Saturday, February 1, 2020

I'll Be Quirky: William & Mary

William & Mary grads like Rob & Teej probably think "A Separate Peace" is beneath them, too.

A big southern swing got off to a promising start Thursday night for the Flying Dutchmen, who rode a near triple-double from Eli Pemberton and a double-double from Desure Buie to an 86-63 win over Elon. With the victory, the Dutchmen did their part to create a rare in-season tournament between the CAA’s top four teams today, when the Dutchmen will try to create a three-way tie for first place when they visit rival William & Mary. Here’s a look back at the win over the Phoenix and a look ahead to the pivotal game against the Tribe.

Eli Pemberton (26 points, seven rebounds, seven assists) flirted with the second triple-double in program history and Desure Buie (18 points, 11 assists) got the double-double for the Dutchmen, who led for the 37:24 of a lopsided win over Elon. Pemberton had 11 points, six rebounds and six assists alone in the first half, when the Dutchmen led by as many as 14 before allowing Elon to score 10 straight points spanning the halves to close the gap to 40-36 in the first minute of the second half. But the Dutchmen responded with a 9-0 run and let the lead fall under 10 points just once the rest of the way. Isaac Kante (16 points, eight rebounds) had another impressive game while Jalen Ray had 14 points in just 22 minutes.

3 STARS OF THE GAME (vs. Elon 1/30)
3: Eli Pemberton
2: Desure Buie
1: Isaac Kante

Desure Buie 43
Eli Pemberton 30
Isaac Kante 25
Tareq Coburn 22
Jalen Ray 13
Stafford Trueheart 2
Omar Silverio 2

COACHSPEAK: “The danger here was that we played real well against Elon at our place and you’ve got a tendency to kind of look past them. We just decided to get locked in here, realize the first nine are over, the second nine start today. And we wanted to make sure we get off to a good start the second half of the season.”

The One Where Eli Fooled Around And Almost Got A Triple Double

Yes! Finally, an oasis in a unicorn score-less desert! The Dutchmen beat Central Connecticut 86-61 on Feb. 19, 1993, Navy 85-62 in the 1991-92 season opener on Nov. 23, 1961, recorded an 86-62 win over Long Island in the 1960-61 season opener and had 85-63 and 84-63 wins over Moravian in the 1959-60 and 1960-61 seasons, but they’d never before earned an 86-63 win. This is the Dutchmen’s first unicorn score since…a 102-75 win over Elon on Jan. 4. The Dutchmen have eight 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

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

With the win over Elon, the Dutchmen improved to 16-7. This ties the 2019-20 team for the 17th-best record through 23 games. Just three other teams were 16-7 through 23 games, most recently the 2015-16 squad. All three 16-7 predecessors reached the NIT. Here is how some other notable Hofstra teams have fared through 23 games:

1975-76: 12-11 (loss in 23rd game was the final loss of the regular season)
1976-77: 17-6 (win in 23rd game marked third win of nine-game winning streak that carried Dutchmen into the NCAAs)
1999-2000: 17-6 (loss in 23rd game snapped 10-game winning streak)
2000-01: 19-4 (win in 23rd game marked 11th win in program-record 18-game winning streak)

1998-99: 16-7
2004-05: 16-7
2005-06: 18-5 (most recent 18-5 start)
2006-07: 17-6 (most recent 17-6 start)
2015-16: 16-7
2018-19: 19-4 (loss in 23rd game snapped the 16-game winning streak)

1958-59: 18-5
1961-62: 20-3 (most recent 20-3 start)
1962-63: 17-6 (sixth win of 11-game winning streak)
1963-64: 19-4

Some other notable 23-game records:

2017-18: 14-9 (most recent 13-9 start)
2016-17: 10-13 (most recent 10-13 start)
2013-14: 7-16 (most recent 7-16 start, Joe Mihalich’s first team)
2012-13: 5-18 (most recent 5-18 start, tied for worst 23-game record in school history)
2009-10: 11-12 (most recent 11-12 start)
2007-08: 8-15 (most recent 8-15 start)
1995-96: 7-16 (loss in 23rd game marked last loss of Jay Wright-era record nine-game losing streak)
1994-95: 8-15 (Jay Wright’s first year)
1993-94: 5-18 (VBK’s last year)
1991-92: 15-8 (most recent 15-8 start; win in 23rd game was fourth in nine-game winning streak that ended in ECC title game)
1990-91: 12-11 (most recent 12-11 start)
1986-87: 9-14 (most recent 9-14 start)
1981-82: 11-12 (under .500 for good, fifth loss of eight-game losing streak)
1978-79: 8-15 (first loss of season-ending five-game losing streak)
1971-72: 11-12 (under .500 for good, second loss of season-ending four-game losing streak)
1964-65: 11-12 (final win of season)
1959-60: 22-1 (only 22-1 start & Hofstra’s winningest team, percentage-wise; win in 23rd game was 12th win of season-ending 13-game winning streak)
1957-58: 15-8 (won season finale)
1955-56: 20-3 (had only back-to-back losses in games 22-23)
1953-54: 14-9 (last loss of season)
1950-51: 13-10 (only 13-10 start)

Hofstra has never been 23-0, 21-2, 6-17, 4-19, 3-20, 2-21, 1-22 or 0-23 through 23 games. 

