Apparently this old-school Towson logo was a knight back in the even older school days.
These Flying Dutchmen might be pretty good. Desure Buie and Eli Pemberton had game-long senior moments Saturday afternoon, when the Dutchmen clinched at least a tie for the CAA regular season championship by pulling away from Delaware for a 78-62 win at the BOB. It felt like old times. The Dutchmen, the winners of eight straight, will look to lock up their second straight outright CAA regular season crown and no. 1 seed tonight, when they host Towson State in the penultimate (best word ever) game of the regular season. Here’s a look back at the win over the Blue Hens and a look ahead to the Tigers.
THE MOST RECENT GAME SUMMARIZED IN ONE PARAGRAPH
Desure Buie (27 points) and Eli Pemberton (25 points) each had monster games and combined to score 28 points in a game-ending 38-19 run as the Dutchmen overcame an early (duh) 8-0 deficit to author another statement win. The run began with Buie draining back-to-back 3-pointers to tie the game at 43-43 and then give the Dutchmen the lead for good in a game in which the two teams spent more than 25 minutes separated by no more than six points. Buie and Pemberton combined to score the first 16 points of the run. Buie had nine assists, six rebounds and three steals while Pemberton pulled down nine rebounds and also continued his free throw streak by sinking all 10 of his attempts. Tareq Coburn had 11 points — including the first six of the game of the Dutchmen via consecutive 3-pointers — and eight rebounds while Issac Kante finished with 11 points and four rebounds.
3 STARS OF THE GAME (vs. Delaware 2/22)
3: Desure Buie
2: Eli Pemberton
1: Tareq Coburn
Desure Buie 56
Eli Pemberton 39
Isaac Kante 32
Tareq Coburn 26
Jalen Ray 16
Stafford Trueheart 3
Omar Silverio 2
COACHSPEAK: “First five minutes, we had another one of those games where we had to call a timeout, we were down 8-0 or 10-0. So for the rest of the game, we played pretty good basketball. Really proud of our guys. Everybody helped. It wasn't a one-man show. But I’ll tell you what, Desure Buie was unbelievable today.”
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 Desure And Eli Went Off
WAS THIS A UNICORN SCORE?
Yes! The Dutchmen beat Fairleigh Dickinson 79-62 to open the 1956-57 season, beat Sacred Heart 78-63 during the 1972-73 season, knocked off VCU 77-62 on Jan. 9, 2002 and won multiple games by scores of 77-61 and 79-61. But they’d never won 78-62 before Saturday. That means this unicorn score counter goes to 11, one more than last year! Woot! It also means the two most recent unicorn scores were 78-64 and 78-62. Wild. 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
2/22/20: 78-62 over Delaware
THE FLYING DUTCHMEN AFTER TWENTY-NINE GAMES
With the win over Delaware, the Dutchmen improved to 22-7. This ties the 2019-20 team for the eighth-best record through 29 games among the 34 teams that played at least 29 games. Only one other team was 22-7 through 29 games — the 1976-77 Dutchmen, who reached the NCAA Tournament by winning the ECC championship game in game no. 29. Here is how some other notable Hofstra teams have fared through 29 games:
NCAA DIVISION I TOURNAMENT TEAMS
1975-76: 18-11 (win in 29th game came in ECC Tournament championship game, marked sixth win of six-game winning streak and sent the Dutchmen to the NCAAs for the first time as a D-I program)
1976-77: 22-7 (win in 29th game came in ECC Tournament championship game, marked ninth win of nine-game winning streak and sent to the Dutchmen to the NCAs for the second straight season)
1999-2000: 23-6 (win in 29th game came in America East tournament semifinals)
2000-01: 25-4 (win in 29th game came in America East tournament semifinals and marked 17th win in program-record, single-season 18-game winning streak, only 25-4 start in school history)
1998-99: 21-8 (win in 29th game came in America East quarterfinals, was final win of season)
2004-05: 21-8 (loss in 29th game came in CAA semifinals)
