Saturday, February 4, 2023

I'll Be Quirky: Stony Brook vs. Hofstra

Let's not have to drink Stony Brook's turnip juice today.

Apparently I need to wear a tie with a polo shirt underneath a fleece more often. Aaron Estrada and Nicolas Timberlake exchanged haymakers throughout the second half, but Bryce Washington and Tyler Thomas ended up delivering the biggest baskets for the Flying Dutchmen Thursday night as they outlasted Towson, 76-72, in an instant classic. And then things got even better thanks to Drexel knocking off Charleston and vaulting the Dutchmen into first place in the CAA. The Dutchmen will look to maintain their share of first this afternoon, when the Long Island rivalry officially becomes a conference game as Stony Brook makes its first visit to the Arena as a CAA school. Here’s a look back at the win over the Tigers and a look ahead to the Seawolves.


THE MOST RECENT GAME SUMMARIZED IN ONE PARAGRAPH

Tyler Thomas’s jumper with 58.6 seconds left provided the last of 15 tie-breaking or go-ahead baskets over the final nine-plus minutes and lifted the Dutchmen to a thrilling win over Towson. History threatened to repeat itself as the Dutchmen opened just 9-of-26 from the field as Towson raced out to a trio of 11-point leads, but Aaron Estrada’s third-chance 3-pointer began a half-ending 9-1 run for the Dutchmen, who hit four of their last six shots as they pulled within 34-31. Towson held the Dutchmen at bay for the first eight minutes of the second half and led 47-39 with 12:10 left before Estrada and Bryce Washington teamed up for an 8-0 run. Estrada’s game-tying jumper with 10:38 remaining began a 10-sequence possession in which there were six lead changes and two ties. Nicolas Timberlake, who scored 17 second-half points, hit a 3-pointer with 8:11 left to begin his own 7-0 run, but Washington drained a 3-pointer out of a timeout. The Dutchmen got within a basket three times before Washington hit a 3-pointer to put the hosts ahead 67-65 with 3:39 remaining. Charles Thompson answered with a second-chance jumper and Estrada and Ryan Conway swapped 3-pointers before Warren Williams and Timberlake traded jumpers. Thomas hit his tie-breaking jumper on the next possession and Towson missed two shots, including an open 3-pointer by Conway, on its next possession. Estrada hit a pair of free throws and Timberlake and Holden missed 3-pointers before Washington iced the win by pulling down the rebound with a little more than two seconds left. Estrada had another monster game as he led the Dutchmen with 27 points and eight rebounds while sharing the team lead in both assists (three) and steals (one). Thomas had 20 points and went 4-of-8 from 3-point land while Washington scored 12 points on 4-of-5 shooting from beyond the arc. Warren Williams (10 points, seven rebounds, three assists, two blocks, one steal) stuffed the stat sheet off the bench. 


3 STARS OF THE GAME (vs. Towson, 2/2)

3: Aaron Estrada

2: Tyler Thomas

1: Bryce Washington


SEASON STANDINGS

Aaron Estrada 48

Tyler Thomas 31

Darlinstone Dubar 24

Jaquan Carlos 16

Warren Williams 10

Nelson Boachie-Yiadom 7

Amar’e Marshall 6

Bryce Washington 1

Griffin Barrouk 1


Bryce Washington makes his 3 Stars of the Game debut and gives the Dutchmen nine players with at least one star (me count good), tying the season-highs for the I’ll Be Quirky era previously set in 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2021-22.


WAS THIS A UNICORN SCORE?

Yes! Would you believe that? Well, why wouldn’t you, but I thought for sure there’d been a 76-72 win at some point. And there were a whole lot of nearly 76-72 scores — including, by my count, a dozen games that ended within one point of 76-72 — but no 76-72 wins until Thursday. Awesome! Among the near-misses were three dramatic victories: Jalen Ray’s buzzer-beating 3-pointer in transition lifted the Dutchmen to a 76-73 win over Towson on Jan. 11, 2018. Justin Wright-Foreman’s 34-footer at the buzzer capped a comeback from a nine-point deficit in the final five minutes of a 75-72 win over Northeastern on Jan. 5, 2019. And the Dutchmen scored the final 11 points of a 76-73 win over Northeastern last Feb. 19, which was Joe Mihalich Day. 


This is the Flying Dutchmen’s third straight unicorn score victory and their eighth unicorn score victory of the season. The Dutchmen recorded 11 unicorn score victories last season after recording no unicorn scores in 2020-21, 13 unicorn scores in 2019-20 and 10 unicorn scores in 2018-19. 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. You may also know it as a “Scorigami,” a term popularized in the NFL.


11/11/22: 83-78 over Iona

11/14/22: 85-80 over George Washington

11/17/22: 85-76 over San Jose State

12/22/22: 96-48 over Old Westbury

1/11/23: 77-57 over Monmouth

1/26/23: 82-65 over Not Twitter Guy

1/28/23: 85-81 over Charleston

2/2/23: 76-72 over Towson


WHO HAD THE KEITH HERNANDEZ?

Tyler Thomas extended his all-time lead in Keith Hernandezes and remained a member of a most exclusive club by hitting the tie-breaking jumper with 58.6 seconds left that put the Dutchmen ahead for good at 74-72. It’s the fourth straight second half Keith Hernandez for the Dutchmen as well as their second-latest Keith Hernandez of the season after Thomas’ tie-breaking 3-pointer against Iona on Nov. 11. 


Jaquan Carlos tie-breaking 3-pointer vs. Princeton, 11/7/22 (1:11 left 2H)

Tyler Thomas tie-breaking 3-pointer vs. Iona, 11/11/22 (:35.2 left 2H)

Darlinstone Dubar go-ahead layup vs. George Washington, 11/14/22 (5:09 left 2H)

German Plotnikov go-ahead 3-pointer vs. San Jose State. 11/17/22 (6:32 left 2H)

Tyler Thomas tie-breaking jumper vs. UNC Greensboro, 11/26/22 (14:56 left 1H)

Aaron Estrada go-ahead jumper vs. Quinnipiac, 11/27/22 (17:28 left 1H)

Tyler Thomas go-ahead 3-pointer vs. Old Westbury, 12/22/22 (19:02 left 1H)

Tyler Thomas tie-breaking jumper vs. Delaware, 12/29/22 (19:42 left 1H)

Aaron Estrada tie-breaking 3-pointer vs. Hampton, 1/5/23 (19:27 left 1H)

Aaron Estrada tie-breaking jumper vs. William & Mary, 1/7/23 (8:37 left 1H)

German Plotnikov tie-breaking 3-pointer vs. Monmouth, 1/11/23 (7:50 left 1H)

Warren Williams tie-breaking nostalgic 3-pointer vs. Delaware 1/14/23 (14:28 left 1H)

Aaron Estrada tie-breaking jumper vs. UNC Wilmington, 1/19/23 (19:02 left 2H)

Tyler Thomas tie-breaking jumper vs. Not Twitter Guy, 1/26/23 (14:03 left 2H)

Darlinstone Dubar tie-breaking jumper vs. Charleston, 1/28/23 (15:24 left 2H)

Tyler Thomas tie-breaking jumper vs. Towson, 2/2/23 (:58.6 left 2H)


