Rob Burke has the Seahawks ON THE RIGHT TRACK!
Your Flying Dutchmen took a big step towards establishing themselves as the favorite to win the CAA regular season title Thursday night, when they recorded a statement victory with a wire-to-wire 76-63 win over Charleston. That was fun. Of course, this is the CAA and there’s no rest for the weary, so the Dutchmen will look to maintain momentum in a potential trap game this afternoon, when they host UNC Wilmington. Here’s a look back at the big win over the Cougars and a look ahead to the Seahawks.
THE MOST RECENT GAME SUMMARIZED IN ONE PARAGRAPH
Eli Pemberton tied a career-high with 28 points for the Dutchmen, who scored the first seven points and never saw their lead fall below four points as they ran their winning streak to five games with an impressively thorough victory over Charleston. Pemberton scored his first nine points during a 14-8 run that gave the Dutchmen their fist double-digit lead at 24-13. The Dutchmen led 41-30 at the half and withstood a Grant Riller run at the start of the second half, when the Cougars’ star guard scored seven unanswered points to pull Charleston within 43-37. But the Cougars got no closer and the Dutchmen maintained a double-digit lead for the final 13:29. Isaac Kante (11 points, 11 rebounds) withstood an injury scare in the second half to post another double-double while Jalen Ray had 14 points. Desure Buie had 13 points (all in the first half) and a game-high six assists and Tareq Coburn finished with eight points and seven rebounds.
3 STARS OF THE GAME (vs. Charleston 2/13)
3: Eli Pemberton
2: Isaac Kante
1: Jalen Ray
Desure Buie 50
Eli Pemberton 33
Isaac Kante 28
Tareq Coburn 24
Jalen Ray 16
Stafford Trueheart 3
Omar Silverio 2
COACHSPEAK: “Proud of our guys. Great win. Lot more work to do, but if you told me the beginning of the season that on February 13th we’d (have) a one-game lead in first place, I’m sure we’d take that.”
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 Played In The Friends Time Slot And Never Trailed
WAS THIS A UNICORN SCORE?
No! And we didn’t have to go too far back to find the most recent 76-63 victory. The Dutchmen beat Georgia State by that very score on Jan. 24, 2007. 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-SIX GAMES
With the win over Charleston, the Dutchmen improved to 19-7. This ties the 2019-20 team for the 12th-best record through 26 games among the 59 teams that played at least 26 games. Only three other teams were 19-7 through 26 games, and the two predecessors at the Division I level each advanced to the postseason. Here is how some other notable Hofstra teams have fared through 26 games:
NCAA DIVISION I TOURNAMENT TEAMS
1975-76: 15-11 (win in 26th game marked third win of six-game winning streak that carried Dutchmen into the NCAAs)
1976-77: 20-6 (win in 26th game marked sixth win of nine-game winning streak that carried Dutchmen into the NCAAs)
1999-2000: 20-6 (the 67-64 win over Maine in 26th game locked up the no. 1 seed in the America East tournament, most recent 20-6 start)
2000-01: 22-4 (win in 26th game marked 14th win in program-record, single-season 18-game winning streak)
2004-05: 19-7 (win in 26th game was fifth win of seven-game winning streak)
2005-06: 21-5 (most recent 21-5 start)
2015-16: 18-8 (most recent 18-8 start)
NCAA DIVISION II TOURNAMENT TEAMS
1958-59: 20-6 (win in 2nd round of NCAAs was final win of season)
1961-62: 23-3 (won Middle Atlantic Championship with win in 26th game, best 26-game record in school history)
1962-63: 20-6 (win in regular season finale was ninth win of 11-game winning streak)
Some other notable 26-game records:
2017-18: 15-11 (most recent 15-11 start)
2016-17: 12-14 (most recent 12-14 start)
2014-15: 16-10 (most recent 16-10 start)
2013-14: 8-18 (most recent 8-18 start, Joe Mihalich’s first team)
2012-13: 6-20 (most recent 6-20 start, tied for worst 26-game record in school history)
