We're not tripping, the Dutchmen really are in position to win the CAA regular season title again.
The Flying Dutchmen continued to establish themselves as the favorite to win the CAA regular season title last Saturday, when they capped a perfect homestand with a nearly wire-to-wire 78-64 win over UNC Wilmington. The Dutchmen will look to take another step towards locking up the no. 1 seed tonight when they visit ECC rival Drexel. It’s vacation week with the child so we’ll save most of the UNCW facts and figures for Saturday and mostly look ahead here to the Dragons.
THE MOST RECENT GAME SUMMARIZED IN ONE PARAGRAPH
Isaac Kante set career highs with 23 points and 14 rebounds and Eli Pemberton (23 points) surged into ninth place on the all-time scoring list as the Dutchmen eased past UNC Wilmington and earned a milestone for Joe Mihalich, who recorded his 400th win as a head coach. The Dutchmen trailed just once — at 2-0 — and went ahead by double digits for good during a 14-0 first half run before opening up a lead of as many as 28 points in the second half. The double-double was the eighth of the season for Kante. Pemberton’s layup with 7:45 left in the game gave him 1,819 points, one more than David Taylor. Tareq Coburn had 12 points and eight rebounds. Desure Buie’s streak of double-digit scoring efforts ended when he was held to nine points, but he added a game-high seven assists. Jalen Ray also had nine points.
3 STARS OF THE GAME (vs. UNC Wilmington 2/15)
3: Isaac Kante
2: Eli Pemberton
1: Tareq Coburn
Desure Buie 50
Eli Pemberton 35
Isaac Kante 31
Tareq Coburn 25
Jalen Ray 16
Stafford Trueheart 3
Omar Silverio 2
COACHSPEAK: “Their focus yesterday (in practice) was elite. When a team is like that, when you’ve got talent like we have with these guys and then their focus is like that, their hunger and desire to be great is like that, it’s a pleasure to be their coach. Happy for these guys but more for how they approached the game than even what they did during the game.”
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 Joe Hit 400
WAS THIS A UNICORN SCORE?
Yes! The Dutchmen recorded a 77-64 win over New Hampshire on Jan. 30, 1999, a pair of 79-64 wins over Delaware on Feb. 3, 1990 and Gettysburg during the 1954-55 season and a 78-63 win over Sacred Heart during the 1972-73 season, but they’d never before earned a 78-64 win. That makes 10 unicorn scores this season, matching the number they recorded last year. Let’s crank this one to 11 and beyond! 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
1/30/20: 86-63 over Elon
2/1/20: 83-60 over William & Mary
2/15/20: 78-64 over UNC Wilmington
THE FLYING DUTCHMEN AFTER TWENTY-SEVEN GAMES
With the win over UNC Wilmington, the Dutchmen improved to 20-7. This ties the 2019-20 team for the ninth-best record through 27 games among the 51 teams that played at least 27 games. Only three other teams were 20-7 through 26 games, and the lone predecessors at the Division I level advanced to the postseason. Here is how some other notable Hofstra teams have fared through 27 games:
NCAA DIVISION I TOURNAMENT TEAMS
1975-76: 16-11 (win in 27th game came in ECC Tournament opener and marked fourth win of six-game winning streak that carried Dutchmen into the NCAAs)
1976-77: 21-6 (win in 27th game came in ECC Tournament opener and marked seventh win of nine-game winning streak that carried Dutchmen into the NCAAs)
1999-2000: 21-6 (the 66-57 win over Drexel in 27th game gave the Dutchmen the outright America East regular season championship, most recent 21-6 start)
2000-01: 23-4 (win in 27th game capped regular season and marked 15th win in program-record, single-season 18-game winning streak, tied for best 27-game record)
2004-05: 20-7 (win in 27th game came in regular season finale and was sixth win of seven-game winning streak)
2005-06: 22-5 (win in 27th game came in regular season finale)
2015-16: 19-8 (most recent 19-8 start)
NCAA DIVISION II TOURNAMENT TEAMS
1958-59: 20-7 (season ended with third-round loss in NCAAs)
1961-62: 23-4 (won first-round NCAA game for final win of VBK’s first stint, tied for best 27-game record)
1962-63: 21-6 (win in NCAA opener was 10th win of 11-game winning streak)
1963-64: 22-5 (won NCAA opener)
Some other notable 27-game records:
2017-18: 16-11 (most recent 16-11 start)
2016-17: 13-14 (most recent 13-14 start)
2014-15: 17-10 (most recent 17-10 start)
2013-14: 8-19 (most recent 8-19 start, Joe Mihalich’s first team)
2012-13: 6-21 (most recent 6-21 start, tied for worst 27-game record in school history)
2010-11: 18-9 (most recent 18-9 start)
2009-10: 14-13 (most recent 14-13 start, over .500 for good)
2007-08: 11-16 (most recent 11-16 start)
2002-03: 7-20 (most recent 7-20 start, lost regular season finale)
2001-02: 10-17 (loss in 27th game marked sixth loss of Tom Pecora-era record-tying eight-game losing streak)
1996-97: 12-15 (most recent 12-15 start, season ended w/loss in NAC quarterfinals, most recent sub)
1995-96: 9-18 (most recent 9-18 start, season ended w/loss in NAC outbracket game)
1994-95: 10-17 (beat Maine in NAC outbracket game for final win, Jay Wright’s first year)
1993-94: 7-20 (beat Chicago State to begin ECC Tournament run, VBK’s last year)
1992-93: 9-18 (lost season finale)
1991-92: 19-8 (103-87 win over UMBC in 27th game ended regular season, locked up no. 1 seed in ECC title game & was eighth win in nine-game winning streak that ended in ECC title game, also the final 100-point game for Hofstra until 2010-11)
1990-91: 14-13 (lost regular season finale)
1989-90: 13-14 (won regular season finale)
1988-89: 13-14 (won regular season finale)
1987-88: 6-21 (season ended w/loss in ECC first round, final game for Dick Berg)
1986-87: 10-17 (lost regular season finale)
1985-86: 15-12 (most recent 15-12 start, won regular season finale)
1983-84: 14-13 (won regular season finale)
1982-83: 18-9 (season ended w/loss in ECC first round)
1980-81: 12-15 (season ended w/loss in ECC first round)
1979-80: 14-13 (final win of season, final win for Joe Harrington)
1978-79: 8-19 (lost season finale, final game for Roger Gaeckler)
1977-78: 8-19 (lost season finale)
1952-53: 20-7 (lost season finale)
Hofstra has never been 27-0, 26-1, 25-2, 24-3, 5-22, 4-23, 3-24, 2-25, 1-26 or 0-27 through 27 games.
