Apparently this nightmare fuel is about to be redesigned for corporate reasons?
That’s seven straight wins for your Flying Dutchmen, who remained two games ahead of everyone else in the loss column by pulling away in the final 4:33 of an 81-74 win over Drexel. The Dutchmen will look to take a giant step towards locking up the no. 1 seed this afternoon, when they visit Delaware in the biggest regular season game between the long-time rivals since the America East days (true story). Here’s a look back at the win over the Dragons and a look ahead to the big game against the Blue Hens.
THE MOST RECENT GAME SUMMARIZED IN ONE PARAGRAPH
Desure Buie (a game-high 26 points) and Issac Kante (20 points, six rebounds) led the Dutchmen in scoring, but Eli Pemberton scored the biggest points during a game-ending 16-7 run. Pemberton, who finished with 19 points, converted an old-fashioned 3-point play to giver the Dutchmen the lead for good at 68-67 with 4:33 left. Drexel got as close as one once more but Pemberton hit a 3-pointer in transition to extend the Dutchmen’s lead to 73-69 and begin a decisive 8-0 run. Neither team led by more than five points over the first 37 minutes. Kante (8-for-8) and Pemberton (5-for-5) were perfect from the free throw line for the Dutchmen, who finished the game 21-for-24 from the charity stripe. Jalen Ray finished with 10 points. Buie added six assists and three steals and Pemberton had six rebounds.
3 STARS OF THE GAME (vs. Drexel 2/20)
3: Desure Buie
2: Eli Pemberton
1: Isaac Kante
Desure Buie 53
Eli Pemberton 37
Isaac Kante 32
Tareq Coburn 25
Jalen Ray 16
Stafford Trueheart 3
Omar Silverio 2
COACHSPEAK: “I think our guys at the end realized that we had to make plays and made plays. That’s what we did at the end.”
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 Had A Big Hit All His Free Throws
WAS THIS A UNICORN SCORE?
No! But the previous 81-74 win happened a loooong time ago — in the penultimate game of the 1954-55 season, to be exact, when the Dutchmen beat Manhattan by that very score. My parents were barely in elementary school! The Dutchmen have 10 unicorn scores this season, matching the number they recorded last year. 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-EIGHT GAMES
With the win over Drexel, the Dutchmen improved to 21-7. This ties the 2019-20 team for the ninth-best record through 28 games among the 41 teams that played at least 28 games. Only one other team was 21-7 through 28 games — the 2004-05 Dutchmen, who reached the NIT. Here is how some other notable Hofstra teams have fared through 28 games:
NCAA DIVISION I TOURNAMENT TEAMS
1975-76: 17-11 (win in 28th game came in ECC Tournament semifinal and marked fifth win of six-game winning streak that carried Dutchmen into the NCAAs)
1976-77: 22-6 (win in 28th game came in ECC Tournament semifinal and marked eighth win of nine-game winning streak that carried Dutchmen into the NCAAs)
1999-2000: 22-6 (win in 28th game came in America East tournament quarterfinals, most recent 22-6 start)
2000-01: 24-4 (win in 28th game came in America East tournament quarterfinals and marked 16th win in program-record, single-season 18-game winning streak, tied for best 28-game record)
2004-05: 21-7 (win in 28th game came in CAA quarterfinals and was final win of the season)
2005-06: 23-5 (win in 28th game came in CAA quarterfinals)
2015-16: 20-8 (most recent 20-8 start)
NCAA DIVISION II TOURNAMENT TEAMS
1958-59: 20-7 (season ended with third-round loss in NCAAs)
1961-62: 24-4 (season ended with second-round loss in NCAAs, final game of VBK’s first stint)
1962-63: 22-6 (win in Middle Atlantic Championships sent Hofstra to NCAAs was final win of 11-game winning streak)
1963-64: 23-5 (win in Middle Atlantic Championships sent Hofstra to NCAAs, final win of season)
Some other notable 28-game records:
2017-18: 17-11 (most recent 17-11 start)
2016-17: 13-15 (most recent 13-15 start)
2014-15: 18-10 (most recent 18-10 start)
2013-14: 8-20 (most recent 8-20 start, Joe Mihalich’s first team)
2012-13: 6-22 (only 6-22 start, worst 28-game record in school history)
2009-10: 15-13 (most recent 15-13 start)
2008-09: 19-9 (most recent 19-9 start)
2007-08: 11-17 (most recent 11-17 start, Antoine Agudio broke Steve Nisenson’s career scoring record in 28th game against Delaware)
2003-04: 14-14 (most recent 14-14 start, win in regular season finale was final win, last time at .500)
2002-03: 8-20 (win in CAA tournament quarterfinals was final win)