2010-11: 17-9 (most recent 17-9 start)
2009-10: 13-13 (most recent 13-13 start)
2007-08: 10-16 (most recent 10-16 start)
2002-03: 7-19 (only 7-19 start)
2001-02: 10-16 (loss in 26th game marked fifth loss of Tom Pecora-era record-tying eight-game losing streak)
1996-97: 12-14 (final win of season)
1995-96: 9-17 (most recent 9-17 start, final win of season)
1994-95: 9-17 (won regular season finale, Jay Wright’s first year)
1993-94: 6-20 (loss to ECC foe Northeastern Illinois in regular season finale, VBK’s last year)
1992-93: 9-17 (final win of season)
1991-92: 18-8 (win in 26th game was seventh in nine-game winning streak that ended in ECC title game)
1990-91: 14-12 (most recent 14-12 start, final win of season)
1987-88: 6-20 (lost regular season finale)
1986-87: 10-16 (final win of season)
1982-83: 18-8 (lost regular season finale)
1981-82: 11-15 (loss in regular season finale was final loss of eight-game losing streak)
1980-81: 12-14 (lost regular season finale)
1978-79: 8-18 (fourth loss of season-ending five-game losing streak)
1970-71: 18-8 (win in season finale completed season-ending five-game winning streak)
1969-70: 13-13 (won season finale)
1965-66: 16-10 (lost season finale)
1956-57: 11-15 (lost season finale)
1955-56: 22-4 (final win of season)
1954-55: 19-7 (lost known season finale)***
1950-51: 16-10 (fourth win of six-game winning streak)
1949-50: 17-9 (won known season finale)***
1948-49: 18-8 (lost known season finale)***
***records are incomplete for the 1948-59, 1949-50 and 1954-55 seasons
Hofstra has never been 26-0, 25-1, 24-2, 5-21, 4-22, 3-23, 2-24, 1-25 or 0-26 through 26 games.
Twenty-four seasons were completed in fewer than 26 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.
The win over Charleston marked the fourth game this season in which the Dutchmen never trailed but their first since a 91-69 win over Holy Cross on Dec. 1. The Dutchmen also led the entire way in a 111-69 win over New York Tech on Nov. 15 and a 79-57 victory over Cal State Fullerton on Nov. 24. The wire-to-wire win was the first in CAA play for the Dutchmen since a 76-67 victory over James Madison in the CAA quarterfinals last Mar. 10. The Dutchmen enjoyed five wire-to-wire wins last season.
THE DEFENSE ISN’T RESTING
The Dutchmen allowed 75 points or fewer for the 10th 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 8-2 in the last 10 games, is 17-3 when allowing 75 points or fewer this season and a whopping 100-25 when allowing 75 points or fewer under Mihalich. The Dutchmen haven’t allowed 75 points or fewer in at least 11 consecutive games since a 15-game streak from Jan. 1 through Feb. 18, 2012, when a squad depleted by dismissals went just 3-12.
A SINGLE IN DOUBLES
Charleston star Grant Riller got his points —26, to be exact — on Thursday night, but no other Cougars player got into double figures. It is the first time the Dutchmen have allowed fewer than two opposing players to score in double digits since Dec. 28, 2018, when Delaware didn’t have anyone in double figures in the Dutchmen’s 91-46 win.
Eli Pemberton had perhaps the best game of his career Thursday, when he scored 28 points while going 10-of-14 from the field and 6-of-6 from the free throw line. The 28 points tied a career high for Pemberton, who also scored 28 points against Rider on Dec. 9, 2017 and against San Diego on Nov. 27, 2019. He is just the third Hofstra player in the last 10 years to shoot at least 70 percent from the field (minimum 10 attempts) and hit all his free throws (minimum five attempts) in a single game. Dion Nesmith (22 points on 7-of-10 shooting from the field and 5-of-5 shooting from the free throw line) did it against Elon on Feb. 7, 2015 while Desure Buie (44 points on 15-of-19 shooting from the field and 8-of-8 shooting from the free throw line) did it in his monster game against Elon on Jan. 4.
