Blue Hens Stay Unbeaten in CAA Play, Capture Fifth Straight Win with 76-71 Victory Over William & Mary
NEWARK, Del. -- The University of Delaware men's basketball squad remained unbeaten in Colonial Athletic Association play Wednesday night as Devon Saddler scored 21 of his game-high 26 points in the second half and fellow senior Davon Usher (at left) knocked down 15 of his 21 points in the opening stanza to lead the Blue Hens to a 76-71 victory over William & Mary at the Bob Carpenter Center.
Delaware (11-7, 3-0 CAA) remained atop the CAA standings as the Blue Hens won their fifth straight game overall, their fifth straight game at home, and their fifth straight over William & Mary. The Hens are now off to a 3-0 start in league play for the second straight year.
The Tribe (9-6, 1-1 CAA) had a three-game win streak snapped as they squandered a 13-point first half lead as Delaware rallied in the second half.
Jarvis Threatt (below right), who was honored before the game for scoring his 1,000th point earlier this year, added 15 points, six rebounds, and six assists while Carl Baptiste, who was nursing an ankle injury suffered in the win over James Madison Saturday, added six points and eight rebounds off the bench. Saddler, Usher, and Kyle Anderson each pulled down six boards on the night.
Saddler surpassed the 1,900-point mark for his career during the game while Usher, who connected on 5 of 8 three-point attempts, posted his seventh 20-point game of the season and Threatt reached double figures in scoring for the fifth straight outing.
"I thought it was a phenomenal effort by our guys in the second half, both offensively and defensively," said Delaware head coach Monté Ross. "William & Mary is a quality team and to be able to come back on them makes me very proud of our guys. I thought Jarvis Threatt's defensive effort on Marcus Thornton (seven turnovers and 3 of 12 shooting from the field) was as good as I've seen since he got here. Carl (Baptiste) was limited in practice Tuesday but did a great job rebounding inside."
William & Mary placed five scorers in double figures as Tim Rusthoven led the way with 13 points and seven rebounds, Brandon Britt added 12 points off the bench, and Thornton, Terry Tarpey, and Omar Prewitt each contributed 10 points with Tarpey also pulling down 10 rebounds and dishing a team-high four assists.
Prewitt, one of the CAA's top freshmen this season, managed to hit just 1 of 7 three-point attempts as the Tribe went just 9 of 26 for the game from beyond the arc.
Delaware trailed the entire first half and was down by as many as 13 points at 34-21 with 3:27 left in the opening stanza before outscoring the Tribe 11-4 down the stretch to narrow the margin at the break to 38-32.
The Blue Hens kept the momentum up and eventually tied the game at 41-41 with 15:04 left to play. The game would be tied three more times before a three-pointer by Usher with 9:29 left gave the Hens the lead for good at 56-54.
William & Mary pulled to within three points several times the rest of the way but could never regain the lead. Two free throws by Prewitt with 3:09 left cut the Delaware lead to 66-62, but Saddler knocked down all eight of his free throws the rest of the way to ice the game.
Delaware will look to remain unbeaten in league play when the Blue Hens travel to Northeastern Sunday for a 12 noon tip in Boston.