2005-06: 24-5 (win in 29th game came in the CAA semifinals — THE TONY SKINN GAME — and locked up at least an at-large bid for the Dutchmen, or so we thought THANKS TOC, only 24-5 start in school history)
2015-16: 21-8 (most recent 21-8 start)
2018-19: 23-6 (loss in 29th game came in home finale to James Madison, final regular season loss)
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)
1962-63: 23-6 (loss in first round of NCAAs was final loss of season)
1963-64: 23-6 (season ended with first-round loss in NCAAs)
Some other notable 29-game records:
2017-18: 18-11 (most recent 18-11 start)
2016-17: 13-16 (only 13-16 start)
2013-14: 8-21 (most recent 8-21 start, Joe Mihalich’s first team)
2012-13: 7-22 (only 7-22 start, win in 29th game was final win for Mo Cassara, worst 29-game record in school history)
2011-12: 9-20 (most recent 9-20 start)
2010-11: 19-10 (most recent 19-10 start)
2009-10: 16-13 (only 16-13 start, win in 29th game marked fourth win of seven-game winning streak)
2007-08: 12-17 (only 12-17 start, win in 29th game was final win of season)
2003-04: 14-15 (most recent 14-15 start, season ended w/loss to Old Dominion in CAA quarterfinals)
2002-03: 8-21 (season ended w/loss to UNC Wilmington in CAA quarterfinals)
2001-02: 10-19 (only 10-19 start, loss in 29th game ended regular season and marked eighth loss of Tom Pecora-era record-tying eight-game losing streak)
1997-98: 18-11 (won regular season finale)
1993-94: 9-20 (ECC champs! Beat Northeastern Illinois in 2 OTs to win ECC title in VBK’s final game)
1991-92: 20-9 (season ended w/loss to Towson State in ECC championship and ended nine-game winning streak, only 20-9 start)
1988-89: 14-15 (season ended w/loss in ECC semifinals)
1985-86: 17-12 (only 17-12 start, win in ECC semifinals was final win of season)
1984-85: 14-15 (season ended w/loss in ECC semifinals)
1951-52: 26-3 (won known season finale, best 29-game record in school history)
1950-51: 18-11 (lost season finale)
Hofstra has never been 29-0, 28-1, 27-2, 15-14, 11-18, 6-23, 5-24, 4-25, 3-26, 2-27, 1-28 or 0-29 through 29 games.
Fifty seasons were completed in fewer than 29 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)
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.
EIGHT ISN’T ENOUGH
The Dutchmen’s eight-game winning streak is the 21st winning streak of at least eight games in school history. It is the second straight season in which the Dutchmen have enjoyed a winning streak of at least eight games. Hofstra, of course, won 16 straight last season. This is the first time the Dutchmen have had winning streaks of at least eight games in back-to-back seasons since the 1999-2000 team had a 10-game winning streak and the 2000-01 squad recorded a single-season school-record 18-game winning streak.
SELECT COMPANY FOR THE DUTCHMEN (part one)
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)
SELECT COMPANY FOR THE DUTCHMEN (part two)
The Dutchmen’s 22 wins make them one of just 20 Division I school to record at least 22 wins in each of the last two seasons. The most recent member of the club? Villanova, which won its 22nd game last night. It’s meant to be! Here is the list through last night (this year’s win total listed first)
East Tennessee State 26-24
Florida State 24-29
UNC Greensboro 23-29
Utah State 23-28
Saint Mary’s 23-22
New Mexico State 22-30
South Dakota State 22-24
A DESURE THING
Desure Buie had another big game Saturday, when he racked up 27 points, nine assists, six rebounds and three steals. Per CollegeBasketballReference.com, he is just the fourth Division I player this season to finish with at least 27 points, nine assists, six rebounds and three steals in a game. In addition, Buie is the third Hofstra player since 2010-11 (the first season of the Play Index at CollegeBasketballReference.com) to record at least 25 points, five assists, five rebounds and three steals in a game. The pretty good combo of Charles Jenkins and Juan’ya Green did it twice each.
