Blue Hens Continue To Roll, Post Ninth Straight Win With 89-72 Victory at William & Mary
WILLIAMSBURG, Va. -- The University of Delaware men’s basketball team remained unbeaten in the CAA and continued its impressive start to the conference season as the Blue Hens jumped in front early and never trailed from there during an 89-72 victory over William & Mary Wednesday night at Kaplan Arena.
The Blue Hens, who improved to 15-7 overall and a perfect 7-0 in the conference, won their ninth straight game and improved to 4-0 in league road contests this season. Delaware has now claimed its last eight CAA road games and is 15-2 in its last 17 conference outings away from Newark.
UD senior guard Davon Usher led the offensive attack by pouring in a game-high 28 points, going 9 of 15 from the field including 6 of 9 from three-point range. Senior forward Carl Baptiste scored a career-high 23 points on 9 of 11 shooting from the field, while fellow senior Devon Saddler produced an exceptional all-around effort of 19 points, seven assists, six rebounds and four steals. Saddler has now scored 1,995 career points and needs just five more to become the second player in UD history to reach the 2,000-point mark.
Junior Kyle Anderson was the fourth Blue Hen in double figures with 11 points, while he added a career-high 10 rebounds to post the first double-double of his career. Delaware, which was playing its first game since the suspensions of Jarvis Threatt and Marvin King-Davis, shot 51.6 percent from the field and knocked down 10 of 22 shots from behind the arc. The Blue Hens have now shot over 50 percent in three of their last four games.
William & Mary, which had a two-game winning streak snapped and a four-game home winning streak halted, dropped to 12-8 overall and 4-3 in league play. Marcus Thornton paced the Tribe with 19 points and five assists, while Daniel Dixon chipped in with 15 points off the bench.
“This is one of the most unbelievable performances that I’ve seen from a Delaware team, to be honest,” said eighth-year Blue Hen head coach Monté Ross. “To be able to respond against a William & Mary team that has a lot of firepower and come out with the win in a very hostile environment is very satisfying. We showed a lot of poise, toughness and composure tonight. It’s a sign of a pretty good program that can lose two key guys and still beat a quality opponent on the road.”
In a game featuring the top two scoring teams in the CAA Delaware exploded out of the gate, using an early 11-0 run to take a 13-3 lead and force a William & Mary time out five minutes into the contest. The advantage expanded to 23-6 at the 10:15 mark following consecutive Usher three-pointers, while later in the half a Cazmon Hayes triple culminated an 8-0 Blue Hen run that put Delaware up 39-17 with 4:36 on the clock.
The margin grew to a game-high 24 a minute later when Usher drilled his fourth three-pointer of the period, and after the Tribe cut the lead in half with a 15-3 spurt, Saddler scored just before the final horn to give the Blue Hens a 47-33 advantage at the break.
The teams traded baskets early in the second half, before a 7-0 William & Mary run finally pulled the Tribe within single digits at 59-50 with 12:10 remaining. But Delaware would immediately answer, as Saddler scored inside to ignite a 10-2 spurt that put the Blue Hens back up 17 at 69-52 with 8:37 left.
The Blue Hens cruised from there, leading by at least 14 points the rest of the way.
Delaware begins a four-game homestand on Saturday with a 12 noon home game against UNCW.
• UD went undefeated in January for the fourth time in school history, and the first since 1966-67
• UD is 7-0 in league play for just the second time in school history, along with 1991-92 team that went 14-0 in North Atlantic Conference
• Delaware’s eight-game conference road winning streak is tied for the second longest in school history
• Devon Saddler narrowly missed scoring 20 points in his eighth straight game, which would have been a school record
• Cazmon Hayes scored six points off the bench, tied for his second highest output of the season
• Delaware held a 42-30 rebounding advantage