Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Jenkins is Mr. Buzzer Beater as Hofstra Defeats William and Mary in Overtime
When I got home from work, I exchanged my three year old son Jonathan with my five year old son, Matthew, who was going to the game with me. But first, we had to pick up Tieff from the Mineola Train Station at 6:27. But of course, the LIRR wouldn't be the LIRR without the train being 20 minutes late. During this time though, Matthew got a nap in. Somehow, we got there right at tipoff.
Well, the Pride came out pretty focused. In the first five minutes, Hofstra bolted out to a 15-3 lead as Mike Moore buried three three pointers while Charles Jenkins chipped in with six points. It looked like the Pride were going to run the Tribe out of the building.
But despite their 3-12 record, William and Mary has a couple of wins over Drexel and James Madison, two teams over. 500 in the standings. They also played Hofstra very close at Williamsburg earlier in the season and had just lost only by two points at Drexel on Saturday. And thanks in large part to Quinn McDowell, the Tribe were going to answer the Pride's run and then some.
But as they did so many times this season, like against James Madison and Northeastern, Hofstra would rally in the second half. And "The Man", "The Wolf", "The Force of Nature", Jenkins would be at the center of the rally. Over the next five plus minutes, the Pride would outscore the Tribe 21-4. Jenkins would score eleven of those points, including a three pointer that put Hofstra up 44-41. After a Brad Kelleher three, the score was 47-43 Pride with 12:44 left.
Once there, he was having a great time. He kept asking me who was winning, kept raising his foam finger after a Hofstra basket, and said the pretzel he had was "yummy". Finally midway through the second half, he turned to me and said "Daddy, I want to go to another basketball game." It was the best birthday present I could ask for yesterday.
However, during the second half, the best free throw shooting team in the CAA was unusually missing shots from the charity line. Hofstra, who shoots 76 percent from the line on the season, would miss five out of fourteen free throws in the second half. Moore and Jenkins, two of the top seven free throw shooters in the CAA each missed a free throw within the last two minutes of regulation.
Hofstra Coach Mo Cassara called timeout with six seconds left. Tieff and I wondered who was going to shoot the game tying three point attempt. But there never should have been any doubt. The best player in the CAA was going to get the ball.
Jenkins received the ball and took a shot from the top of the key over the outstretched hand of a W&M player. Nothing...but...net. The Hofstra faithful went nuts as the teams went to overtime tied at 69. And seemingly for the the upteenth time this season, the home crowd was set for another exciting finish by their Pride. Little did they or I know how exciting it would be.
But Jenkins would hit a jumper to put Hofstra back up one 77-76 with 32 seconds left. Hofstra had a chance to extened the lead to three, but Brad Kelleher missed one of two free throws and Hofstra was only up 78-76 with 13 seconds left. It was the third missed free throw by Hofstra in the overtime period. It would setup the exciting finish.
The Tribe called timeout to setup their play. And Coach Tony Shaver called it for McDowell. McDowell with Hofstra's best defensive player Yves Jules on him drove the lane and got the foul call on Jules. With the Lions Den section trying their best to to distract him, McDowell calmly sank both free throws to tie the game at 78 with 4.5 seconds left.
as Hofstra won 81-78. I can honestly say that might have been the most amazing thing I have ever seen on my birthday.
With that three pointer, Jenkins had 22 of his 28 points after the first half and probably cemented his legend in Hofstra basketball lore. Moore added 25 points and 8 rebounds while David Imes added a double double with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Brad Kelleher had nine points, seven assists, six rebounds and five steals for the Pride who are now 16-1 when three or more players score in double figures. McDowell led W&M with a double double 28 points on 6 of 10 shooting from beyond the arc and had 12 rebounds. Boatner added 16 points on 4 of 10 shooting from beyond the arc. The Tribe was 12 of 25 from beyond the arc while Hofstra was 12 of 31.
After the game, Tieff and I talked with Jerry Beach and his wife, while my son got to run and play on the court. Before Matthew left the house last night, he wasn't sure if he wanted to go. Three plus hours later, he was having so much fun, he didn't want to leave.
I think the Pride just got themselves another fan.