Tyler Thomas 6

Aaron Estrada 4

Darlinstone Dubar 2

German Plotnikov 2

Warren Williams 1

Jaquan Carlos 1


THE FLYING DUTCHMEN AFTER TWENTY-FOUR GAMES

With Thursday’s win, the Dutchmen improved to 16-8. This ties the 2022-23 team for the 20th-best record in school history through 24 games. This is the first time the Dutchmen have been 16-8 through 24 games since 2015-16 and just the fourth time they’ve opened 16-8 in program history. Here is how some notable Hofstra teams have fared through 24 games:


NCAA DIVISION I TOURNAMENT TEAMS

1975-76: 13-11 (win in 24th game marked first win of six-game winning streak that carried Dutchmen into the NCAAs)

1976-77: 18-6 (win in 24th game marked fourth win of nine-game winning streak that carried Dutchmen into the NCAAs)

1999-2000: 18-6 

2000-01: 20-4 (win in 24th game marked 12th win in program-record 18-game winning streak)

2019-20 (IT COUNTS TO US): 17-7 (most recent 17-7 start)


NIT TEAMS

1998-99: 17-7

2004-05: 17-7

2005-06: 19-5 (most recent 19-5 start)

2006-07: 18-6 (most recent 18-6 start)

2015-16: 16-8

2018-19: 20-4 (most recent 20-4 start)


NCAA DIVISION II TOURNAMENT TEAMS

1958-59: 18-6

1961-62: 21-3 (most recent 21-3 start)

1962-63: 18-6 (seventh win of 11-game winning streak)

1963-64: 20-4


Some other notable 24-game records:

2021-22: 15-9 (most recent 15-9 start)

2017-18: 14-10 (most recent 14-10 start)

2016-17: 11-13 (most recent 11-13 start)

2013-14: 7-17 (most recent 7-17 start, Joe Mihalich’s first team)

2012-13: 6-18 (most recent 6-18 start)

2011-12: 8-16 (most recent 8-16 start)

2009-10: 12-12 (most recent 12-12 start)

2001-02: 10-14 (most recent 10-14 start, loss in 24th game marked third loss of Tom Pecora-era record-tying eight-game losing streak)

1995-96: 8-16 (win in 24th game snapped Jay Wright-era record nine-game losing streak)

1994-95: 8-16 (Jay Wright’s first year)

1993-94: 6-18 (win in 24th game was final win of regular season, VBK’s last year)

1991-92: 16-8 (win in 24th game was fifth in nine-game winning streak that ended in ECC title game)

1990-91: 13-11 (most recent 13-11 start)

1987-88: 5-19 (only 5-19 start, worst 24-game record in school history)

1986-87: 9-15 (only 9-15 start)

1981-82: 11-13 (loss in 24th game was sixth loss of eight-game losing streak)

1978-79: 8-16 (third loss of season-ending five-game losing streak)

1977-78: 8-16 (final win of season)

1974-75: 11-13 (won season finale)

1973-74: 8-16 (won season finale)

1972-73: 8-16 (lost season finale)

1971-72: 11-13 (third loss of season-ending four-game losing streak)

1970-71: 16-8 (win in 24th game was third win of season-ending five-game winning streak)

1968-69: 11-13 (last loss of season)

1967-68: 12-12 (last loss of season)

1962-63: 18-6 (win in 24th game was seventh win of 11-game winning streak)

1960-61: 21-3 (win in 24th game was final win of season)

1959-60: 23-1 (only 23-1 start & Hofstra’s winningest team, percentage-wise; win in season finale was 13th straight)

1955-56: 21-3 (first 21-3 start)


Hofstra has never been 24-0, 22-2, 4-20, 3-21, 2-22, 1-23 or 0-24 through 24 games. 


Thirteen seasons were completed in fewer than 24 games:


1936-37: 10-7

1937-38: 10-4

1938-39: 10-8

1939-40: 12-9

1940-41: 13-7

1941-42: 15-6

1942-43: 15-6

1943-44: 7-12

1944-45: 8-13

1945-46: 12-7

1947-48: 13-6

1957-58: 15-8

2020-21: 13-10


Full records not available for the following seasons: 1936-37, 1941-42, 1942-43, 1945-46, 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.


NUMBER TEN THROUGH FIFTY-SIX

With Thursday’s win, Speedy Claxton improved to 37-19 (.661) as head coach. That’s the second-best known winning percentage for a Hofstra coach through his first 56 games at the helm. These last three games mark the highest Claxton has been in the all-time game-to-game standings since he became head coach last season.


Paul Lynner 44-12 (.786, 56th game was the 26th game of his second season in 1963-64)

SPEEDY CLAXTON 37-19 (.661, 56th game was the 23rd game of his second season in 2022-23)

Butch van Breda Kolff I 35-21 (.625, 56th game was the fourth game of his third season in 1957-58)

Mo Cassara 28-28 (.500, 56th game was the 23rd game of his second season in 2011-12)

Butch van Breda Kolff II 27-29 (.482, 56th game was the 27th game of his second season in 1989-90)

Dick Berg 25-31 (.446, 56th game was the first game of his third season in 1982-83)

Joe Mihalich 24-32 (.429, 56th game was the 23rd game of his second season in 2014-15)

Jay Wright 20-36 (.357, 56th game was the first game of his third season in 1996-97) 

Roger Gaeckler 19-37 (.339, 56th game was the eighth game of his third season in 1974-75)

Tom Pecora 18-38 (.321, 56th game was the 24th game of his second season in 2002-03)


Dick Berg moves ahead of Joe Mihalich into sole possession of sixth place while this Jay Wright cat moves ahead of Roger Gaeckler into sole possession of seventh place. We’ll see how SPEEDILY Wright can create some distance and from the  bottom of the pack and maybe begin moving up. And once again Tom Pecora remains in last, probably never to emerge.


The records are incomplete for Jack McDonald’s first stint from 1936 through 1943 as well as the tenures of Jack Smith (1943-46) and Frank Reilly (1947-55).


Three coaches had one-season tenures lasting at Hofstra. McDonald went 18-6 in the lone season of his second stint in 1946-47 while Joe Harrington went 14-14 in 1979-80 and Mike Farrelly went 13-10 in 2020-21.


THE GANG VAULTS THE DUTCHMEN INTO FIRST PLACE

Minutes after closing out a win over Towson, the Dutchmen’s hopes of winning the CAA regular season title received quite the boost when Drexel shocked Charleston, 70-69, in Philadelphia. The Dutchmen and Cougars are tied for first place at 9-2, but the Dutchmen would have any tiebreaker because they won the lone head-to-head meeting. Viva la unbalanced schedule!


DOUBLE DIGIT COMEBACK

The Dutchmen, who trailed by 11 points three times in the first half, overcame a double-digit deficit in a win for the third time this season, The Dutchmen trailed Princeton by 12 points in the first half of an 83-77 win in the season opener Nov. 7 and trailed San Jose State by 14 points in the first half of an 85-76 win on Nov. 17. The Dutchmen had two comebacks from double-digit deficits last season.


COMEBACK KIDS

The Dutchmen, who trailed Towson 34-31 at the half, won after trailing at the half for the third straight game. The Dutchmen beat Not Twitter Guy 82-65 after trailing 35-33 at the half on Jan. 26 and beat Charleston 85-81 after trailing 46-44 at the half last Saturday.


This is the first time the Dutchmen have won at least three straight games in which they’ve trailed at the half since Jan. 17-28, 2009, when they won FOUR straight games after trailing at the half. 


