Were Sonny, Carly, Sam, Luke and Laura all at Charleston?!
Are you not entertained? The Flying Dutchmen moved into first place in the CAA in rollercoaster fashion last Saturday, when they trailed by 16 points before the second media timeout of the first half and were down by 14 points with 16:46 left before storming back to edge Northeastern, 75-71. But there's no time to rest on their laurels for the Dutchmen, who will play another game with huge implications on the standings when they host second-place Charleston tonight. Here’s a look back at the big win over the Huskies and a look ahead to the big game against the Cougars.
THE MOST RECENT GAME SUMMARIZED IN ONE PARAGRAPH
Desure Buie and Jalen Ray finished with 22 points apiece and combined to score 36 of the Dutchmen’s 45 second half points in the raucous comeback win over Northeastern. A pair of free throws by Ray with 16:01 left began the surge for the Dutchmen, who took their first lead at 53-51 on Ray’s 3-pointer exactly seven minutes later and went ahead for good at 56-54 on a 3-pointer by Buie on the next trip down the floor. Buie and Ray scored 26 of the final 29 points — a span interrupted only by an old-fashioned 3-point play by Isaac Kante — and combined to go 7-of-8 from the free throw line in the final 1:08 as the Dutchmen fended off a last-ditch comeback by Northeastern, which twice whittled an eight-point deficit to one. Stafford Trueheart, filling in for the foul-plagued Kante, had seven rebounds and seven points, including a thunderous dunk that pulled the Dutchmen within 50-48 with 11:22 left. Eli Pemberton scored all 12 of his points in the first half.
3 STARS OF THE GAME (vs. Northeastern 2/8)
3: Desure Buie
2: Jalen Ray
1: Stafford Trueheart
Desure Buie 50
Eli Pemberton 30
Isaac Kante 26
Tareq Coburn 24
Jalen Ray 15
Stafford Trueheart 3
Omar Silverio 2
COACHSPEAK: “A lot of people in that building probably thought — a lot of times— in that first half it just wasn’t our day. It just wasn't our day. We were listless, they get the big lead, they were making shots, we were missing shots. I’ll never use the word helpless, but it didn’t seem good. And that’s the resolve of this team.”
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 Trailed 20-4 But Won Anyway
WAS THIS A UNICORN SCORE?
No! In fact, it’s not even a unicorn score for the Joe Mihalich era. The Dutchmen previously edged Charleston, 75-71, on Jan. 11, 2014. Is that a good sign? The Dutchmen have nine unicorn scores this 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.
THE FLYING DUTCHMEN AFTER TWENTY-FIVE GAMES
With the win over Northeastern, the Dutchmen improved to 18-7. This ties the 2019-20 team for the 13th-best record through 25 games. Four other teams were 18-7 through 24 games, and the three most recent squads all made the NIT. Here is how some other notable Hofstra teams have fared through 25 games:
NCAA DIVISION I TOURNAMENT TEAMS
1975-76: 14-11 (win in 25th game marked second win of six-game winning streak that carried Dutchmen into the NCAAs)
1976-77: 19-6 (win in 25th game marked fifth win of nine-game winning streak that carried Dutchmen into the NCAAs)
2000-01: 21-4 (win in 25th game marked 13th win in program-record, single-season 18-game winning streak)
2005-06: 20-5 (most recent 20-5 start)
2006-07: 19-6 (most recent 19-6 start)
2015-16: 17-8 (most recent 17-8 start)
NCAA DIVISION II TOURNAMENT TEAMS
1961-62: 22-3 (best 25-game record in school history)
1962-63: 19-6 (eighth win of 11-game winning streak)
Some other notable 25-game records:
2017-18: 14-10 (most recent 15-10 start)
2016-17: 12-13 (most recent 12-13 start)
2014-15: 16-9 (most recent 16-9 start)
2013-14: 8-17 (most recent 8-17 start, Joe Mihalich’s first team)
2012-13: 6-19 (most recent 6-19 start, tied for worst 25-game record in school history)