BUIE’S CLIMB CONTINUES
Desure Buie leaped multiple spots on the all-time Hofstra scoring list for a second straight game Saturday, when he scored 27 points against Delaware to leapfrog Demetrius Dudley and John Mills, who were tied for 22nd place, and Carlos Rivera into 21st place with 1,234 points. Buie enters tonight just seven points away from surpassing Roberto Gittens and moving into the top 20.
20.) Roberto Gittens 1,240 (1997-2001)
21.) DESURE BUIE 1,234 (2015-present)
22.) Carlos Rivera 1,225 (2003-07)
23t.) Demetrius Dudley 1,220 (1991-93)
23t.) John Mills 1,220 (1941-43, 1946-47)
25t.) Brian Bernardi 1,186 (2014-17)
25t.) Juan’ya Green 1,186 (2014-16)
27.) Rokas Gustys 1,184 (2014-18)
Since joining the 1,000-point club on Jan. 4, Buie has gained at least one spot on the all-time scoring list in every game but one.
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
Feb. 15: 27th place
Feb. 20: 24th place
Feb. 22: 21st place
Eli Pemberton went 10-for-10 from the line last Saturday. It was the second time this season a Hofstra player was perfect from the line while taking at least 10 free throws. Desure Buie finished 13-of-13 in the 88-78 upset of UCLA on Nov. 21. It was also the second time in his career Pemberton has been perfect from the line while taking at least 10 attempts. He was also 10-for-10 in an 88-82 win over Rider on Dec. 9, 2017. He is the first Hofstra player in the CAA era (2001-present) to have two perfect games from the free throw line while taking at least 10 attempts.
THE BEST THINGS IN LIFE ARE FREE
Pemberton’s big game from the free throw line also extended his streak of consecutive made free throws to 34 dating back to Feb. 2. That’s the second-longest streak of the Joe Mihalich era — and the second-longest streak of the season behind Desure Buie, who sank 35 straight free throws from Nov. 21 through Dec. 7. Pemberton’s streak marks the fifth tie a Hofstra player has converted at least 30 straight free throws under Mihalich. In addition, Pemberton’s streak is tied for the 10th-longest in CAA history.
Desure Buie, 35-for-35 (11/21/19-12/7/19)
ELI PEMBERTON, 34-for-34 (2/1/20-present)
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)***
***spanned two seasons
THE DEFENSE ISN’T RESTING
The Dutchmen allowed 75 points or fewer for the 13th straight time Saturday, 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 11-2 in the last 10 games, is 20-3 when allowing 75 points or fewer this season and a whopping 103-25 when allowing 75 points or fewer under Mihalich. The Dutchmen haven’t allowed 75 points or fewer in at least 14 consecutive games since a 15-game streak from Jan. 1 through Feb. 18, 2012, when a squad depleted by dismissals went just 3-12.
BUIE CHASES THE TRIPLE CROWN
Desure Buie enters today leading the Dutchmen in scoring (18.7 ppg), assists (5.7 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
ROUGH DAY FOR RAY
Jalen Ray was the lone starter held to single digits Saturday, when he scored four points while going 1-for-11 from the field. It was the second time this season Ray hit one field goal while taking at least 10 shots. He was 1-for-10 against St. Bonaventure on Dec. 7. Ray is the first Hofstra player to have one field goal or fewer in 10 or more attempts twice in a season since 2012-13, when Taran Buie went 1-for-11 against Delaware on Jan. 9 and 0-for-11 against Towson on Feb. 16.
Hofstra’s starters combined to score all the points for the second straight game Saturday, when Stafford Trueheart, Kevin Schutte, Omar Silverio and Caleb Burgess didn’t attempt a field goal in 27 minutes of action. It was also the second straight game in which the reserves didn’t attempt a field goal. The Dutchmen last had their starters account for all their points in consecutive games on Mar. 5-6, 2006, when Antoine Agudio, Aurimas Kieza, Carlos Rivera, Loren Stokes and Adrian Uter scored all the points in a 58-49 win over George Mason in the Tony Skinn Game (or the CAA semifinals) and a 78-67 loss to UNC Wilmington in the CAA championship game.