1/17/09: Beat Northeastern 57-52 after trailing 29-26 at the half

1/21/09: Beat William & Mary 54-44 (!!!) after trailing 17-15 (!!!) at the half

1/24/09: Beat James Madison 69-68 after trailing 34-30 at the half

1/28/09: Beat UNC Wilmington 80-78 after trailing 41-38 at the half


That streak ended with a Jan. 31, 2009 with a 66-62 loss to Eric Maynor and VCU, a game at the Arena in which Speedy Claxton had his number retired at halftime — with the Dutchmen leading 36-29.


The Dutchmen have won five games this season in which they trailed at the half. Prior to beating not Twitter Guy, Charleston and Towson, the Dutchmen beat Princeton 83-77 after trailing 42-38 at the half in the season opener Nov. 7 and beat San Jose State 85-76 after trailing 41-30 at the half on Nov. 17. The Dutchmen are 5-4 when trailing at the half this season after going 3-6 when trailing at the half last season.


STREAK STOPPERS

The Dutchmen made a bit of CAA history, at least in the modern era, by snapping Towson’s six-game winning streak Thursday night. This victory, of course, came immediately after the Dutchmen edged Charleston, 85-81, to snap the Cougars’ 20-game-winning streak. The Dutchmen are just the third team since the 2001-02 season — when the league expanded to 10 teams with the addition of the America East four — to win consecutive games over teams that were in the midst of winning streaks lasting five games or longer. And the Dutchmen are the first team to do it in regular season play. UNC Wilmington snapped Northeastern’s six-game winning streak and Hofstra’s six-game winning streak (boo) with wins in the CAA semifinals and championship game on Mar. 5-6, 2006. Delaware did the same thing in the semifinals and championship game last year, when the Blue Hens snapped Towson’s eight-game winning streak and UNC Wilmington’s five-game winning streak on Mar. 7-8. We’re number one!


ESTRADA’S GRAND SLAM

Baseball reference! Or a tennis reference? Aaron Estrada held at least a share of the team lead in four categories Thursday night, when he led the Dutchmen with 27 points and eight rebounds while finishing in a three-way tie for the team lead with three assists and one steal. It’s the second time Estrada has held at least a share of the team lead in four categories. Estrada ran a clean sweep against Northeastern on Feb. 19, 2022, when he finished with 21 points, eight rebounds, seven assists and one block. He’s the first player since at least the 2012-13 season to lead or share the team lead in four categories twice in a game. Stevie Mejia led the Dutchmen with 18 points, 10 rebounds, two assists and two steals in a 61-43 loss to Georgia State on Nov. 13, 2013 while Juan’ya Green and Tareq Coburn each at least shared the team lead in four categories once apiece. Green led the Dutchmen with 26 points and was tied for the lead with five rebounds, four assists and one block in a 71-66 win over Charleston on Jan. 8, 2015 while Coburn had a team-high 15 points and nine rebounds while sharing the lead with two assists and one block in a 63-61 win over UNC Wilmington on Jan. 16, 2020.


TWENTY-FIVE AND FIVE

Aaron Estrada finished with at least 25 points and five rebounds for the second straight game Thursday, when he had 27 points and eight rebounds. Estrada had 25 points and seven rebounds in the 85-81 win over Charleston last Saturday. This marks the second time this season Estrada’s posted at least 25 points and five rebounds in consecutive games. He had 29 points and six rebounds in a 72-70 win over Quinnipiac on Nov. 27 and 31 points and five rebounds in an 81-77 overtime loss to George Mason on Nov. 30. Estrada is the first Hofstra player to post at least two back-to-back efforts of at least 25 points and five rebounds in the same season since Justin Wright-Foreman had three such games during the 2018-19 season.


SHOOTING SLUMP? WHAT SHOOTING SLUMP?

Remember when Aaron Estrada couldn’t buy a bucket from long-distance? Well, he went 3-of-8 from 3-point land on Thursday and is now shooting a robust .500 (16-of-32) from beyond the arc his last three games. This stretch follows a nine-game slump in which Estrada shot just 26 percent (13-of-50) from 3-point land. He’s now shooting 38.5 percent (50-of-130) from beyond the arc this season, up from 34.7 percent (34-of-98) entering the game against Not Twitter Guy on Jan. 26. My GPA could have used similarly quick improvements back in the day.


ESTRADA’S DOUBLE-DIGIT STREAK

With his 27 points on Thursday, Aaron Estrada extended his streak of double-digit scoring efforts to 14 games. Estrada, who has missed three games during his current streak, has scored in double figures in 20 of 21 games this season and in 47 of 53 games since debuting for Hofstra last season. He scored in double figures in 13 of the 37 games in which he played for Saint Peter’s and Oregon from 2019 through 2021.


ESTRADA MOVIN’ ON UP

Aaron Estrada continued climbing the Hofstra all-time scoring list Thursday, when he scored 27 points to move past James Shaffer and Percy Johnson into 37th place. Estrada now has 1,046 points, 15 shy of surpassing Darius Burton for 36th place, 23 points shy of moving past Derrick Flowers into 35th place and 45 points shy of surging past Ameen Tanksley into 34th place. Would you doubt it after the last couple weeks?


34.) Ameen Tanksley 1,090

35.) Derrick Flowers 1,069

36.) Darius Burton 1,060

37.) AARON ESTRADA 1,046

38.) Percy Johnson 1,045

39.) James Shaffer 1,022

40.) John Irving 1,018


TWO TWENTY-SOMETHINGS

Tyler Thomas continued providing some solid complementary scoring to Aaron Estrada on Thursday night, when he finished with 20 points. Per research by Hofstra SID Stephen Gorchov and WRHU alums Kevin Dexter and Rob Joyce, the Dutchmen are now 28-12 since the start of the 2013-14 season (Joe Mihalich’s first season) when at least two players score 20 points. The Dutchmen are 5-0 this season when two players score at least 20 points.


Tyler Thomas (26 points)/Darlinstone Dubar (22 points) vs. Iona 11/11/22 (83-78 win)

Aaron Estrada (31 points)/Tyler Thomas (20 points) vs. Delaware 12/29/22 (87-73 win)

Aaron Estrada (20 points)/Tyler Thomas (20 points) vs. William & Mary 1/7/23 (75-62 win)

Aaron Estrada (40 points)/Tyler Thomas (23 points) vs. Not Twitter Guy 1/26/23 (82-65 win)

Aaron Estrada (27 points)/Tyler Thomas (20 points) vs. Towson 2/2/23 (76-72 win)


NO DOUBTING THOMAS

Tyler Thomas had another impressive game Thursday, when he finished with 20 points and went 4-of-8 from 3-point land. It was the sixth time this season Thomas has scored at least 20 points and the seventh time he’s hit at least four 3-pointers. He has scored in double figures in 10 of 11 CAA games and 18 of 24 games overall.


BRYCE’S BIG BUCKETS

Bryce Washington had his best game for the Dutchmen at a most opportune time Thursday night, when he scored a season-high 12 points and went 4-of-5 from 3-point land while playing 25 minutes — his most against a Division I foe — in place of Jaquan Carlos, who was limited to 17 minutes due to three fouls, and Amar’e Marshall, who missed a third straight game due to injury. Washington hit three increasingly bigger 3-pointers in the second half,. his first basket began an 8-0 run that tied the game at 47-47 while his second ended Nicolas Timberlake’s 8-0 run and pulled the Dutchmen within 61-57 before his third one gave the Dutchmen a 67-65 lead. The 12 points were the most for Washington since he scored 13 points for Penn in an 84-70 loss to Dartmouth on Feb. 26, 2022 while the four 3-pointers were his most since way back on Feb. 1, 2019, when he drained four 3-pointers for Penn in an 80-71 loss to Cornell.