Thirty-two seasons were completed in fewer than 27 games:
We’re getting to the point where seasons are completed every game now!
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.
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 Dutchmen helped themselves and got some assistance Saturday. The win over UNC Wilmington coupled with William & Mary’s win over Delaware gave the Dutchmen (11-3) a two-game lead in the loss column over everyone in the CAA. William & Mary (10-5) is 1 1/2 games back while Delaware and Towson are two games back at 9-5 and Charleston (9-6) has fallen to fifth. The Dutchmen can clinch the no. 1 seed as early as this weekend if they sweep Drexel and Delaware while William & Mary and Towson lose at least once each. The Tribe and Tigers play tonight. Regardless of how they fare the rest of the way, the Dutchmen are assured of no worse than the fifth seed (but let’s not be the fifth seed).
The Dragons, under fourth-year head coach Zach Spiker, are 13-14 this season and 6-8 in CAA play after falling to Elon, 75-70, last Saturday. It was the third straight loss for Drexel, which is 1-6 since a 5-2 start in league action.
The Dutchmen and Dragons had one common foe in non-league play. Hofstra beat Princeton, 87-72 on Dec. 19 while Drexel handed the Tigers an 82-76 loss on Dec 4.
Both teams have split with William & Mary. The Dutchmen have swept UNC Wilmington, Northeastern and Elon. Drexel beat UNC Wilmington, split with Elon and lost to Northeastern. Hofstra has beaten Towson, which swept Drexel, and James Madison, who was swept by the Dragons. Drexel has lost to Charleston, which split with Hofstra, and split with Delaware, which beat Hofstra
The Dutchmen, who were picked first in the CAA preseason poll, are ranked 121st at KenPom.com. The Dragons, who were picked eighth, are ranked 228th at KenPom.com.
According to KenPom.com, the Dutchmen rank first in the CAA in league-only offensive efficiency (112.1) and second in defensive efficiency (101.2). The Dragons rank eighth in the CAA in league-only offensive efficiency (102.8) and are tied for fifth in defensive efficiency (104.9).
Sophomore guard Camren Wynter, who grew up in Hempstead, leads the Dragons with 16.0 points and 5.2 assists per game. Junior forward James Butler is averaging a double-double (13.0 points, 11.7 rebounds). Senior guard Zach Walton (12.0 points) is also scoring in double figures.
KenPom.com predicts a 74-71 win for the Dutchmen. Per the wise guys in Vegas, for entertainment purposes only, the Dutchmen are 4-point favorites. The Dutchmen are 17-8-1 against the spread this season after pushing last Saturday…unless you got in when the line dropped to 13 1/2 points, but who would do that? Nobody bets.
THE ECC RACE
I almost forgot this! How could I do that? The Dutchmen can do the most important thing of all this week by sweeping Drexel and Delaware to all but lock up the mythical ECC title for a third straight season. For some inexplicable reason, the Dutchmen have only played three ECC games while the rest of their foes have played five. Anyway, a sweep this weekend and the Dutchmen are assured of no wore than tying with Towson. The Dutchmen are looking for their third straight ECC crown. Stop looking at me like that, this is a real thing.
ALL-TIME VS. DREXEL
Hofstra is 44-46 against Drexel in a series that began during the 1958-59 season. The Dutchmen came back from an eight-point second-half deficit to beat the Dragons, 72-59, at the Arena on Jan. 25. Hofstra is seeking its fifth regular season sweep of Drexel in the last six years.
The Dutchmen and Dragons have opposed one another as members of the East Coast Conference, the North Atlantic Conference/America East and the CAA. The only opponent Hofstra has faced more than Drexel is Delaware, whom the Dutchmen have played 91 times.
THINGS YOU CAN SHOUT ON TWITTER IF CALLS GO DO NOT GO HOFSTRA’S WAY
Greenman bias! (Know your Always Sunny, kids)
Mike Mazzeo bias! (The Drexel grad and all-around good guy and writer is a friend of the blog)
Ashley Howard bias! (The former Dragons player is the head coach at La Salle)
We still miss Bruiser Flint’s profane sideline manner bias! (Rock fights, man)