Isaac Kante continued his emergence as a force down low for the Dutchmen Thursday night, when he finished with 11 points and 11 rebounds. It was the seventh double-double of the season for Kante, which is one more than Jacquil Taylor had last season and the most by a Hofstra player since Rokas Gustys had 14 double-doubles as a senior in 2017-18.
In his first 26 games with the Dutchmen, Kante is averaging 10.6 points and 7.4 rebounds over 28.3 minutes. Those numbers compare favorably to Taylor’s numbers through 26 games last season, when he was averaging 7.9 points and 8.2 rebounds over 24.1 minutes. Now Kante needs to match what Taylor did down the stretch, when the graduate transfer averaged 10.1 points and 10.6 rebounds over 33.9 minutes in the final nine games, a span in which he registered three double-doubles.
BUIE MOVING ON UP, PART ONE
Desure Buie continued climbing Hofstra’s all-time scoring list last Saturday, when he scored 13 points to break a tie with Ted Jackson and move into sole possession of 27th place. Buie enters this afternoon within striking distance of a trio of ex-teammates. He is 13 points shy of surpassing Rokas Gustys for 26th place and 15 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
27.) DESURE BUIE 1,172 (2015-present)
28.) Ted Jackson 1,159 (1958-61)
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 MOVING ON UP, PART TWO
Desure Buie moved up another all-time Hofstra list Thursday, when he collected six assists to surpass Charles Jenkins for the fifth-most in school history. Buie enters today needing eight assists to become the *checks math* fifth player in school history with 500 assists.
4.) Frank Walker 522 (1986-90)
5.) DESURE BUIE 492 (2015-present)
6.) Charles Jenkins 489 (2007-11)
BUIE CHASES THE TRIPLE CROWN
Desure Buie enters today leading the Dutchmen in scoring (18.5 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
PEMBERTON CHASING DOWN ELITE COMPANY
Eli Pemberton could also move up the all-time Hofstra scoring list today. Pemberton enters this afternoon with an even 1,800 points, leaving him 19 shy of surpassing David Taylor for ninth place all-time.
9.) David Taylor 1,818 (1979-83)
10.) ELI PEMBERTON 1,800 (2016-present)
11.) Norman Richardson 1,677 (1997-2001)
12.) Frank Walker 1,437 (1985-89)
MILESTONE FOR MIHALICH?
It could be a milestone-rich afternoon at the Arena. Joe Mihalich enters today with 399 career wins as a head coach. He is trying to become the 140th Division I coach to record 400 wins and the 51st active coach to reach the mark.
GOING FOR TWENTY FOR THE 23RD TIME
We weren’t kidding about today being full of potential milestones for the Dutchmen. With a win over UNC Wilmington, the Dutchmen will reach 20 wins in a single season for the 23rd time in program history and the 14th time at the Division I level. The Dutchmen have won at least 20 games 11 times in the Defiantly Dutch era (1993-present). I do in fact take all the credit for this.
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 22 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 (15.8 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 began their final road trip of the regular season 25 years ago this very evening by falling to Boston University, 63-37, The 37 points were not only tied for the fewest of the Wright era (the Dutchmen matched the total in a 55-37 loss to Drexel in the America East semifinals Feb, 28, 1999, when they were playing without an injured Speedy Claxton), it marked the fewest points by a Hofstra team in 47 seasons! In 1947-48, the Dutchmen lost to Fordham, 50-37, six games after a 44-35 loss to Brooklyn Polytech, I assume that was an ECC game. The loss to Boston was just the second in the last seven games for the Dutchmen, who fell to 8-16 overall and 5-10 in the NAC.