WILLIAMS’ STAT STUFFER

Warren Williams stuffed the box score in unique fashion Thursday night, when he finished with 10 points, seven rebounds, three assists, two blocks and one steal. He’s the first to have at least 10 points, seven rebounds, three assists, two blocks and one steal in a game since Feb. 4, 2016 — seven years ago today! — when Juan’ya Green finished with 21 points, 10 rebounds, five assists, four blocks and two steals in a 70-67 loss to UNC Wilmington.


ONE IS NOT JUST A SONG BY METALLICA OR U2 (part one)

German Plotnikov posted a quirky line Thursday night, when he scored one point — on a free throw, duh — in 10 minutes of action. He’s the first Hofstra player to score exactly one point since Abayomi Iyiola did so against William & Mary on Feb. 26, 2022.


ONE IS NOT JUST A SONG BY METALLICA OR U2 (part two)

Meanwhile, Jaquan Carlos avoided the Club Trillion line by recording one assist in 17 minutes. It’s actually the fourth time Carlos has posted one assist while going scoreless without a rebound, block or steal, though the first three times happened while he was a deep reserve as a freshman last season. Carlos is the first Hofstra starter to finish with one assist while going scoreless without a rebound, block or steal since Kenny Wormley did so while playing 16 minutes in an 88-82 win over Rider on Dec. 9, 2017.


OVER THE AIR

Today’s game is slated to be carried live on FloHoops.com (subscription required). Hofstra will provide a radio feed as well as live stats at the Pride Productions hub.


GETTING TO KNOW STONY BROOK

Today marks the Dutchmen’s third game against one of the four schools — Stony Brook along with North Carolina A&T, Hampton and Monmouth — that joined the CAA on July 1. Of course, unlike with North Carolina A&T and Hampton, we already know Monmouth and Stony Brook — regular non-conference foes until this season — a bit. Especially Stony Brook since we’re Long Island buddies and all that!


Stony Brook, located in *checks AAA map* Stony Brook, was actually founded in Oyster Bay USED TO BE ABLE TO SAY BILLY JOEL BIAS in 1957 as State University College on Long Island. The school moved to Stony Brook five years later. It has an enrollment of a little more than 25,500 and its campus of 1,454 acres is the largest among state universities in New York. Stony Brook is a member of the Association of American Universities as well as the Universities Research Association.


Among Stony Brook’s alums are IMAX CEO Richard Gelfond, 2002 Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Scott Higham, Oscar-winning actor Adrian Brody and former big league closer Joe Nathan, who ranks 10th all-time with 377 saves.


In sports, Stony Brook fields seven men’s teams and 10 women’s teams. The school’s nickname has been the Seawolves since 1994 after previously being known as the Soundmen or Baymen in the early 1950s, the Warriors in 1960 and the Patriots in 1966. Make up your minds!


Stony Brook was a Division III program until 1995, when it briefly moved to Division II before becoming a Division I independent for the 1999-2000 school year and joining the America East for the 2001-02 school year, immediately after Hofstra, Delaware, Drexel and Towson. 


The men’s basketball team fell in the America East title game in 2011, 2012, 2014 and 2015 — I might have made fun of that, back in my jerkier days — before winning the championship and earning the NCAA Tournament bid in 2016. The women’s basketball team won the America East in 2021 and advanced to the NCAA Tournament. Stony Brook was slated to host the 2020 America East women’s championship game before it was canceled due to COVID. 


The women’s lacrosse team has won eight straight America East titles and reached the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament three times. The men’s lacrosse team has won the America East and advanced to the NCAA Tournament three times. The baseball team has made the NCAA Tournament six times and authored one of the great Cinderella stories of all-time in 2012, when it went all the way to the College World Series. The football team has made the Division I-AA playoffs four times but has never beaten Hofstra on the gridiron. What? It’s true!


SCOUTING STONY BROOK

The Seawolves, under fourth-year head coach Geno Ford, are 8-15 this season and 4-6 in CAA play following a 69-55 loss to Elon on Thursday night. It was the fifth loss in six games for Stony Brook following a 3-1 CAA start.


The Dutchmen and Seawolves had no common opponents in non-conference play. In CAA play, both teams have beaten Monmouth and Hampton and lost to North Carolina A&T. The Dutchmen have beaten UNC Wilmington, William & Mary and Elon, all of whom beat Stony Brook, and split with Towson, which beat the Seawolves.


The Dutchmen, who were picked to finish second in the CAA preseason poll, are ranked 101st at KenPom.com. Hey that’s down one spot from Thursday, stupid computers! The Seawolves, who were picked to finish ninth, are ranked 331st.


According to KenPom.com, the Dutchmen rank first in the CAA in conference-only offensive efficiency (112.5 points per 100 possessions) and fourth in conference-only defensive efficiency (97.2 points per 100 possessions) while averaging 67.1 possessions per 40 minutes, the fifth-most in the league. The Seawolves rank eighth in the CAA in conference-only offensive efficiency (100.5 points per 100 possessions) and ninth in defensive efficiency (106.0 points per 100 possessions) while averaging 62.7 possessions per 40 minutes, last in the league. 


The Seawolves have been ravaged by injuries this season. Senior guard Tyler Stephenson-Moore leads the Seawolves with 14.7 points per game and ranks second with 4.6 rebounds and 2.0 assists, but he was carted off the court suffering a hip injury against William & Mary on Jan. 26 and has missed the last two games. Aaron Clarke, a former teammate of Tyler Thomas’s at Sacred Heart and a preseason all-CAA honorable mention selection after transferring to Stony Brook to play as a graduate student, has been limited to three games — none since Dec. 12 — due to a back injury. Freshman Jared Frey hasn’t played since the season opener against Florida.


Senior forward Frankie Policelli, who began his career at Dayton, is averaging 13.1 points and leads the Seawolves with 9.3 rebounds per game. Senior center Keenan Fitzmorris, a Stanford transfer who stands 7-foot-1, is averaging 9.0 points and 3.9 rebounds per game while junior forward Kenan Sarvan, a 6-foot-10 Coppin State transfer and Netherlands native who is thus ACTUALLY a Dutchman, is averaging 8.5 points and 4.0 rebounds per game.


KenPom.com predicts a 77-61 win for the Dutchmen. Per the wise guys in Vegas, for entertainment purposes only, the Dutchmen are 16-point favorites. The Dutchmen are 12-9-2 against the spread this season after covering by a half-point on Thursday.


ALL-TIME VS. STONY BROOK

Hofstra is 24-6 all-time against Stony Brook, including 6-2 since the series resumed in 2014. But Stony Brook was triumphant in what turned out to be the last non-conference battle between the schools on Dec. 8, 2021, when the Seawolves rolled to a 79-62 win on eastern Long Island. 


Hofstra is 35-32-1 in all sports against Stony Brook since the two schools began scheduling each other again in the spring of 2014, including 30-21-1 since the 2016-17 school year began. But the Seawolves have won eight of the last 10 meetings between the schools dating back to Dec. 8, 2021, with the Flying Dutchwomen volleyball team earning the lone wins for Hofstra on Sept. 17-18.