The following seasons were completed in fewer than 23 games: 1947-48 (13-6), 1945-46 (12-7), 1943-44 (7-12), 1944-45 (8-13), 1943-44 (7-12), 1942-43 (15-6), 1941-42 (15-6), 1940-41 (13-7), 1939-40 (12-9), 1938-39 (10-8), 1937-38 (10-4), 1936-37 (10-7).

Full records not available for the following seasons: 1948-49, 1949-50, 1951-52, 1954-55.

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 Dutchmen swept the season series from Elon, whom they beat twice by at least 20 points. This marks the third time in the CAA era Dutchmen have swept a regular season series with a pair of wins by at least 20 points. They swept Delaware (91-46 and 92-70) last season and Drexel (86-58 and 81-57) during the 2014-15 season. Thanks to @EvanJ3535, who inspired this note by noting the lopsided 2014-15 sweep of Drexel.

Eli Pemberton fell short of the triple-double, but he joined a pretty exclusive club by finishing with 26 points, seven rebounds and seven assists. He is the first Hofstra player to finish with at least 25 points, seven rebounds and seven assists since Juan’ya Green had 30 points, eight rebounds and seven assists in a 91-63 win over William & Mary on Jan. 24, 2016. The only other Hofstra player with such a game since the 2010-11 season is Charles Jenkins, who had 26 points, eight rebounds and eight assists in a 102-62 win over Division III Farmingdale State on Nov 13, 2010.

In addition, Pemberton is just the 14th Division I player this season to collect at least 25 points, seven rebounds and seven assists in a game.

Desure Buie recorded his second career double-double Thursday, when he finished with 18 points and tied a season-high with 11 assists. The double-double was the first for Buie in exactly 13 months. He had 15 points and 10 assists against Drexel on Dec. 30, 2018. Buie is the first player to record multiple points-assists double-doubles since Juan’ya Green had 14 such double-doubles from 2014-16.

Through 23 games, Isaac Kante has quietly matched the performance of his predecessor, Jacquil Taylor. Kante is averaging 10.7 points and 7.3 rebounds over 28.1 minutes while collecting five double-doubles. Through 23 games last season, Taylor was averaging 7.3 points and 7.8 rebounds over 24.0 minutes with two double-doubles. Now Kante needs to match what Taylor did down the stretch, when the graduate transfer averaged 10.9 points and 9.6 rebounds over 30.9 minutes in the final 13 games, a span in which he registered four double-doubles.

The streaky Tareq Coburn followed up the best game of his career (24 points and 12 rebounds against Drexel last Saturday) by going scoreless (on 0-of-5 shooting) with four rebounds over 25 minutes Thursday. It was the second scoreless effort of the season for Coburn, who was also blanked against Northeastern on Jan. 9, and the first time a Hofstra player has been scoreless in at least 25 minutes since Desure Buie didn’t score in 37 minutes against Delaware in a 78-74 overtime win in the CAA semifinals last Mar. 11. Coburn is also the first Hofstra player to have a 20-point game and a scoreless game in the same season since Taran Buie went scoreless against Towson on Feb. 16, 2013 after previously posting four 20-point efforts.

Omar Silverio and Stafford Trueheart each scored six points off the bench Thursday. It marked just the second time this season the Dutchmen have had multiple reserves score at least six points and the first time it’s happened against a Division I foe. Silverio (12 points), Jermaine Miranda (six points) and Kevin Schutte (12 points) all scored at least six points against Division II New York Tech on Nov. 15.

Desure Buie continued climbing Hofstra’s all-time scoring list Thursday, when he scored 18 points to move past Richie Swartz into 31st place. Buie could make up more ground today, when he needs 14 points to surpass Mike Moore for 30th place, 18 points to leapfrog Wandy Williams into 29th place and 25 points to jump over Nathaniel Lester into 28th place.

28.) Nathaniel Lester 1,139 (2007-12)
29.) Wandy Williams 1,132 (1966-69)
30.) Mike Moore 1,128 (2010-12)
31.) DESURE BUIE 1,115 (2016-present)
32.) Richie Swartz 1,107 (1959-62)

Desure Buie enters today leading the Dutchmen in scoring (18.4 ppg), assists (5.6 apg) and steals (2.3 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

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 19 straight double-digit efforts.

According to, the Dutchmen enter today ranked last out of 353 Division I teams in bench usage (16.4 percentage of minutes).

Both the Flying Dutchmen and Joe Mihalich have fared well in February. Since joining the CAA in 2001-02, the Dutchmen are 88-62 (.587) in regular season games played on or after Feb. 1. The Dutchmen went 6-3 last February. 

In addition, Mihalich is 112-60 (.651) in regular season games in February or March.

Today’s game will be aired on (subscription). Hofstra will carry live audio and offer live stats here.