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 out in the short- and long-term with Thursday night’s win. Not only are the Dutchmen a full game ahead of second-place Delaware, 1 1/2 games ahead of Charleston and William & Mary and two games ahead of fifth-place Towson, but the win gave the Dutchmen a split of the season series with both the Cougars and Tribe. If the Dutchmen beat UNC Wilmington and William & Mary beats Delaware in Virginia, Hofstra will hit the final two weeks of the season with a 1 1/2-game lead. The flip side: A loss today and a Delaware win and the Dutchmen will be in second place by virtue of having already lost to the Blue Hens.
SCOUTING UNC WILMINGTON
The Seahawks, under interim head coach Rob Burke, are 8-19 this season and 3-11 in CAA play after falling to Northeastern, 71-63, on Thursday night. UNC Wilmington is 3-5 since Burke replaced C.B. McGrath on Jan. 13 and made his head coaching debut against the Dutchmen three days later.
The Dutchmen and Seahawks had no common foes in non-league play. Both teams have split with William & Mary and lost to Delaware in CAA play. Hofstra swept Northeastern, which split with UNC Wilmington, and split with Charleston, which lost to the Seahawks. The Dutchmen swept Elon and have beaten James Madison and Towson once apiece, All three teams swept the Seahawks. Hofstra also beat Drexel, which beat UNC Wilmington,
The Dutchmen, who were picked first in the CAA preseason poll, are ranked 125th as of early this morning at KenPom.com. The Seahawks, who were picked ninth, are ranked 316th as of early this morning at KenPom.com.
According to KenPom.com, the Dutchmen rank first in the CAA in league-only offensive efficiency (111.4) and second in defensive efficiency (101.2). The Seahawks rank last in the CAA in league-only offensive efficiency (94.7) and are tied for sixth in defensive efficiency (104.8).
Sophomore guard Jaylen Sims leads the Seahawks in scoring (12.3 ppg) and ranks second in rebounding (5.3 rpg), just behind junior guard Mike Okauru (5.4 rpg). Junior forward Marten Linssen ranks second in scoring at 9.8 ppg while Okauru is averaging 9.2 ppg and averaging a team-high 2.7 assists per game. Junior guard Ty Gadsden is averaging 10.3 ppg but has played in just 12 games.
KenPom.com predicts a 77-61 win for the Dutchmen. Per the wise guys in Vegas, for entertainment purposes only, the Dutchmen are 14-point favorites. The Dutchmen are 17-8 against the spread this season.
“I think Hofstra wins this one going away. I know it was close down there last time, but that was Rob’s first game. UNCW is going to play a lot of junk defenses, but Hofstra has too many shooters. Their only chance if it Hofstra throws the ball away.”
ALL-TIME VS. UNC WILMINGTON
Hofstra is 22-21 against UNC Wilmington in a series that began when the Dutchmen joined the CAA prior to the 2001-02 season. The Dutchmen took the all-time series lead on Jan. 16 by edging the Seahawks, 63-61, on Issac Kante’s tie-breaking layup with five seconds left. The Dutchmen are looking for their first regular season sweep of UNC Wilmington since the 2013-14 campaign. Hofstra has swept every other CAA foe at least once since then.
THINGS YOU CAN SHOUT ON TWITTER IF CALLS GO DO NOT GO HOFSTRA’S WAY
Matt Foley bias! (Rob Burke looks like Chris Farley’s motivational speaker out there, and trust me, that’s among the highest praise I can offer anybody)
JUCO bias! (Burke got his head coaching start at Spartanburg Methodist College, a two-year school)
Devontae Cacok bias! (The former Seahawks star big man is now a G-League All-Star, just like Justin Wright-Foreman and Jarrell Brantley)
Brandon Beane bias! (Good alliteration with the Buffalo Bills general manager, hey, that’s publicity from I-AA football1)