If my research is correct, today marks the first time Hofstra is facing a Long Island school in a men’s basketball conference game since the 1966-67 season, when Hofstra, Adelphi and C.W. Post were all in the Tri-State Basketball League together.


THINGS YOU CAN SHOUT ON TWITTER IF CALLS GO DO NOT GO HOFSTRA’S WAY

Pat Benatar dropped out of your school bias! (Per Wikipedia, which is never wrong)

Port Jefferson line bias! (That’s a long way out there on the LIRR)

Travis Jankowski bias! (The longtime big league outfielder and popular reserve with the Mets last season was on Stony Brook’s 2012 College World Series team)

You’re still a SUNY no matter how haughty you might be about it bias! (Hey facts are facts)

Thursday, February 2, 2023

I'll Be Quirky: Towson at Hofstra

Yes let's just keep beating the hottest teams in the CAA, over and over and over again!


Apparently I need to watch games in a shirt and tie while seated inside the lobby of a swank New York City hotel more often. The Flying Dutchmen authored one of the great regular season wins in program history Saturday afternoon, when the trio of Jaquan Carlos, Darlinstone Dubar and Tyler Thomas finished what Aaron Estrada started in an 85-81 win of no. 18 Charleston. But the tasks get no easier tonight, when the in-the-thick-of-it Dutchmen get preseason favorite Towson. Here’s a look back at the big win over the Cougars and a look ahead to the Tigers.


THE MOST RECENT GAME SUMMARIZED IN ONE PARAGRAPH

Aaron Estrada scored 23 of his game-high 25 points in the second half before Jaquan Carlos, Darlinstone Dubar and Tyler Thomas combined to score 37 of the Dutchmen’s 41 second half points in a historic upset of Charleston. The Cougars scored the game’s first six points and held the Dutchmen at bay before opening their biggest lead at 28-20 with 7:06 left in the first. Estrada went into The Wolf mode, scoring 18 points — including the 1,000th of his career — in a half-ending 24-18 run. Nelson Boachie-Yiadom scored the first basket of the second half for the Dutchmen, after which it was the Carlos-Dubar-Thomas show except for a layup by Estrada with 9:11 left. There were two ties and four lead changes in the first four minutes of the second half before Dubar scored on consecutive possessions to put the Dutchmen ahead for good at 60-56 and spark a 20-7 run in which he collected eight points. Charleston got within a possession three times in the final 5:07, but Carlos responded with a big basket every time — a second-chance 3-pointer to extend the lead to 79-73 and then jumpers the two times the Cougars cut the deficit to two points. The teams were scoreless for 1:20 before Thomas sank two free throws with 19 seconds left to give the Dutchmen an 85-79 lead. Reyne Smith sank two free throws before Bolon missed a 3-pointer following a missed free throw by Estrada. Dubar and Carlos had 13 points apiece in the second half and finished with 18 and 15 points, respectively. Dubar added a team-high eight rebounds. Estrada had seven rebounds and six assists, including five in the second half. Thomas had 17 points and seven rebounds. The Cougars, who scored 38.4 percent of their points via the 3-pointer entering the game, finished 5-of-31 from beyond the arc and missed their last 18 attempts. 


3 STARS OF THE GAME (vs. Charleston, 1/28)

3: Aaron Estrada

2: Darlinstone Dubar

1: Jaquan Carlos


SEASON STANDINGS

Aaron Estrada 45

Tyler Thomas 29

Darlinstone Dubar 24

Jaquan Carlos 16

Warren Williams 10

Nelson Boachie-Yiadom 7

Amar’e Marshall 6

Griffin Barrouk 1


WAS THIS A UNICORN SCORE?

Yes! Appropriately enough for a historic win! Prior to Thursday, the Dutchmen had previously earned wins by scores of 86-80, 85-83, 83-81 and 84-82 as well as by 85-80 over George Washington way back on Nov. 11. But they’d never won 85-81 before Saturday afternoon. FYI: As far as I can tell, there are unicorn scores waiting to be earned by 85-79 and 85-82. Let’s get on that tonight, shall we?


This is the Flying Dutchmen’s second straight unicorn score victory and their seventh unicorn score victory of the season. The Dutchmen recorded 11 unicorn score victories last season after recording no unicorn scores in 2020-21, 13 unicorn scores in 2019-20 and 10 unicorn scores in 2018-19. 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. You may also know it as a “Scorigami,” a term popularized in the NFL.


11/11/22: 83-78 over Iona

11/14/22: 85-80 over George Washington

11/17/22: 85-76 over San Jose State

12/22/22: 96-48 over Old Westbury

1/11/23: 77-57 over Monmouth

1/26/23: 82-65 over Not Twitter Guy

1/28/23: 85-81 over Charleston


In another neat and quirky twist, the three biggest regular season wins by the Dutchmen since we began figuring out unicorn scores have all BEEN by a unicorn score. The Dutchmen beat UCLA 88-78 on Nov. 21, 2019 and then-no. 24 Arkansas 89-81 on Dec. 18, 2021.


WHO HAD THE KEITH HERNANDEZ?

Hours before Hernandez joined Gary Cohen and Ron Darling in accepting an award honoring their 17-year run in the SNY booth (hey SNY, stop messing around and sign Hernandez to an extension to ensure GKR set the franchise record for longest radio/TV team) at the New York Baseball Writers Association of America dinner, Darlinstone Dubar put the exclamation point on his slump-busting effort by hitting the tie-breaking jumper with 15:24 left that put the Dutchmen ahead for good at 58-56. It’s the third straight second half Keith Hernandez for the Dutchmen as well as, for the second straight game, their second-earliest second half Keith Hernandez of the season.


Jaquan Carlos tie-breaking 3-pointer vs. Princeton, 11/7/22 (1:11 left 2H)

Tyler Thomas tie-breaking 3-pointer vs. Iona, 11/11/22 (:35.2 left 2H)

Darlinstone Dubar go-ahead layup vs. George Washington, 11/14/22 (5:09 left 2H)

German Plotnikov go-ahead 3-pointer vs. San Jose State. 11/17/22 (6:32 left 2H)

Tyler Thomas tie-breaking jumper vs. UNC Greensboro, 11/26/22 (14:56 left 1H)

Aaron Estrada go-ahead jumper vs. Quinnipiac, 11/27/22 (17:28 left 1H)

Tyler Thomas go-ahead 3-pointer vs. Old Westbury, 12/22/22 (19:02 left 1H)

Tyler Thomas tie-breaking jumper vs. Delaware, 12/29/22 (19:42 left 1H)

Aaron Estrada tie-breaking 3-pointer vs. Hampton, 1/5/23 (19:27 left 1H)

Aaron Estrada tie-breaking jumper vs. William & Mary, 1/7/23 (8:37 left 1H)

German Plotnikov tie-breaking 3-pointer vs. Monmouth, 1/11/23 (7:50 left 1H)

Warren Williams tie-breaking nostalgic 3-pointer vs. Delaware 1/14/23 (14:28 left 1H)

Aaron Estrada tie-breaking jumper vs. UNC Wilmington, 1/19/23 (19:02 left 2H)

Tyler Thomas tie-breaking jumper vs. Not Twitter Guy, 1/26/23 (14:03 left 2H)

Darlinstone Dubar tie-breaking jumper vs. Charleston, 1/28/23 (15:24 left 2H)


