Delaware's Comeback Falls Short as Blue Hens Drop 80-73 Men's Basketball Verdict at St. Bonaventure
ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y -- The University of Delaware men’s basketball team whittled a 16-point deficit to seven with under three minutes to play, but the Blue Hens’ comeback attempt fell short as St. Bonaventure held on to defeat Delaware, 80-73, in non-conference action Monday night at the Reilly Center.
The Bonnies, who won their second consecutive game and remained perfect in five home contests this season, improved to 9-4 on the year. Matthew Wright led St. Bonaventure with 23 points, while Youssou Ndoye added 15 points and six blocks. Charlon Kloof contributed nine points and seven assists for the Bonnies, who shot 52.3 percent from the field and handed out a season-high 23 assists.
Junior guard Kyle Anderson led Delaware with 23 points, including 20 after halftime, while going 7 of 12 from three-point range. Anderson, the CAA leader in three-pointers made and three-point percentage, fell one triple short of the UD single game record, a mark he tied earlier this year at Charleston Southern. Devon Saddler reached double figures for the fourth consecutive game with 18 points, while Davon Usher posted his second double-double of the campaign by contributing 17 points and a game-best 10 rebounds.
Carl Baptiste chipped in with eight points and nine boards for the Blue Hens, who fell to 6-7 on the year and shot just 38.4 percent from the field during the contest. Delaware was playing its sixth consecutive game outside of Newark, and will return home on Wednesday to host Liberty at 3 p.m. in a New Year’s Day matchup.
“Wright pretty much had his way in terms of driving the ball into the lane,” Blue Hen head coach Monté Ross remarked. “Ndoye was a load for us to defend, and really battled Carl (Baptiste) tonight. If we want to be successful in March, we know we have to improve on the defensive end of the floor. It will be good to get this bad taste out of our mouth and rectify this loss on Wednesday.”
Delaware led 5-2 early on but then missed its next nine field goal attempts, as the Bonnies held the Blue Hens scoreless for five and a half minutes while using an 11-0 run to take an eight-point cushion at the 13:16 mark.
The Blue Hens still trailed by eight at 30-22 following an Usher basket with 4:30 on the clock, but the Bonnies used a 10-4 spurt to go up 14 points in the final minute of the period. Usher scored just before the buzzer, his sixth field goal of the half, as Delaware closed within 40-28 at the break.
After going down 15 early in the second half, Delaware battled to within 49-41 at the 14:51 mark following an Usher layup and an Anderson three-pointer. Anderson knocked down his third triple of the half to again make it an eight-point contest at 55-47, but the Bonnies answered with eight consecutive points to go up a game-high 16 with 8:53 to play.
The Blue Hens would not quit, as a Saddler three-point play and a three-pointer by Anderson cut the deficit to 73-66 with 2:52 to go. St. Bonaventure misfired on its next two possessions but Delaware could not take advantage, as Usher was denied inside before Saddler misfired on a drive down the lane. The Blue Hens did pull within six at 75-69 with 32 seconds to go, but the Bonnies broke a full court press before Ndoye converted a three-point play to put the game away.
• The Blue Hens dropped their fourth straight road game
• Delaware and St. Bonaventure have now split two all-time meetings
• Saddler needs just two points to reach 1,800 for his career
• Saddler surpassed 600 field goals in his career
• SBU’s 23 assists were the most by a Blue Hen opponent this year