Northeastern (14-8) at Hofstra (5-17)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, February 6, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Mack Sports Complex (5,124) -- Hempstead, New York. Television: None. Home Record: Northeastern 6-6. Hofstra 5-5. Away Record: Northeastern 6-1, Hofstra 0-11. Neutral Record: Northeastern 2-1, Hofstra 0-1. Conference Record: Northeastern 9-1, Hofstra 2-7. Series Record: Hofstra leads, 17-15.
GAMES NOTES: The conference leading Northeastern Huskies make a trip to Mack Sports Complex to battle the Hofstra Pride in Colonial Athletic Association action on Wednesday night.
A 59-52 win over Drexel last time out helped Northeastern bounce back from its first loss in league play. The Huskies have gotten out to a big lead in the league standings at 9-1 which has them 2.5 games ahead of second-place Delaware. Northeastern is also tied for the most wins overall in the conference (14) while having the fewest overall losses (eight).
Hofstra is much further down the conference ladder at 2-7 after a 72-59 loss to William & Mary last time out. The Pride have lost six straight games and are currently just 5-17 overall. All five of Hofstra's wins have come at home this season.
An earlier meeting this season went Northeastern's way in a 65-60 decision at Matthews Arena. The win was the third straight for the Huskies against Hofstra, which leads the all-time series, 17-15.
After taking a 39-37 lead with just over 12 minutes against Drexel, Northeastern would never trail the rest of the way. The Huskies did find themselves leading by just a single point, 42-41, at the seven-minute mark but an 8-1 spurt over the next four minutes gave them enough separation to pull away for the win.
Although the 59 points Northeastern managed against Drexel may point in another direction, Northeastern possesses the CAA's best offense, ranking at the very top of the CAA in points (69.3 pg), assists (14.2 pg) and field goal percentage (.452). Those types of offensive numbers have helped the Huskies overcome their conference-worst rebounding total (30.6 pg) and the 46.1 percent rate they allow foes to shoot. Joel Smith (16.5 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 3.0 apg) is the top scoring option on the squad while providing solid production across the stat sheet. Jonathan Lee (13.2 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 4.3 apg) is another versatile guard that makes his contributions felt in most phases. In the frontcourt Quincy Ford (12.5 ppg, 5.7 rpg) and Reggie Spencer (10.8 ppg, 6.2 rpg) are the most productive forces.
Despite outscoring William & Mary in second chance points (20-7) and points off turnovers (11-2), Hofstra was unable to overcome the Tribe due to its erratic shooting. The Pride shot at just a 35.6 percent rate in the contest while allowing the Tribe to drill 56.8 percent of its own field goal attempts.
Hofstra is at the opposite end of the spectrum not only in the standings but on the offensive end of the floor. The Pride are the lowest scoring (59.4 ppg) and worst shooting (.386 FG percentage) team in the CAA with each of those marks among the 25 worst in the country. Defense hasn't exactly been a strength either with the Pride allowing 68.6 points per game on 44.2 percent shooting. Taran Buie (14.4 ppg) and Stevie Mejia (10.5 ppg, 4.1 apg) run the Pride out of the backcourt as the team's top two offensive options. Mejia is also the third best distributor in the conference but has had very few players to get the ball to as no other player scores more than 7.5 points per game. Stephen Nwaukoni (6.5 ppg, 7.5 rpg) doesn't add much offensively but is a strong rebounder.
These teams could not be more opposed with Northeastern piling up points and wins, while Hofstra has struggled to do the same. Playing on the road hasn't scared the Huskies at all this season and won't again here.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Northeastern 72, Hofstra 64
02/06 10:36:13 ET