2001-02: 10-18 (most recent 10-18 start, loss in 28th game marked seventh loss of Tom Pecora-era record-tying eight-game losing streak)
1994-95: 10-18 (season ended w/loss to Drexel in NAC quarterfinals, Jay Wright’s first year)
1993-94: 8-20 (beat Troy State in ECC semifinals, VBK’s last year)
1991-92: 20-8 (won ECC semifinal for final win of season and final win of nine-game winning streak that ended in ECC title game)
1990-91: 14-14 (season ended w/loss in ECC quarterfinals)
1989-90: 13-15 (season ended w/loss in ECC quarterfinals)
1988-89: 14-14 (win in ECC quarterfinals was final win of season, last time at .500)
1986-87: 10-18 (season ended w/loss in ECC quarterfinals)
1985-86: 16-12 (most recent 16-12 start, won ECC quarterfinals)
1984-85: 14-14 (win in ECC quarterfinals was final win of season, last time at .500)
1983-84: 14-14 (season ended w/loss in ECC quarterfinals)
1981-82: 12-16 (most recent 12-16 start, season ended w/loss in ECC quarterfinals)
1979-80: 14-14 (lost season finale, final game for Joe Harrington)
1950-51: 18-10 (win in 28th game was final win of season and last win of six-game winning streak)
Hofstra has never been 28-0, 27-1, 26-2, 25-3, 9-19, 7-21, 5-23, 4-24, 3-25, 2-26, 1-27 or 0-28 through 28 games.
Forty-two seasons were completed in fewer than 28 games:
We’re getting to the point where seasons are completed every game now! (And more than half the Hofstra seasons were completed by this point)
Full records not available for the 1951-52 season.
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.
SELECT COMPANY FOR THE DUTCHMEN
This stat will last at least two games! As you likely know, the Dutchmen have had just two losing streaks, both of the two-game variety, since the start of the 2018-19 season. That makes Hofstra one of just 15 Division I teams in that span with two or fewer losing streaks, neither of which have lasted more than two games. Some pretty decent company here:
Murray State (1)
New Mexico State (1)
East Tennessee State (2)
UNC Greensboro (2)
San Diego State (2)
Joe Mihalich earned his 400th career victory last Saturday, when the Dutchmen beat UNC Wilmington, 78-64. He is the 52nd active Division I coach to record 400 wins and the 140th coach overall to reach 400 wins. Mihalich had 265 wins in 15 seasons at Niagara and has now won 136 games with the Dutchmen since arriving at Hofstra in 2013-14.
JOINING THE 20-WIN CLUB
The victory over UNC Wilmington last Saturday was the 20th of the season for the Dutchmen. It’s the 23rd 20-win in school history and the 14th at the Division I level (since 1966-67). Joe Mihalich has directed the Dutchmen to four 20-win seasons in seven years at the helm, which is tied with Tom Pecora for the most 20-win seasons by a Hofstra head coach. Butch van Breda Kolff had six 20-win seasons during his two stints as head coach.
PEMBERTON MOVING ON UP
Eli Pemberton also had a milestone afternoon last Saturday when he scored 23 points to move past David Taylor into ninth place all-time at Hofstra. Pemberton now has 1,842 points in his career. Moving further up the chart would likely require an extended postseason run for the Dutchmen and Pemberton, who is 174 points away from Craig “Speedy” Claxton in eighth place.
8.) Craig “Speedy” Claxton 2,015 (1996-2000)
9.) ELI PEMBERTON 1,842 (2016-present)
10.) David Taylor 1,818 (1979-83)
BIG DAY FOR THE BIG GUY
Isaac Kante had the best game of his career last Saturday, when he scored a career-high 23 points and also set a career-high with 14 rebounds in the win over UNC Wilmington. The 23 points tied Kante for the team lead with Eli Pemberton, marking the first time a center has at least shared the team lead in points since Rokas Gustys and Justin Wright-Foreman both had 20 points in the Dutchmen’s 91-86 victory over Drexel on Jan. 13, 2018. In addition, the 23 points and 14 rebounds were the most points and rebounds in a double-double since Gustys collected 25 points and 15 rebounds in an 86-80 win over William & Mary on Feb. 11, 2016.
BUIE’S STREAK ENDS
Desure Buie scored nine points against UNC Wilmington last Saturday as his streak of double-digit scoring efforts ended at a team-high 22 games. That was the longest streak by a Hofstra player since *checks notes* Justin Wright-Foreman ended his career by scoring in double figures in his last 88 games.
BUIE’S CLIMB STALLS—FOR NOW
Last Saturday also marked the first time Desure Buie didn’t gain ground on the all-time Hofstra scoring list since he joined the 1,000-point club on Jan. 4.