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 at 22 games on Feb. 15, the longest such streak now belongs to Eli Pemberton, who has nine 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
It’s as simple as it gets: With one win in their final two games, the Dutchmen (13-3) are the outright regular season champs 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. History awaits?
The Dutchmen can also earn the no. 1 seed with two losses and a loss by William & Mary to Elon in the Tribe’s season finale Saturday But let’s not do that, shall we? Should Hofstra and William & Mary tie for first place at 13-5, the Tribe would get the top seed by virtue of their sweep of Delaware.
Five of the six first-round byes are locked up by the Dutchmen, William & Mary, Towson (10-6), Delaware (10-6) and Charleston (9-7). Northeastern (8-8) will clinch the final bye with a win over James Madison tonight. Elon (7-10) and Drexel (6-10) still have outside chances at finishing sixth while UNC Wilmington (4-12) has an outside shot at finishing eighth. James Madison (2-14) is locked into one of the final two seeds.
The Tigers, under ninth-year head coach Pat Skerry, are 17-12 this season and 10-6 in CAA play after beating Elon, 84-71, last Saturday. Towson won three of its last four league games and four of five overall (the Tigers beat Division III Regent, 71-55, on Feb. 12).
The Dutchmen and Tigers had no common foes in non-league play.
Both teams have swept UNC Wilmington, Drexel and Elon and split with Delaware and William & Mary, The Dutchmen split with Charleston, which swept Towson, and swept Northeastern, which beat Towson on Dec. 28 and hosts the Tigers in the regular season finale Sunday. Towson swept James Madison, whom Hofstra beat on Dec. 28 and hosts in the home finale Saturday.
The Dutchmen, who were picked first in the CAA preseason poll, are ranked 107th at KenPom.com. The Tigers, who were picked sixth, are ranked 168th at KenPom.com.
According to KenPom.com, the Dutchmen rank first in the CAA in league-only offensive efficiency (112.9) and second in defensive efficiency (101.1). The Tigers rank second in the CAA in league-only offensive efficiency (108.2) and fourth in defensive efficiency (102.9).
Senior Brian Fobbs, who was named to the all-CAA preseason first team, leads the Tigers in scoring (15.9 ppg). Senior Nakye Sanders is puling down a team-high 6.6 rebounds per game while sophomore Allen Betrand is averaging 14.2 ppg.
KenPom.com predicts a 74-67 win for the Dutchmen. Per the wise guys in Vegas, for entertainment purposes only, the Dutchmen are 7.5-point favorites as of early this morning. The Dutchmen are 19-8-1 against the spread this season.
“That was an impressive win on Saturday. Pemberton and Buie look like first-team All-CAA players.”
THE ECC RACE
I almost forgot this! How could I do that? The Dutchmen can do the most important thing of all tonight, when a win over Towson would lock up the mythical outright ECC title for the third straight season. Even with a loss, the Dutchmen will still share the ECC crown. Stop looking at me like that, this is a real thing.
ALL-TIME VS. TOWSON
Hofstra is 44-26 against Towson in a series that began during the 1982-83 season, when both schools were in the East Coast Conference. The Dutchmen came back from a 12-point second-half deficit to earn a 75-67 win in the first meeting of the season between the teams Dec. 30 in Towson. Hofstra is looking to sweep theTigers for the fourth time in the last five years.
Hofstra and Towson opposed one another in the ECC and the North Atlantic Conference/America East before moving together to the CAA for the 2001-02 school year. Hofstra has faced only two opponents as often as it’s faced Towson: Longtime conference rivals Delaware and Drexel.
THINGS YOU CAN SHOUT ON TWITTER IF CALLS GO DO NOT GO HOFSTRA’S WAY
We haven’t forgotten the 1992 ECC title game loss bias! (Can you never forget something that happened before you began paying attention?)
You used to be the Knights bias! (True story, Baseball Hall of Fame exec and Towson grad John Schuerholz was behind changing the nickname to the Tigers)
Pat Skerry coached at a bunch of CAA schools bias! (He was an assistant at Northeastern, William & Mary and Charleston)
John Harbaugh bias! (duh)