Tyler Thomas 5

Aaron Estrada 4

Darlinstone Dubar 2

German Plotnikov 2

Warren Williams 1

Jaquan Carlos 1


THE FLYING DUTCHMEN AFTER TWENTY-THREE GAMES

With Saturday’s win, the Dutchmen improved to 15-8. This ties the 2022-23 team for the 21st-best record in school history through 22 games. This is the first 15-8 start for the Dutchmen since way back in 1991-92 — my freshman year of junior college! — and just the fourth 15-8 start in program history. Here is how some notable Hofstra teams have fared through 23 games:


NCAA DIVISION I TOURNAMENT TEAMS

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)

2019-20 (IT COUNTS TO US): 16-7 (most recent 16-7 start)


NIT TEAMS

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 (most recent 19-4 start, loss in 23rd game snapped the 16-game winning streak)


NCAA DIVISION II TOURNAMENT TEAMS

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:


2021-22: 14-9 (most recent 14-9 start)

2020-21: 13-10 (the Dutchmen’s shortest season — at least in terms of games played — since 1957-58 ends with a 76-58 loss to Elon in the CAA Tournament semifinals) 

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 (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)

1960-61: 20-3

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 (lost 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 (first 13-10 start and the only one until 2020-21)


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


Eleven seasons were completed in fewer than 23 games:


1936-37: 10-7

1937-38: 10-4

1938-39: 10-8

1939-40: 12-9

1940-41: 13-7

1941-42: 15-6

1942-43: 15-6

1943-44: 7-12

1944-45: 8-13

1945-46: 12-7

1947-48: 13-6


Full records not available for the following seasons: 1936-37, 1941-42, 1942-43, 1945-46, 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.


NUMBER TEN THROUGH FIFTY-FIVE

With Saturday’s win, Speedy Claxton improved to 36-19 (.655) as head coach. That’s the second-best known winning percentage for a Hofstra coach through his first 55 games at the helm. These last two games mark the highest Claxton has been in the all-time game-to-game standings since he became head coach last season.


Paul Lynner 43-12 (.782, 55th game was the 25th game of his second season in 1963-64)

SPEEDY CLAXTON 36-19 (.655, 55th game was the 22nd game of his second season in 2022-23)

Butch van Breda Kolff I 34-21 (.618, 55th game was the third game of his third season in 1957-58)

Mo Cassara 28-27 (.509, 55th game was the 22nd game of his second season in 2011-12)

Butch van Breda Kolff II 26-29 (.473, 55th game was the 26th game of his second season in 1989-90)

Joe Mihalich 24-31 (.436, 55th game was the 22nd game of his second season in 2014-15)

Dick Berg 24-31 (.436, 55th game was the 28th and final game of his second season in 1981-82)

Roger Gaeckler 19-36 (.345, 55th game was the seventh game of his third season in 1974-75)

Jay Wright 19-36 (.345, 55th game was the 27th and final game of his second season in 1995-96) 

Tom Pecora 17-38 (.309, 55th game was the 23rd game of his second season in 2002-03)


How about that? Claxton got the win he needed to move two games ahead of van Breda Kolff through 55 games!


Joe Mihalich remains in a tie for sixth place with Dick Berg while a loss in the finale of his second season drops Jay Wright back into a tie with Roger Gaeckler for eighth place. Hofstra should probably move on from this Wright cat, especially if he doesn’t have a program-changing recruit arriving in the fall of 1996. And once again Tom Pecora remains in last, probably never to emerge.


The records are incomplete for Jack McDonald’s first stint from 1936 through 1943 as well as the tenures of Jack Smith (1943-46) and Frank Reilly (1947-55).


Three coaches had one-season tenures lasting at Hofstra. McDonald went 18-6 in the lone season of his second stint in 1946-47 while Joe Harrington went 14-14 in 1979-80 and Mike Farrelly went 13-10 in 2020-21.


THRICE AS NICE

Beating a ranked team — especially one in conference — yields multiple nuggets! The win over Charleston marked the fifth time the Dutchmen have beaten a team ranked in one of the polls and the third time they’ve beaten a team ranked in the Associated Press poll. The Flying Dutchmen — who really were named the Flying Dutchmen back then! — beat no. 18 Southern Illinois 67-66 in the championship game of the Pittsburgh Classic on Dec. 11, 1976. The Dutchmen’s second win over an opponent ranked in the AP poll was, of course, their 88-81 victory over no. 24 Arkansas on Dec. 18, 2021.


The Dutchmen’s other wins over ranked opponents came against teams ranked in the USA Today coaches poll, The Dutchmen beat no. 25 George Mason 77-68 on Feb. 23, 2006 and edged no. 23 Richmond 76-71 on Dec. 22, 2020.


TWICE (OR THRICE) AS NICE FOR THE ROAD WARRIORS

The Dutchmen earned a road — or semi-road, as we’ll explain shortly — victory over a ranked opponent for the second straight (or third straight, if you want to count the Richmond win, which you should) season. No matter how you categorize these wins, the Dutchmen are the only mid-major in the country with road or semi-road wins over a top 25 opponent in each of the last two (or three) seasons. The Arkansas game wasn’t officially a road game and was actually played about three hours from the Arkansas campus, but if KenPom.com considers it a semi-home game for Arkansas, so do we. Also, it was in Arkansas.


TWICE AS NICE

The Dutchmen are responsible for the CAA’s two most recent wins over a ranked opponent. Prior to the Dutchmen’s victory over Arkansas, a CAA team hadn’t beaten an opponent ranked in the Associated Press top 25 since Northeastern beat no. 15 Miami (FL) 78-77 on Nov. 27, 2015. Snicker snicker.


THE CALL IS COMING FROM INSIDE THE HOUSE (Or: A Valid Reason For Posting Susanna Hoffs-related Content)

The win by the Dutchmen marked the first time a CAA school has knocked off a ranked opponent in league play since Jan. 8, 1987, when Richmond beat then-no. 15 Navy, 64-62. That’s a span of 13,168 days! Or, to put it into further context, here’s what we were listening to on our Walkmans, what we were watching at the local cinematorium and how much our parents had to pay to drive us to the aforementioned cinematorium as Richmond was beating Navy.


No. 1 song: “Walk Like An Egyptian,” The Bangles

No. 1 album: “Live/1975-85,” Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band

No. 1 movie: “The Golden Child,” starring Eddie Murphy

Average price for a gallon of gas for the month in New York: $0.65


Because everyone within 10 years of my age still has a crush on Susanna Hoffs.


KNOCKED FROM THE RANKS OF THE RANKED (Or: A Valid Reason For Posting Bon Jovi-related Content)

However, that win by Richmond didn’t knock Navy out of the AP poll. It just dropped the Midshipmen to no. 19 in the poll released Monday, Jan. 12. Navy moved up one spot the following week before falling out for good with a two-loss week in which it fell to Drexel — not a CAA foe at the time, but a member of the good ol’ East Coast Conference WHAT’S UP LITOS — and Kentucky on Jan. 21 and Jan. 25, respectively. Thus, to put THAT into context, here’s what we were listening to on our Walkmans, what we were watching at the local cinematorium and how much our parents had to pay to drive us to the aforementioned cinematorium as Navy fell out of the AP poll.


No. 1 song: “At This Moment,” Billy Vera & The Beaters (Alex & Ellen FTW!)

No. 1 album: “Slippery When Wet,” Bon Jovi

No. 1 movie: “Platoon,” starring Tom Berenger

Average price for a gallon of gas for the month in New York: still $0.65


Because George Mason in 2006 ruined "Livin' On A Prayer."


