Wait, guys from Division I-AA schools can go on to play for the Jets? Neat!
Ahh, winning streaks are overrated anyway. The Flying Dutchmen had their eight-game winning streak snapped and received a reality check Thursday night, when Towson feasted on the boards and led for the final 34-plus minutes in a 76-65 win. The Dutchmen will once again look to clinch the outright CAA regular season title for the second straight season this afternoon, when they host James Madison on Senior Day. Been a busy week so here’s an abbreviated look back at the loss to the Tigers and a look ahead to the Dukes.
THE MOST RECENT GAME SUMMARIZED IN ONE PARAGRAPH
Isaac Kante (21 points) and Tareq Coburn (20 points) were a combined 15-of-20 form the field as they made up for off-nights from Desure Buie and Eli Pemberton, but the Dutchmen could not overcome Towson’s dominance on the boards in their fist loss in more than a month. Towson out-rebounded Hofstra 49-26, pulled down 24 offensive rebounds and scored 26 (!!!) second-chance points. Kante was 9-of-10 from the field and pulled down seven rebounds. Pemberton finished with 18 points (on 5-of-17 shooting) and recorded eight rebounds and four assists. Buie was limited to six points on 2-of-14 shooting. The Dutchmen had just four players score for the second time this season. The reserves were scoreless for a third straight game.
3 STARS OF THE GAME (vs. Towson 2/27)
3: Isaac Kante
2: Tareq Coburn
1: Eli Pemberton
Desure Buie 56
Eli Pemberton 40
Isaac Kante 35
Tareq Coburn 28
Jalen Ray 16
Stafford Trueheart 3
Omar Silverio 2
THIS IS THE 25TH ANNIVERSARY OF FRIENDS’ FIRST SEASON, WHAT WOULD THIS GAME BE TITLED IF IT WAS AN EPISODE OF FRIENDS?
The One With The Bullies (that was actually the title of an episode of Friends!)
TIGERS POUNCE ON THE BOARDS
The negative-23 difference on the boards was the largest for the Dutchmen since Jan. 27, 2014, when — you guessed it — Towson out-rebounded Hofstra 45-20 in a 76-58 win. The 24 offensive rebounds by Towson were the most surrendered by the Dutchmen in at least the last 10 years as well as just the third time this season a team has recorded at least 24 offensive rebounds against a Division I foe.
BUMMER DAY FOR BUIE
Desure Buie had a rare rough night Thursday, when he scored six points while going 2-of-14 from the field. The 14.3 percent shooting figure was the lowest by a Hofstra player who took at least 12 attempts since Zeke Upshaw was 2-for-16 (12.5 percent) in the CAA title game loss to UNC Wilmington on Mar. 7, 2016. Better now than then, right?
Tareq Coburn and Isaac Kante were the Dutchmen’s top two scorers Thursday. It’s just the second time this season Desure Buie and/or Eli Pemberton didn’t rank among the top two scorers. Coburn (23 points) and the duo of Kante and Jalen Ray (19 points) led the way against New York Tech on Nov. 15.
ALL GOOD THINGS MUST COME TO AN END (part one)
Eli Pemberton’s streak of 38 straight free throws ended when he missed an attempt from the charity stripe with 11:39 left Thursday night. Pemberton’s streak was the second-longest in CAA history, the longest active streak in the league and the longest streak by a Hofstra player in the Joe Mihalich era. Pemberton broke Desure Buie’s record of 35 straight makes by draining his second free throw Thursday.
ALL GOOD THINGS MUST COME TO AN END (part two)
The Dutchmen’s streak of allowing 75 points or fewer ended at 13 games Thursday. They went 11-2 in the streak, which was the longest such streak under Joe Mihalich and the longest by Hofstra since a 15-game stretch from Jan. 1 through Feb. 18, 2012 in which a Dutchmen squad depleted by dismissals went just 3-12.
Isaac Kante was 9-of-10 from the field Thursday. It was the best shooting performance by a Hofstra player who took at least 10 shots since Rokas Gustys was also 9-for-10 against James Madison on Jan. 16, 2016.