2009-10: 12-13 (under .500 for the last time)
2007-08: 9-16 (most recent 9-16 start)
2001-02: 10-15 (most recent 10-15 start, loss in 25th game marked fourth loss of Tom Pecora-era record-tying eight-game losing streak)
1996-97: 11-14 (most recent 11-14 start)
1994-95: 8-17 (Jay Wright’s first year)
1993-94: 6-19 (loss to ECC foe Chicago State started two-game losing streak heading into ECC Tournament, VBK’s last year)
1992-93: 8-17 (win over ECC foe Central Connecticut in 25th game gave Hofstra a sweep of the seasons series and the “ECC title”)
1991-92: 17-8 (win in 25th game was sixth in nine-game winning streak that ended in ECC title game)
1990-91: 13-12 (most recent 13-12 start)
1987-88: 6-19 (final win of the season and of Dick Berg’s tenure)
1985-86: 14-11 (most recent 14-11 start)
1982-83: 18-7 (final win of season)
1981-82: 11-14 (loss in 25th game was final loss of eight-game losing streak)
1978-79: 8-17 (third loss of season-ending five-game losing streak)
1971-72: 11-14 (lost season finale and Paul Lynner’s final game as coach)
1970-71: 17-8 (win in 25th game was fourth win of season-ending five-game winning streak)
1969-70: 12-13 (under .500 for the last time)
1968-69: 12-13 (won season finale)
1967-68: 13-12 (won season finale)
1966-67: 12-13 (won season finale)
1960-61: 21-4 (lost season finale)
1956-57: 11-14 (final win of season)
1955-56: 21-4 (final win of season)
1952-53: 20-5 (final win of season)
1950-51: 15-10 (third win of six-game winning streak)
Hofstra has never been 25-0, 24-1, 23-2, 7-18, 5-20, 4-21, 3-22, 2-23, 1-24 or 0-25 through 25 games.
The following seasons were completed in fewer than 25 games:
We’re getting to the point where seasons are completed every game now!
Full records not available for the following seasons: 1948-49, 1949-50, 1951-52, 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.
A NARROW SWEEP
The Dutchmen completed a nail-biting sweep of Northeastern Saturday. The two wins over the Huskies came by a combined total of six points. Hofstra edged Northeastern, 74-72, on Eli Pemberton’s buzzer-beating layup on Jan. 9. The sweep of the Huskies is the narrowest sweep for the Dutchmen since they beat James Madison twice by a total of four points during the 2009-10 season, when Hofstra edged the Dukes, 69-68, in Harrisonburg and earned a 99-96, two-overtime win in Hempstead.
The Flying Dutchmen mounted a comeback from a double-digit deficit for the fourth time this season.
Northeastern 2/8/20 (-16 1st, W 75-71)
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 four comebacks from deficits of at least 12 points are the most for the Dutchmen since they had four comebacks from at least 12 points down during the 2010-11 season.
A REALLY BIG COMEBACK
The comeback win Saturday was the biggest for the Dutchmen since Feb. 25, 2016, when they trailed UNC Wilmington by 18 points in the first half before storming back for a 70-69 win. The 16-point first half hole the Dutchmen fell into Saturday, when they trailed 20-4 with 12:52 left, was their biggest since they trailed Canisius by 18 points (33-15) with 9:02 left in the first half of a 96-85 win on Nov. 13, 2015. And the 14-point comeback the Dutchmen mounted after trailing 46-32 with 16:46 left was their biggest second half comeback since they beat Monmouth, 85-84, after trailing 55-41 with 15:16 left on Dec. 6, 2017.
BUIE’S BIG SECOND HALF
Desure Buie overcame a rough first half Saturday — when he missed his first six shots from the field and finished with just three points after draining a buzzer-beating jumper in the lane — to score 19 points on 5-of-7 shooting in the second half. Buie had fewer than 19 points in each of his first 51 games with the Dutchmen and in all but four of the 107 games in which he played prior to this season.