Jan. 4: 38th place
Jan. 9: 36th place
Jan. 16: 35th place
Jan. 18: 34th place
Jan. 23: 33rd place
Jan. 25: 32nd place
Jan. 30: 31st place
Feb. 1: 29th place
Feb. 8: T27th place
Feb. 13: 27th place
BUIE’S CLIMB RESUMES
Buie scored 23 points Thursday to leapfrog a trio of ex-teammates — Brian Bernardi, Juan’ya Green and Rokas Gustys — to move into 24th place on the all-time Hofstra scoring list with 1,207 points. Not too shabby. Buie is 14 points away from surpassing another tandem in Demetrius Dudley and John Mills, who are tied for 22nd place with 1,220 points.
21.) Carlos Rivera 1,225 (2003-07)
22t.) Demetrius Dudley 1,220 (1991-93)
22t.) John Mills 1,220 (1941-43, 1946-47)
24.) DESURE BUIE 1,207 (2015-present)
25t.) Brian Bernardi 1,186 (2014-17)
25t.) Juan’ya Green 1,186 (2014-16)
27.) Rokas Gustys 1,184 (2014-18)
PEMBERTON’S FREE THROW STREAK
Eli Pemberton had his fifth straight perfect game from the free throw line Thursday night, when he drained all five of his attempts. Pemberton has now made his last 24 free throw attempts since missing his final free throw against Elon on Jan. 30. The 24 consecutive free throws is tied for the sixth-longest streak under Joe Mihalich and the longest by a Hofstra player since Desure Buie sank 35 straight from Nov 21 through Dec. 7. That’s last decade!
Desure Buie, 35-for-35 (11/21/19-12/7/19)
Brian Bernardi, 32-for-32 (12/11/16-2/25/17)
Desure Buie, 31-for-31 (11/11/18-12/28/18)
Justin Wright-Foreman, 31-for-31 (2/11/17-11/10/17)***
Desure Buie, 29-for-29 (2/21/19-3/12/19)
ELI PEMBERTON 24-for-24 (2/1/20-present)
Juan’ya Green 24-for-24 (11/22/15-12/6/15)
BACK-TO-BACK BIG GAMES FOR THE BIG GUY
Issac Kante scored 20 points Thursday, which makes him the first Hofstra center to score at least 20 points in back-to-back games since Jan, 16-21, 2016, when Rokas Gustys scored 25 points in an 86-82 overtime loss to James Madison and 23 points in a 96-92 triple overtime win over Northeastern.
THE DEFENSE ISN’T RESTING
The Dutchmen allowed 75 points or fewer for the 12th straight time Thursday, the longest such streak under Joe Mihalich. The Dutchmen allowed 75 points or fewer in nine straight games — all wins — from Dec. 1, 2018 through Jan. 5, 2019. Hofstra, which is 10-2 in the last 10 games, is 19-3 when allowing 75 points or fewer this season and a whopping 102-25 when allowing 75 points or fewer under Mihalich. The Dutchmen haven’t allowed 75 points or fewer in at least 13 consecutive games since a 15-game streak from Jan. 1 through Feb. 18, 2012, when a squad depleted by dismissals went just 3-12.
TAKING THEIR FREEBIES
The Dutchmen were a robust 21-of-24 from the free throw line Thursday night. The 87.5 percent success rate was the Dutchmen’s highest in a game in which they took at least 24 attempts since Dec. 1, when they were 31-of-35 (88.6 percent) against Holy Cross.
BUIE CHASES THE TRIPLE CROWN
Desure Buie enters today leading the Dutchmen in scoring (18.4 ppg), assists (5.6 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
The Dutchmen’s starters accounted for all 81 points Thursday, marking the first time the bench was held scoreless since four starters combined for all 74 points in a 74-72 win over Northeastern on Jan. 9.
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. With Desure Buie’s streak ending last Saturday, the longest such streak now belongs to Eli Pemberton, who has eight 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 (15.2 percentage of minutes).
OVER THE AIR
Today’s game will be aired on FloHoops.com (subscription). Hofstra will carry live audio and offer live stats here.
THE CAA RACE
The race for the regular season title basically became a three-team affair Thursday night. The Dutchmen’s win over Drexel improved them to 12-3 in the CAA and maintained their two-game lead in the loss column over everyone in the CAA. William & Mary (11-5) remained 1 1/2 games back by beating Towson while Delaware (10-5) stayed two games back by beating Northeastern. Charleston and Towson are both 9-6 and three games out of first with three to play. The Dutchmen will clinch the no. 1 seed by going at least 2-1 over their final three games. They can can clinch the no. 1 seed as early as today with a win over Delaware and a William & Mary loss to James Madison. However, a loss to Delaware would apply the pressure on the Dutchmen, who would lose the tiebreaker to the Blue Hens by virtue of the season sweep and would likely lose the tiebreaker to William & Mary as well because the Tribe swept Delaware.
