HAS A DOUBLE-DIGIT SCORING STREAK NOW?
You can probably guess the answer to this one. 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 11 straight double-digit efforts.
BUIE SAYS BYE BYE BYE TO THE ‘10S
Desure Buie scored Hofstra’s final points of the 2010s when he sank a free throw with seven seconds left Monday. Tonight he will try to follow in the footsteps of Nathaniel Lester, who both scored the final points of the ‘00s and the first points of the ‘10s.
OVER THE AIR
Today’s game will be aired on FloHoops.com (subscription). Hofstra will carry live audio and offer live stats here.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY HOFSTRA ARENA!
Hofstra Arena opened 20 years ago today, when Speedy Claxton scored 19 points to lead the Flying Dutchmen (who really were the Flying Dutchmen back then) beat Boston University, 74-46, in an America East game. The Dutchmen went 10-0 at their new home during the 1999-2000 season and have continued to enjoy the Arena, where they are a robust 187-85 (.688) all-time. Ironically, in that it’s not ironic at all, the Dutchmen also played a home game against William & Mary on the 10th anniversary of the arena’s opening on *checks notes* Jan. 2, 2010, when the Tribe mounted a late comeback and earned a 48-47 win. No seriously, CAA teams used to combine to score 95 points in an entire game.
SCOUTING WILLIAM & MARY
The Tribe, under first-year head coach Dane Fischer (you might have heard Joe Mihalich’s BFF, Tony Shaver, is no longer there), are 9-5 this season and 1-0 in CAA play after edging Elon, 74-73, on Monday night.
The Dutchmen and Tribe had no common foes in non-league play.
The Dutchmen, who were picked first in the CAA preseason poll, were ranked 123rd at KenPom.com today. The Tribe, who were picked seventh, were ranked 192nd at KenPom.com today.
According to KenPom.com, the Dutchmen rank second in the CAA in offensive efficiency (104.3) and first in defensive efficiency (100.9). The Tribe rank fourth in the CAA in offensive efficiency (101.8) and sixth in defensive efficiency (104.1).
Senior Nathan Knight. i.e. The Commodore, was named to the all-CAA preseason first team and leads the Tribe in scoring (20.3 ppg) while sharing the team lead in rebounding (9.6 rpg) with senior transfer Andy Van Vliet, who is also averaging 14.9 ppg. Have we mentioned Knight is 6-foot-10 and Van Vliet is 7-feet and both run the floor like they’re a foot shorter? No? Junior Luke Loewe, the only returning starter aside from Knight who didn’t transfer after Shaver’s firing, is averaging 11.1 points per game.
KenPom.com predicts 79-71 win for the Dutchmen. Eight points? He clearly hasn’t seen many Hofstra-William & Mary games lately. Per the wise guys in Vegas, for entertainment purposes only, the Dutchmen are 7.5-point underdogs. The Dutchmen are 10-4 against the spread this season.
ALL-TIME VS. WILLIAM & MARY
Hofstra is 22-13 against William & Mary in a series that began when the Dutchmen joined the CAA prior to the 2001-02 season. The Dutchmen earned a pair of wild wins last season, when they outlasted the Tribe, 93-90, in a three-overtime instant classic on Jan. 10 before Justin Wright-Foreman tied a school record by collecting 48 points in a 93-87 win on Feb. 9.
AN OUT-OF-NOWHERE RIVALRY
The Dutchmen barely crossed paths with William & Mary during their first decade-plus in the CAA, but the Tribe have become Hofstra’s biggest rival since Joe Mihalich became head coach in 2013. Of the last 14 games between the two teams, 10 have been decided by six points or fewer or in overtime, including the last four games.
Seven of those games have gone down to the last second, including the goddamn Daniel Dixon debacles. Overall, the Dutchmen are 5-5 against the Tribe in these “close shaves.”
2/9/19: Hofstra 93, William & Mary 87
1/10/19: Hofstra 93, William & Mary 90 (3 OT)
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
But now with Tony Shaver gone and Mihalich’s friend Dane Fischer in place, we don’t have to worry about a Royal Rumble breaking out. Probably.
Prior to 2013-14, the Dutchmen held a 14-7 lead in the season series. The teams faced each other just once per season from 2005-06 through 2008-09. Only four of the first 21 games between the Dutchmen and Tribe were decided by six points or fewer or in overtime, including, of course, The Wolf’s game on Feb. 15, 2011.
THINGS YOU CAN SHOUT ON TWITTER IF CALLS GO DO NOT GO HOFSTRA’S WAY
Tony Shaver got a raw deal bias! (True story)
Dane Fischer is a really nice guy but has Mason ties bias! (The new head coach didn’t have to change his wardrobe because he was most recently an assistant coach at George Mason)
Nathan Knight brings the Tribe up when they’re down bias! (Not sure how Nathan Knight became the Commodore, but any excuse to post a Lionel Richie-sung Commodores song is fine by me)
Hey you’re still getting publicity from I-AA football bias! (Did you hear Bills coach Sean McDermott and Steelers coach Mike Tomlin both played football at William & Mary? True story)