Unfortunately for Hofstra, not too many other couples and their families attended last night's game. When we got there a few minutes before game time, the Lions' Den student section was empty. Heck, most of the Mack Center was empty. The announced attendance was 1,785. Perhaps that included paid season ticket holders who had made other Valentine's Day dinner plans, but I would subtract anywhere from 785 to 1,000 from that number. The crowd was so small you could hear Hofstra Coach Mo Cassara clear as day.
Delaware last won a game vs. Hofstra in the Mack Center during conference play in the 2000-01 season, the final season for both teams in the America East. The then Flying Dutchmen would later defeat the Blue Hens in the America East championship at the Mack to start the ten game home winning streak. It was also the last time Hofstra made the NCAA Tournament.
There were so few people in attendance that the Hofstra mascots, Kate and Willy were going into the crowd and saying hi to whatever kids were there. In fact, Kate had come by before the game and made friends with Jonathan, who found the female lion mascot quite amusing. Kate came right back to see Jonathan before the second half and played peek a boo with him. In return, Jonathan showed Kate his monster trucks.
But Matt Grogan, a walk on who is starting to see more time because he can hit an open three pointer, buried a three to start a Pride 10-0 run over the next three minutes. Mike Moore's rainbow three pointer gave Hofstra their first lead of the game 50-49 with eight minutes left. The fans that were there stood and applauded as the Blue Hens called timeout. As DefiantlyDutch noted on a tweet, it was the Pride's first lead in a game since six minutes left in the George Mason game last Wednesday. Last Saturday, Drexel led from start to finish in their win over Hofstra.
Lester hit an anti-climatic three point play to score the final points of the game, but most of the fans had picked up and left earlier, perhaps for late dinner plans. The Blue Hens had a convincing 71-57 win to end the ten game losing streak at the Mack Center.
As Chelle and I said our goodbyes to Defiantlydutch and his much better half Michelle, both of whom sat with us in the second half, we made our way out of the Mack Center A year ago, I was hanging out by the court celebrating Charles Jenkins' two buzzer beaters on my birthday in a win over William and Mary. Now I was standing in a empty lot saying goodbye to my friend Tieff after Hofstra's fourteenth loss of the season. They now have as many losses in conference this season as they had wins in conference last season.