Saddler Breaks Scoring Record, Leads Delaware Men's Basketball to 80-67 CAA Victory Over Northeastern
NEWARK, Del. -- Senior guard Devon Saddler scored 21 points and became the University of Delaware's all-time leading scorer and hot-shooting Davon Usher finished with a game-high 25 points as the league-leading Blue Hens won their 11th straight game with an 80-67 Colonial Athletic Association men’s basketball victory over Northeastern Monday night at the Bob Carpenter Center.
Saddler (Aberdeen/Aberdeen, Md.), who upped his career total to 2,031 points to pass the mark of 2,031 established by Mike Pegues back in 1996-2000, also dished out a game-high eight assists and pulled down five rebounds as the Blue Hens (17-7, 9-0 CAA) led from wire-to-wire for the victory.
“That was the toughest two points I’ve ever scored,” said Saddler, who broke the record on two free throws with 4:04 left to play after missing six straight field goal attempts that would have earned him the record a little sooner. “I had Mike Pegues as a coach and he told me that I had the potential to eventually break his record. It felt good to finally pass him.”
Usher (at left) knocked down his first five three-point attempts and converted 8 of 12 field goal attempts for the night, senior center Carl Baptiste notched his fourth double-double of the season with 14 points and a career-high 15 rebounds, and Kyle Anderson added 15 points in yet another all-around Delaware effort.
Delaware registered a season-high 12 three-pointers on 27 attempts and committed just six turnovers the entire evening.
The Blue Hens, whose win streak is currently the 10th longest in NCAA Division I and UD's longest since 1998-99, have also won eight straight at home, the longest such streak since the 1998-2000 seasons. The 10-game overall win streak is the third longest in Delaware history.
“Our energy to start the game and to open the second half was fantastic,” said Delaware head coach Monté Ross. “We need that type of energy on the defensive end too. We can score,, but defensively we need to keep making strides. Devon has meant so much to this program. It hasn’t been lost on me the correlation between the day he stepped foot on campus and when we started winning. He is a true competitor and does whatever it takes to help the team win.”
Northeastern (7-16, 4-5 CAA), which lost its second straight game, got 21 points and eight rebounds from Scott Eatherton and 12 points from David Walker. Delaware defeated the Huskies for the second time in two weeks after also winning 74-70 on Jan. 18.
The Huskies, who lost for just the third time in their last 14 CAA road games since last season, allowed over 58 points for just the second time in their last seven outings with Delaware surpassing that 58-point mark both times. The Hens had 48 points at halftime and had reached the 60-point mark just six minutes into the second half.
Delaware scored the first seven points of the game and led 13-3 just over four minutes into the contest and never looked back. Northeastern rallied and cut Delaware’s first half lead to 32-27 with 3:04 left, but the Hens outscored the Huskies 16-2 the rest of the way thanks to two Anderson three-pointers, an Usher dunk, and a long three by Saddler at the buzzer.
The Hens never let up in the second stanza as they scored the first nine points of the half to go up by 26 points at 57-31 four minutes in. They built the lead to as many as 27 points at 72-45 with 7:55 left before Northeastern outscored the Hens 15-4 over the final four minutes to close the gap.