A BIG GAME AGAINST THE BLUE HENS—FINALLY
For those of us of a certain age, a big game against Delaware used to be at least a twice-annual thing. But todays game marks just the third time in the CAA era — dating all the way back to 2001-02 — that the Dutchmen and Blue Hens have both entered a regular season game against each other with a winning CAA record. Both tams were 1-0 going into action on Jan. 9, 2013 and 4-2 heading into their game on Jan. 18, 2018. Today marks the latest in a season in which both Hofstra and Delaware have a winning record heading into a league game since an America East clash at Delaware on Feb. 4, 2001. The Dutchmen won that one, so we’ll take that as a good sign of things to come. Check out my FloHoops Hofstra-Delaware feature here. I mentioned Joe Gardi and Tubby Raymond!
The Blue Hens, under fourth-year head coach Martin Ingelsby, are 20-8 this season and 10-5 in CAA play after beating Northeastern, 70-48, on Thursday. Delaware has won eight of its last nine games dating back to Jan. 18.
The Dutchmen and Blue Hens had one common foe in non-league play. Hofstra beat SUNY-Stony Brook, 71-63, on Dec. 10 while Delaware handed the Patriots a 75-61 loss on Nov. 27. (Insert Nelson Muntz laugh here)
Both teams have swept Elon and Northeastern. The Dutchmen swept Drexel, which split with Delaware, and have beaten James Madison, whom the Blue Hens swept. Delaware split with Towson, whom Hofstra has beaten. The Dutchmen also swept UNC Wilmington, which fell to Delaware. Hofstra has split with William & Mary, which swept Delaware, and Charleston, which beat the Blue Hens.
The Dutchmen, who were picked first in the CAA preseason poll, are ranked 119th at KenPom.com. The Blue Hens, who were picked fifth, are ranked 174th at KenPom.com.
According to KenPom.com, the Dutchmen rank first in the CAA in league-only offensive efficiency (112.6) and second in defensive efficiency (101.7). The Blue Hens rank second in the CAA in league-only offensive efficiency (108.7) and eighth in defensive efficiency (106.7).
Redshirt junior guard Nate Darling, a transfer from Alabama-Birmingham, leads the Blue Hens with 21.4 ppg and ranks second with 2.8 assists per game. Junior guard Ryan Allen is averaging 12.5 ppg while junior forward Justyn Mutts is averaging 11.8 ppg and pulling down a team-high 8.3 rebounds per game. Junior guard Kevin Anderson is averaging 11.8 ppg and leads Delaware with 3.7 assists per game. Redshirt sophomore Dylan Painter, a transfer from Villanova, is averaging 10.1 points and 5.9 rebounds per game since becoming eligible Dec. 16.
KenPom.com predicts a 76-75 loss for the Dutchmen. Why don’t you believe in us, Ken? Per the wise guys in Vegas, for entertainment purposes only, the Dutchmen are 1.5-point favorites. The Dutchmen are 18-8-1 against the spread this season.
“This is going to be a high-scoring one. Coin flip.”
THE ECC RACE
I almost forgot this! How could I do that? The Dutchmen can do the most important thing of all today, when a win over Delaware would lock up at least as share of the mythical ECC title for a third straight season. Even with a loss, the Dutchmen can still win the ECC outright next week by beating Towson. Stop looking at me like that, this is a real thing.
ALL-TIME VS. DELAWARE
Hofstra is 59-33 against Delaware in a series that began during the 1954-55 season. The Blue Hens are Hofstra’s most common foe. The Dutchmen and Delaware were rivals in the East Coast Conference and the North Atlantic Conference/America East before heading to the CAA, along with Drexel and Towson, for the 2001-02 season.
Hofstra’s five-game winning streak in the series was snapped Jan. 23, when Kevin Anderson drove the length of the court and hit the tie-breaking layup just before time expired to give Delaware a 73-71 win. That also snapped a streak of six straight regular season series sweeps by the Dutchmen, though Delaware did end Hofstra’s 2016-17 season with a win in the opening round of the CAA Tournament, Delaware is seeking its first regular season sweep since 2013-14.
THINGS YOU CAN SHOUT ON TWITTER IF CALLS GO DO NOT GO HOFSTRA’S WAY
John Gordon bias! (The guard was a beast back in the America East days)
Original Phillie Phanatic bias! (Tubby Raymond’s son, David, was the original guy behind the…mask?)
Your state is too small to have this many tolls bias! (Self-explanatory)
You haven’t made the I-AA playoffs in more than a decade but at least you still have a football team bias! (Also self-explanatory)