It’s too early in conference play to call any game a “must win,” but Hofstra certainly has a “need to win” tonight when Northeastern comes to the Mack Center. The Pride are 0-4 in CAA play, having already lost as many conference games as they did all of last season, and are quickly falling behind the pack. The only other winless team thus far in conference play is Towson, and no one wants to be associated with the Tigers and losing streaks.
Northeastern offers a golden opportunity for the Pride to get into the win column. Even though the Huskies are 2-2 in the conference, they’ve had the good fortune of playing an easier schedule to start than Mo Cassara’s squad. Northeastern’s two wins in conference play are over Towson and at James Madison.
That right there speaks to the difference between the Pride and the Huskies, one team already took care of business against JMU. Hofstra of course lost out on its opportunity in early December with a 62-60 home loss to the Dukes. That bitter pill, along with a one-point loss at Delaware, is why Hofstra finds itself in this predicament in the first place.
Thus the reason the Pride need to win this game. Ken Pomeroy has the Pride as a slight favorite at home 66-63 (65%). Accuscore is a little less bullish on both the score and the margin. Hofstra is a 65.6-64.4 (51.6%) favorite according to their calculations.
It should be a really close game. If you’re interested in post game coverage I’d highly recommend both Defiantly Dutch and The College Hardwood. I’m sure Jerry Beach and Gary Moore will both have tons of insight into the game later.