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
It’s even simpler than it was Thursday: With a win this afternoon, the Dutchmen (13-4) will clinch the outright regular season championship and the no. 1 seed in the CAA Tournament, which is scheduled to begin next Saturday. Hofstra has never clinched an outright regular season title at home. The Dutchmen can also earn the no. 1 seed with a loss and a loss by William & Mary in the Tribe’s season finale today. But that would not be as fun.
While Senior Day is a bittersweet afternoon for players and coaches, the game itself has traditionally been a happy occasion for both the Flying Dutchmen and Joe Mihalich. The Dutchmen are 21-5 in home finales in the DD Era, though they fell to James Madison, 104-99, in overtime on Senior Day last year. The other losses were absorbed in 1994 (Army won 87-76), 2001 (Towson won 61-60), 2013 (Delaware won 57-56) and 2017 (UNC Wilmington won 83-76).
In addition, Mihalich is 17-4 in regular season home finales as a head coach. His 10-game winning streak in home finales was snapped in 2017. The only other times a Mihalich-coached team lost a home finale were in 2001, when Niagara fell to Canisius, 85-70, and 2006, when the Purple Eagles lost to Manhattan, 82-81.
The Dutchmen will honor their three seniors — Desure Buie, Connor Klementowicz and Eli Pemberton — in a pregame ceremony beginning at 3:40 PM. Check out today’s features on the seniors, hyperlinked at their names.
If you remember the last time the Dutchmen played on Feb. 29, you’ve been watching the team longer than I have. And that’s a long time! The Dutchmen’s lone previous Feb. 29 game as a Division I school happened in 1992, when Hofstra locked up the ECC regular season title with a 103-87 win over UMBC. Hey that's neat! Let's not lose to Towson in the title game OK? The Dutchmen didn't score 100 points again until a 102-62 win over Division III Farmingdale State on Nov. 13, 2010.
SCOUTING JAMES MADISON
The Dukes, under fourth-year head coach Louis Rowe, are 9-19 this season and 2-15 in CAA play after suffering their sixth straight loss Thursday, when they fell to Northeastern 77-57.
The Dutchmen and Dukes had no common foes during non-league play. James Madison has been swept in CAA play by everyone except Hofstra and UNC Wilmington, whom the Dukes swept.
The Dutchmen, who were picked first in the CAA preseason poll, are ranked 119th at KenPom.com. The Dukes, who were picked fourth, are ranked 303rd at KenPom.com.
According to KenPom.com, the Dutchmen rank first in the CAA in league-only offensive efficiency (112.5) and third in defensive efficiency (102.4). The Dukes rank ninth in the CAA in both league-only offensive efficiency (98.0) and defensive efficiency (109.5).
Matt Lewis, who was named to the all-CAA preseason first team, leads the Dukes in scoring (18.9 ppg) and ranks second in rebounding (5.5 rpg) and assists (3.5 apg). Junior Darius Banks, a preseason all-CAA second team selection, is averaging 12.4 ppg while junior Dwight Wilson is averaging 10.1 ppg and a tea-high 9.7 rpg. Sophomore guard Deshon Parker leads the Dukes with 4.1 assist per game.
KenPom.com predicts an 85-70 win for the Dutchmen. Be more right this time, Ken! Per the wise guys in Vegas, for entertainment purposes only, the Dutchmen are 13-point favorites as of early this morning. The Dutchmen are 19-9-1 against the spread this season.
“Hofstra’s not gonna be happy. Could be a beatdown.”
ALL-TIME VS. JAMES MADISON
Hofstra is 21-13 against James Madison in a series that began when the Dutchmen joined the CAA prior to the 2001-02 season. The Dutchmen came back from a 14-point second half deficit to beat the Dukes, 82-76, in the CAA opener on Dec. 28. Hofstra is aiming to sweep the regular season series for the second time in three years.
THINGS YOU CAN SHOUT ON TWITTER IF CALLS GO DO NOT GO HOFSTRA’S WAY
You still get publicity from I-AA football bias! (Gotta stick with the standards)
Let us win this Senior Day bias! (Duh)
Andrey Semenov bias! (Another oldie but goodie)
Daniel Brown bias! (Speaking of I-AA football publicity, Brown played for the Jets last year)