RAY OF LIGHT
Jalen Ray’s start and finish Saturday was remarkably similar to Buie’s. Ray had just five points on 2-of-8 shooting in the first half before he scored 17 second-half points on 3-of-6 shooting from the field and 10-of-12 shooting form the free throw line. Ray scored fewer than 17 points in 62 of his first 66 games entering this season. In addition, Ray set career-highs with both the 11 free throws made and 14 free throws attempted.
SEVEN UP FOR TRUEHEART
Stafford Trueheart came up big for the Dutchmen Saturday. With both Isaac Kante and Tareq Coburn in foul trouble, Trueheart played a season-high 20 minutes and scored seven points while tying a season-high with seven rebounds. The 20 minutes were the most played by Trueheart since he played 23 minutes against Division III Rosemont on Dec. 22, 2018 and his most against a Division I foe since he played 30 minutes against VCU on Nov. 24, 2018.
KEVIN CAN’T WAIT
Kevin Schutte also chipped in some valuable minutes in place of Kante Saturday, when he scored two points and tied a career-high with eight rebounds in 12 minutes. Schutte’s only basket provided the Dutchmen their first back-to-back hoops of the game and closed Northeastern’s lead to 20-8. His eight rebounds were his most since he had eight boards against Rosemont on Dec. 22, 2018 and his most against a Division I foe, topping the six rebounds he recorded against Bucknell on Nov. 13.
BUIE MOVING ON UP
Desure Buie continued climbing Hofstra’s all-time scoring list last Saturday, when he scored 22 points to move past 28th-place Nathaniel Lester and tie Ted Jackson for 27th place. Buie is now within striking distance of a trio of ex-teammates. He is 26 points shy of surpassing Rokas Gustys for 26th place and 28 points away from Brian Bernardi and Juan’ya Green, who are tied for 24th place.
24t.) Brian Bernardi 1,186 (2014-17)
24t.) Juan’ya Green 1,186 (2014-16)
26.) Rokas Gustys 1,184
27t.) Ted Jackson 1,159 (1958-61)
27t.) DESURE BUIE 1,159 (2015-present)
29.) Nathaniel Lester 1,139 (2007-12)
30.) Wandy Williams 1,132 (1966-69)
31.) Mike Moore 1,128 (2010-12)
32.) Richie Swartz 1,107 (1959-62)
BUIE RACKING UP THE DIMES
Desure Buie might also move up another all-time Hofstra list today, when he needs four assists to surpass Charles Jenkins for the fifth-most in school history.
4.) Frank Walker 522 (1986-90)
5.) Charles Jenkins 489 (2007-11)
6.) DESURE BUIE 486 (2015-present)
BUIE CHASES THE TRIPLE CROWN
Desure Buie enters today leading the Dutchmen in scoring (18.7 ppg), assists (5.5 apg) and steals (2.1 spg). A Hofstra player has held at least a share of the lead in all three categories just seven times in the Defiantly Dutch era (1993-present). Juan’ya Green was the last one to win the Triple Crown when he did so for the second straight year in 2015-16.
2015-16: Green (17.8 ppg/7.1 apg/1.6 apg)
2014-15: Green (17.1 ppg/6.5 apg/1.4 apg)***
2010-11: Charles Jenkins (22.6 ppg/4.8 apg/1.7 spg)
2008-09: Charles Jenkins (19.7 ppg/4.3apg/1.4 spg)
2004-05: Loren Stokes (18.3 ppg/3.5 apg/1.8 spg)
1999-2000: Speedy Claxton (22.8 ppg/6.0 apg/3.3 spg)
1997-98: Speedy Claxton (16.3 ppg/7.2 apg/2.2 apg)
***Green shared the steals lead with Ameen Tanksley
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, who has 21 straight double-digit efforts.
NO REST FOR THE WEARY
According to KenPom.com, the Dutchmen enter today ranked last out of 353 Division I teams in bench usage (16.0 percentage of minutes).
THE WRIGHT STUFF 25 YEARS AGO
Jay Wright began his head coaching career 25 years ago this fall and winter at the helm of the Flying Dutchmen, who continued their late-season improvement 25 years ago this very evening by edging Delaware, 66-63, at the Physical Fitness Center. It was the fifth win in six games for the Dutchmen, who improved to 8-15 overall and 5-9 in the NAC.
