Hot-Shooting Blue Hens Outlast Delaware State 80-70 to Win Intrastate Battle
DOVER, Del. -- Blue Hen senior Davon Usher (below left) had another stellar outing with 23 points and eight rebounds as the University of Delaware men’s basketball team used a big second half to post an 80-70 victory over intrastate rival Delaware State Monday night at Memorial Hall.
Usher also handed out a season-high six assists and went 10 of 10 from the foul line for the Blue Hens, who improved to 3-3 on the season. Jarvis Threatt added 17 points and six rebounds, while Kyle Anderson reached double figures for the fifth straight game with 12 points on 4 of 6 long range shooting.
Kendall Gray scored 19 points on 8 of 11 shooting for the Hornets, who dropped their fourth straight game while dropping to 1-4 on the year. Casey Walker added 17 points on the night, while Tyshawn Bell chipped in with 12.
The Blue Hens, who improved to 6-1 in seven all-time trips to Dover, reached the 80-point mark for the fifth consecutive game and finished 23 of 27 from the foul line.
After the Blue Hens took an early 6-4 lead on a pair of Anderson three-pointers, the Hornets used a 9-0 run to go in front 13-6 at the 12:44 mark of the first half. Delaware countered with a seven-point spurt to knot the game at 15-15, and following a Hornets basket, Threatt and Usher scored inside to put the Blue Hens back on top with eight and a half minutes on the clock.
Delaware would go without a field goal for the next seven minutes, but remained in front due to 9 of 10 free throw shooting during that stretch. The margin was a single point following a Bell layup with 1:35 left but two Devonne Pinkard free throws, a Baptiste layup and an Usher jumper just before the buzzer give Delaware its largest lead of the half at 32-25.
The Blue Hens stormed out of the gate in the second period, as two Baptiste baskets were followed by another Anderson triple as Delaware extended the advantage to 39-25 and forced a Hornets time out with 18:16 to play.
UD was still up 43-31 on a Baptiste layup but Delaware State erupted for an 8-0 run, pulling within 43-39 on a Walker layup at the 14:40 mark. However the Blue Hens immediately answered, as Threatt scored inside before Usher buried a three-pointer to increase the advantage back to nine with 13 and a half minutes to go.
Four minutes later Usher buried a triple to extend the margin to double figures, while a Hayes putback made it a 57-45 game with 7:55 remaining. UD continued to extend the lead, as three-pointers by Threatt, Usher and Hayes on consecutive possessions put Delaware in front 71-55 with 4:20 minutes to play.
The Hornets made one last run, as an 8-0 Delaware State run cut the Blue Hens’ lead to 73-66 at the 1:34 mark. But the Hornets would not get closer, as Delaware hit 5 of 6 free throws from there.
“It wasn’t the prettiest game, but we will learn from it,” said Blue Hen head coach Monté Ross. “We weren’t as sharp down the stretch as we need to be, but I’d rather learn from a win than a loss. Davon (Usher) has a very high basketball IQ, and everybody feeds off him due to his energy and positive attitude. I was really happy to see Cazmon (Hayes) take advantage of his minutes tonight as well.”
• Delaware improved to 11-3 all-time against Delaware State
• UD, which leads the CAA in three-point shooting, went 9 of 19 from behind the arc
• The Blue Hens held a 38-30 rebounding advantage
• Delaware has reached 80 points in five straight games for the first time since 1999
• The Blue Hens are back home Saturday to host Robert Morris at 12 noon