The Tribe, under first-year head coach Dane Fischer (you might have heard Joe Mihalich’s BFF, Tony Shaver, is no longer there), are 16-7 this season and atop the CAA with a 8-2 record in league play after Nathan Knight drove the length of the floor to hit the game-winning layup with 1.8 seconds left in a 59-58 victory over Northeastern on Thursday night.

The Dutchmen and Tribe had no common foes in non-league play.

Both teams have beaten Elon, Northeastern, UNC Wilmington and James Madison, with Hofstra sweeping Elon and William & Mary sweeping Northeastern. The Dutchmen have beaten Drexel and Towson, both of whom beat the Tribe. William & Mary has beaten Charleston and Delaware, both of whom beat Hofstra.

The Dutchmen, who were picked first in the CAA preseason poll, are ranked 140th at The Tribe, who were picked seventh, are ranked 163rd at

According to, the Dutchmen rank first in the CAA in league-only offensive efficiency (111.0) and sixth in defensive efficiency (103.6). The Tribe rank third in the CAA in league-only offensive efficiency (108.0) and fifth in defensive efficiency (101.7).

Senior Nathan Knight. i.e. The Commodore, was named to the all-CAA preseason first team and leads the Tribe in scoring (20.4 ppg) and rebounding sharing the team lead in rebounding (10.4 rpg). He leads the nation with 17 double-doubles as well as buzzer-beating shots against Northeastern. Senior transfer Andy Van Vliet ranks second on the Tribe with 13.9 ppg and 9.0 rpg. Have we mentioned Knight is 6-foot-10 and Van Vliet is 7-feet and both run the floor like they’re a foot shorter? No? Junior Luke Loewe, the only returning starter aside from Knight who didn’t transfer after Shaver’s firing, is averaging 11.0 points per game and a leading contender for CAA Defensive Player of the Year honors. predicts a 74-72 win for the Dutchmen. Per the wise guys in Vegas, for entertainment purposes only, the Dutchmen are 2-point underdogs. The Dutchmen are 15-7 against the spread this season.

“I’ll tell you what, I’m picking Hofstra over William & Mary. I think they’ll find a way. I don’t know if you can stop Knight. They’ve got to take the 3-point shot from everyone else. That zone and the second game of the weekend, think that could play into it for William & Mary. They don’t play many guys.”

With a win today, the Dutchmen will be assured of entering next week in a three-way tie for first place (the league’s two other 7-3 teams, Charleston and Towson, are playing today in Maryland). This marks the latest in the season the Dutchmen have played a game with a chance to move into a tie for first place since Feb. 25, 2016, when Hofstra stormed back from an 18-point deficit to edge UNC Wilmington, 70-69. We’ll take that again, please, though perhaps minus the need to comeback.

Hofstra is 22-14 against William & Mary in a series that began when the Dutchmen joined the CAA prior to the 2001-02 season. The Dutchmen’s three-game winning streak in the series came to an emphatic halt Jan. 2, when the Tribe never trailed in an 88-61 win at the Arena. Hofstra is looking to avoid being swept by William & Mary for the first time since the 2014-15 season.

The Dutchmen barely crossed paths with William & Mary during their first decade-plus in the CAA, but the Tribe have become Hofstra’s biggest rival since Joe Mihalich became head coach in 2013. Of the last 15 games between the two teams, 10 have been decided by six points or fewer or in overtime. The Tribe’s rout on Jan. 2 snapped a streak of four straight games decided by six points or fewer or in overtime.

Seven of those games have gone down to the last second, including the goddamn Daniel Dixon debacles. Overall, the Dutchmen are 5-5 against the Tribe in these “close shaves.”

2/9/19: Hofstra 93, William & Mary 87
1/10/19: Hofstra 93, William & Mary 90 (3 OT)
2/15/18: Hofstra 90, William & Mary 84
12/30/17: William & Mary 90, Hofstra 87
1/2/17: William & Mary 95, Hofstra 93 (OT)
3/6/16: Hofstra 70, William & Mary 67***
2/11/16: Hofstra 86, William & Mary 80
3/8/15: William & Mary 92, Hofstra 91 (2OT)***
2/22/15: William & Mary 80, Hofstra 78
2/26/14: William & Mary 79, Hofstra 74

***CAA semifinals

But now with Tony Shaver gone and Mihalich’s friend Dane Fischer in place, we don’t have to worry about a Royal Rumble breaking out. Probably.

Prior to 2013-14, the Dutchmen held a 14-7 lead in the season series. The teams faced each other just once per season from 2005-06 through 2008-09. Only four of the first 21 games between the Dutchmen and Tribe were decided by six points or fewer or in overtime, including, of course, The Wolf’s game on Feb. 15, 2011.

Mona Simpson bias! (Glenn Close, who voiced Homer’s Mom, went to William & Mary)
Your football team got a ton of publicity on Sunday Night Football this season bias! (Still a true story)
Nathan Knight is a brick house bias! (One more time, at least, with The Commodore)
Public Ivies bias! (Nerds!)

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