OVER THE AIR
Today’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.
SCOUTING COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON
The Cougars, under sixth-year head coach Earl Grant, are 15-10 this season and 9-4 in CAA play after Elon pulled the upset last Saturday with a 72-65 win at Charleston.
The Dutchmen and Cougars had no common foes in non-league play. The Cougars have swept Towson and James Madison both of whom the Dutchmen beat. Both teams have beaten Drexel and split with William & Mary. The Dutchmen swept Northeastern, which beat Charleston, and beat UNC Wilmington, which defeated Charleston. The Cougars beat Delaware, which beat Hofstra. The Dutchmen swept Elon, which split with the Cougars.
The Dutchmen, who were picked first in the CAA preseason poll, entered today ranked 128th at KenPom.com. The Cougars, who were picked second but received the most first-place votes, entered today ranked 138th at KenPom.com.
According to KenPom.com, the Dutchmen rank second in the CAA in league-only offensive efficiency (111.4) and are tied for second with Charleston in defensive efficiency (102.0). The Cougars rank first in the CAA in league-only offensive efficiency (111.8).
Riller, the preseason player of the year and someone who may or may not be the oldest senior in college basketball since Andrey Semenov, leads the Cougars in both scoring (21.9 ppg) and assists (4.1 apg). He ranks second in rebounding at 5.6 rpg, just behind senior forward Sam Miller (6.0 rpg). Junior guard Brevin Galloway (11.9 ppg) is the only other Charleston player averaging more than 10 points per game.
KenPom.com predicts a 74-70 win for the Dutchmen. That’s the second straight time KenPom.com has predicted a 74-70 win for the home team! Per the wise guys in Vegas, for entertainment purposes only, the Dutchmen are 3-point favorites. The Dutchmen are 16-8 against the spread this season. (Or 17-7, if you got in when the line last week dropped from 4.5 points to 3.5 points. But why would you do that? Nobody bets.)
“Should be a great game. Great game for the league. Charleston is very capable of scoring, but I don’t know if they can outscore Hofstra. Hofstra’s playing better than I would have initially predicted. I don’t know how to pick that one tonight. I’d be shocked if it’s not a tight, tight game.”
THE BATTLE FOR FIRST
The Dutchmen, who lead Charleston by a half-game, are playing with first place on the line tonight for the second time this month. A win by the Dutchmen will ensure they remain in first place while evening the season series with Charleston. A loss coupled with a Delaware win over Elon will drop the Dutchmen into third place and leave them 0-3 against Charleston and Delaware. Big game, kids.
THE OLD GUARDS
Tonight’s battle between the Dutchmen and Cougars pits two members of the “haven’t they been there forever?” club in Hofstra’s Desure Buie, who has played 132 games, and Charleston’s Grant Riller, who has played 126 games. If my math is correct (no sure thing), tonight’s game is the most veteran matchup of players since VCU’s Bradford Burgess (136 games) and Old Dominion’s Kent Bazemore (131) games played each other way back on Feb. 11, 2012. That’s old school, kids.
ALL-TIME VS. COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON
Hofstra is 6-7 against Charleston in a series that began with the Cougars joining the CAA prior to the 2013-14 season. The Cougars won an instant classic in Charleston on Jan. 18, when Sam Miller put back Grant Riller’s airball with about 10 seconds left to snap a tie and give Charleston a 69-67 victory. Six of the last seven games between the teams have been decided by six points or fewer. Hofstra is looking to avoid being swept by Charleston for the first time since the 2017-18 season.
THINGS YOU CAN SHOUT ON TWITTER IF CALLS GO DO NOT GO HOFSTRA’S WAY
General Hospital bias! (Per Wikipedia, which is never wrong, the iconic soap has been filmed on the Charleston campus)
You used to be Maroons bias! (Charleston’s nickname was Maroons through the 1970-71 school year)
Tom Herrion bias! (The brother of former Drexel head coach Bill Herrion coached Charleston from 2002-06)
Logan Huntzberger is still a jerk bias! (An oldie but goodie)