ESTRADA JOINS CLUB 1K

OK, I guess that’s enough about beating a ranked team. How about Aaron Estrada racing into the 1,000-point club faster than anyone in the last 31 seasons? Estrada, playing in his 52nd game at Hofstra, hit the milestone by draining a 3-pointer with 6:47 left in the first half Saturday. That also began his 16-point flurry over the final *checks his math* 6:47 of the first half. Estrada is the 40th Hofstra player to score 1,000 points, the 22nd to do so in the Defiantly Dutch era (1993-present) and the ninth since 2013-14, the first year of the Joe Mihalich era and the beginning of this golden age of Hofstra hoops. He is the first player to reach 1,000 points since Jalen Ray did so on Dec. 22, 2020.


Estrada now has 1,019 points, meaning his last basket on Saturday moved him past John Irving into 39th place on the all-time scoring list. He enters tonight four points shy of surpassing James Shaffer for 38th place, 27 points shy of moving past Percy Johnson into 37th place and 42 points shy of surging past Darius Burton for 36th place. Anything is possible after last week.


35.) Derrick Flowers 1,069

36.) Darius Burton 1,060

37.) Percy Johnson 1,045

38.) James Shaffer 1,022

39.) AARON ESTRADA 1,019

40.) John Irving 1,018


THE SAINT PETER’S PIPELINE

As noted above, Aaron Estrada needed just 52 games to reach 1,000 points. That’s the fastest anyone has reached 1,000 points in the DD Era and the fastest a player has recorded 1,000 points at Hofstra since the late great Demetrius Dudley — who also began his collegiate career at Saint Peter’s — reached 1,000 points in 47 games. Dudley and Estrada are two of the six players to reach 1,000 points in fewer than two full seasons since 1992-93.


Demetrius Dudley 47 games (1991-92 thru 1992-93)

Aaron Estrada 52 games (2021-22 thru 2022-23)

Juan’ya Green 58 games (2014-15 thru 2015-16)

Charles Jenkins 59 games (2007-08 thru 2008-09)

Mike Moore 60 games (2010-11 thru 2011-12)

Antoine Agudio 62 games (2004-05 thru 2005-06)


FAST FINISH

The Dutchmen, who trailed Charleston 46-44 at the half, won after trailing at the half for the second straight game. The Dutchmen beat Not Twitter Guy 82-65 after trailing 35-33 at the half last Thursday It’s the first time the Dutchmen have won back-to-back games in which they trailed at the half since Dec. 28-30, 2019, when they beat James Madison 82-76 after trailing 36-30 at the half and beat Towson 75-67 after trailing 36-28 at the half.


The Dutchmen have won four games this season in which they trailed at the half. Prior to beating not Twitter Guy, the Dutchmen beat Princeton 83-77 after trailing 42-38 at the half in the season opener Nov. 7 and beat San Jose State 85-76 after trailing 41-30 at the half on Nov. 17. The Dutchmen are 4-4 when trailing at the half this season after going 3-6 when trailing at the half last season.


TEAM BARBASOL AGAIN

The Dutchmen finally played a non-lopsided game Saturday, when their four-point victory snapped a streak of seven straight games decided by at least 10 points from Jan. 5 through Jan. 26. The Dutchmen went 6-1 in that stretch, which was the longest streak of games decided by at least 10 points since a seven-game stretch from Nov. 9 through Dec. 1, 2019 in which the Dutchmen went 5-2.


KNOCKING OFF THE LAST OF THE UNBEATENS

Charleston entered Saturday 9-0 in CAA play before the Dutchmen ended the Cougars’ hopes of becoming the first team to post a perfect league season since William & Mary went 9-0 in the CAA’s first season in 1982-83. I think Terry Tarpey played on that team. Anyway, the Dutchmen are now 2-3 all-time when opposing the CAA's last unbeaten team, with wins over Charleston and VCU (79-68 on Jan, 31, 2007) and losses to Old Dominion (71-66 on Jan. 10, 2004 and 67-66 on Jan. 19, 2005) and UNC Wilmington (78-72 on Jan. 29, 2022).


STINGY BEYOND THE ARC

The Dutchmen gave up 81 points Saturday but limited Charleston — which entered the game scoring 38.4 percent of its points from beyond the arc — to 5-of-31 shooting (16.1 percent) from 3-point land. That’s the lowest 3-point shooting percentage recorded by a Division I opponent since Duquesne shot 12.5 percent (#-of-24) in the Dutchmen’s 73-63 win on Nov. 13, 2021.


STAT-STUFFING ESTRADA

Aaron Estrada finished with 25 points, seven rebounds and six assists Saturday afternoon. It was the second time this season he’s had at least 25 points, five rebounds and five assists in a game — he finished with 29 points, six rebounds and six assists in a 72-70 win over Quinnipiac on Nov. 27 — and the sixth time he’s done so in his Hofstra career. That's the most 25/5/5 games by a Hofstra player since Justin Wright-Foreman had eight such games from 2015-16 through 2018-19. Fun fact: Speedy Claxton also had eight games with at least 25 points, five rebounds and five assists during his playing career, including five during his senior season in 1999-2000.


SHOOTING SLUMP? WHAT SHOOTING SLUMP?

Remember when Aaron Estrada couldn’t buy a bucket from long-distance? Well, he went 5-of-9 from 3-point land on Saturday and is now shooting a robust .542 (13-of-24) from beyond the arc his last two games. That back-to-back blitz follows a nine-game stretch in which Estrada shot just 26 percent (13-of-50) from 3-point land. He’s now shooting 38.5 percent (47-of-122) from beyond the arc this season, up from 34.7 percent (34-of-98) entering last Thursday’s game against Elon. My GPA could have used similarly quick improvements back in the day.


ESTRADA’S DOUBLE-DIGIT STREAK

With his 25 points on Saturday, Aaron Estrada extended his streak of double-digit scoring efforts to 13 games. Estrada, who has missed three games during his current streak, has scored in double figures in 19 of 20 games this season and in 46 of 52 games since debuting for Hofstra last season. He scored in double figures in 13 of the 37 games in which he played for Saint Peter’s and Oregon from 2019 through 2021.


FOUR IS BETTER THAN ONE (or two or three)

The Dutchmen had four players finish with at least 15 points on Saturday, when Aaron Estrada led the way with 25 points followed by Darlinstone Dubar (18 points), Tyler Thomas (17 points) and Jaquan Carlos (15 points). It’s the first time the Dutchmen have had at least four players score at least 15 points since Jan. 9, 2022, when Estrada scored 20 points, Dubar had 19 points and Jalen Ray and Abayomi Iyiola finished with 15 points apiece in an 87-80 win over James Madison.


D-STONE SNAPS THE SLUMP

Darlinstone Dubar snapped a lengthy slump Saturday afternoon, when he scored 18 points, including 16 in the second half. Dubar was 8-of-11 from the field after scoring in single digits in each of his previous five games, a stretch in which he had just 23 points on 8-of-29 shooting from the field. The 18 points were the most for Dubar since he had 23 points against Division III Old Westbury on Dec. 22 and his  most against a Division I foe since he finished with 22 points against Iona on Nov. 11.


D-STONE ON THE REBOUND

Darlinstone Dubar also had eight rebounds Saturday, tied for his second-highest single-game figure of the season and his most since collecting eight rebounds against George Washington on Nov. 14.


CARLOS CHIPS IN

Jaquan Carlos followed up a three-game stretch where he did more creating than finishing by scoring a career-high 15 points Saturday afternoon, including 13 in the second half. Carlos was 6-of-11 from the field after entering Saturday with 14 points in his previous three games, a stretch in which he was 6-of-12 from the field while collecting 19 assists and committing just four turnovers. Carlos’ previous career high was 14 points, set against Quinnipiac on Nov. 27 and tied against Delaware on Jan. 14. 


NO DOUBTING THOMAS

You know things are going well when a 17-point, seven-rebound performance doesn’t even result in the player earning one of the three stars of the game. Tyler Thomas continued his strong season Saturday, when he had those aforementioned 17 points and seven rebounds. The seven rebounds tied a season high for Thomas, who also had seven rebounds against UNC Wilmington on Jan. 19. He has scored in double figures in nine of 10 CAA games and 17 of 23 games overall.


DIMES FROM THE FIVE

Nelson Boachie-Yiadom continued to be an unusually proficient distributor out of the paint Saturday afternoon, when he had two points and four assists. Boachie-Yiadom has at least four assists in four games this season, the most of any center since 2010-11 (the start of the Play Index era at College Basketball Reference) and the second-most among Hofstra non-guards behind Jordan Allen, who had five such games in two seasons from 2012-13 through 2013-14.


BRYCE’S BIG BUCKETS

Bryce Washington, pressed into first-half minutes with Amar’e Marshall out for a second straight game, hit a pair of 3-pointers, including the game-tying basket with 1:06 left in the first half. The two 3-pointers are a season-high for Washington while the six points were his most since he had nine points against Old Westbury on Dec. 22 and his most points against a Division I foe this season. Washington also played 13 minutes, his most since playing 25 minutes against Old Westbury on Dec. 22 and his most against a Division I foe since playing 15 minutes against George Mason in an overtime loss on Nov. 30.


BRINGING HOME THE HARDWARE

To the surprise of no one, Aaron Estrada earned CAA Player of the Week honors last week after scoring a career-high 40 points against Elon and leading the way with 25 points in the upset of Charleston. It’s the third time this season Estrada has at least shared Player of the Week honors, tied for the most in the league with Towson’s Nicolas Timberlake, and the league-leading eighth time he’s done so in the last two seasons.


OVER THE AIR

Today’s game is slated to be carried live on FloHoops.com (subscription required). Hofstra will provide a radio feed as well as live stats at the Pride Productions hub.


SCOUTING TOWSON

The Tigers, under 12th-year head coach Pat Skerry, are 16-7 this season and 8-2 in CAA play following a 92-73 win over William & Mary on Saturday, It was the sixth straight win for Towson. I should look up if the Dutchmen have ever faced teams with winning streaks of six games or longer in consecutive league games!


The Dutchmen and Tigers had two common opponents in non-conference play, Both teams beat UNC Greensboro, with the Dutchmen defeating the Hornets 65-53 on Nov. 26, nine days (PLAY STORY OF A GIRL) after Towson earned a 56-53 win. The Dutchmen fell to Massachusetts 71-56 on Dec. 11 while the Tigers knocked off the Minutemen, 67-55, on Nov. 10.


In CAA play, both teams have beaten Monmouth, Elon and William & Mary. The Dutchmen beat Charleston, which edged Towson in overtime 76-74 on Dec. 31, and swept Delaware, which beat Towson 72-59 on Jan. 11. The Tigers have beaten North Carolina A&T, which beat Hofstra.


The Dutchmen, who were picked to finish second in the CAA preseason poll, are ranked 100th at KenPom.com. That’s tied for the Dutchmen’s highest KenPom.com ranking entering a game under Speedy Claxton, though they were no. 99 for a bit yesterday. Thanks random results! The Tigers, who were picked to finish first, are ranked 133rd.


According to KenPom.com, the Dutchmen rank first in the CAA in conference-only offensive efficiency (112.1 points per 100 possessions) and fourth in conference-only defensive efficiency (95.9 points per 100 possessions) while averaging 67.3 possessions per 40 minutes, the fourth-most in the league. The Tigers rank third in the CAA in conference-only offensive efficiency (110.7 points per 100 possessions) and fifth in defensive efficiency (97.0 points per 100 possessions) while averaging 63.2 possessions per 40 minutes, 12th in the league. 


Graduate student guard Nicolas Timberlake, who was named to the preseason all-CAA first team and is a potential captain of the Andrey Semenov How-Hasn’t-That-Guy-Used-Up-All-His-Eligibility-Yet team, leads the Tigers with 15.9 points per game and ranks second with 2.4 assists per game. Redshirt senior guard Cam Holden, another preseason all-CAA first team selection, ranks second on the Tigers with 14.2 points per game and 6.5 rebounds per game and first with 4.7 assists per game. Along those lines, Holden posted Towson’s first-ever #Redundant triple-double against a Division I opponent on Saturday, when he finished with 24 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists — off the bench! Senior forward Charles Thompson, ANOTHER preseason all-CAA first team selection, is averaging 12.8 points per game and leads the Tigers with 7.5 rebounds per game.


KenPom.com predicts a 72-66 win for the Dutchmen. Per the wise guys in Vegas, for entertainment purposes only, the Dutchmen are 3 1/2-point underdogs. Pretty big spread there between the computers and the humans. The Dutchmen are 11-9-2 against the spread this season.


THE ECC RACE

It’s back! But in modified form because of the dreadful unbalanced schedule. The Dutchmen are slated to play Delaware and Towson twice apiece but Drexel just once. So wrong. Delaware, Towson and Drexel all play each other twice apiece, the way it was intended. Thus, the very real champion of the very real ECC (hi Litos) will be determined by winning percentage. Towson’s win on Jan. 16 means the Dutchmen are in virtual must-win mode tonight if they once again hope to win this very prestigious and very real title.


Towson 2-1 .667

HOFSTRA 2-1 .667

Drexel 1-1 .500

Delaware 1-3 .250


FEBRUARY = CRUNCH TIME

The Flying Dutchmen have fared well in February, which, as you likely know, began Wednesday. Since joining the CAA in 2001-02, the Dutchmen are 104-68 (.605) in regular season games played on or after Feb. 1, including 8-2 last February.


GROUNDHOG DAY

The Dutchmen are playing on Groundhog Day for the first time since 2019, when their 16-game winning streak ended with a 75-61 loss to Northeastern. The Dutchmen are 4-4 on Groundhog Day since joining the CAA in 2001-02 and 5-6 on Groundhog Day in the DD era.


ALL-TIME VS. TOWSON

Hofstra is 46-30 against Towson in a series that began during the 1982-83 season, when both schools were in the East Coast Conference. Towson is seeking a season sweep after overcoming an early 10-point deficit and beating the Dutchmen, 68-47, in Maryland on Jan. 16. The Tigers also swept the season series last year, when they earned a 78-66 win in Maryland on Jan. 11 before beating the Dutchmen 78-68 at the Arena on Feb. 3. It was the first season sweep for Towson since the 2016-17 campaign.


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

Tom Brady finally “retired” again bias! (Also used this for the game against Towson and Patriots fan Pat Skerry immediately after Brady’s first “retirement” LAST Feb. 1)

Elaine Benes bias! (How did I not know/remember she was from Towson?)

All Time Low bias! (The punk band is from Towson, per Wikipedia, which I rely upon for recent music news)

Last ECC champion bias! (An oldie but goodie)