Blue Hens Race Past Drexel, 90-77, To Extend Winning Streak To Seven and Remain Perfect in CAA
The Blue Hens improved to 13-7 overall, while their 5-0 league start matches the 2007-08 squad for the most consecutive CAA victories to open a season. Delaware also won for the third time in as many league road games this year, and has now won 14 of its last 16 CAA road contests.
Senior guard Devon Saddler again led the way by pouring in 23 points, his sixth consecutive game over 20 points, to go with eight rebounds and seven assists on the night. Jarvis Threatt (at left) added 18 points, nine assists and three steals, while Marvin King-Davis (below right) celebrated his 21st birthday by pouring in 15 points. Davon Usher contributed 12 points before leaving the game late with a groin injury, while Carl Baptiste chipped in 10 points and six boards.
Delaware, which shot 56.0 percent during Saturday’s win at Northeastern, went 35 of 62 from the floor to shoot a season-high 56.5 percent against the Dragons. Baptiste, who entered the game with 10 consecutive field goals made, connected on his first three field goal attempts tonight to tie the school record of 13 straight held by Greg Smith.
The Blue Hens, who scored 90 points against Drexel for the first time since Jan. 11, 2000, also held a commanding 44-27 rebounding advantage over the Dragons.
Frantz Massenat posted his second double-double of the season with 20 points and 10 assists for Drexel, which fell to 10-8 overall and 2-3 in league play. Tavon Allen came off the bench to score 19 points and knock down five three-pointers, while Chris Fouch contributed 18 points.
“I’m really happy that we were able to come in here and earn the victory,” said eighth-year Delaware head coach Monté Ross. “I’m very proud of the guys; we look forward to winning in tough road environments like Drexel. In a rivalry like this you knew Drexel was going to make a run, but we did a good job of withstanding it during the second half.”
Delaware, which had trailed at the half during each of its first four CAA games, made sure that did not happen tonight by exploding for 48 points in the opening 20 minutes. The Blue Hens used an early 13-2 spurt to take a 17-7 lead following a Kyle Anderson three-pointer, and connected on 15 of its first 21 shots from the field while extending the advantage to 39-27 lead on a Saddler stepback jumper at the 6:12 mark.
The lead grew to as much as 16, while Threatt found Baptiste for a bucket to close the first half scoring and give the Blue Hens a 48-32 margin at the break. Delaware shot 19 of 32 (59.4%) during the opening 20 minutes and went 7 of 8 from the foul line while posting its highest first half output of the season. Meanwhile the Blue Hens limited the Dragons to just 35.3 percent shooting, including just one basket in the final 5:47 of the stanza.
“We haven’t played a first half like that all season, and it seemed like every shot was going in,” Saddler said.
Drexel opened second half with a quick 7-0 run, as Fouch hit a layup with 17:33 left to bring the Dragons within 48-39 and force a Delaware timeout. But Baptiste ended the run with a jumphook inside, and it was a 10-point game before Saddler scored three straight buckets to put the Blue Hens back up 16 at 67-51 with nine and a half minutes to play.
Cazmon Hayes extended the run to 8-0 with a pair of free throws, and after Allen knocked down a jumper for Drexel, Devonne Pinkard buried a three-pointer to give the Blue Hens their largest lead of the night at 72-53 with 7:19 remaining.
The Dragons eventually closed within 82-72 at the 2:45 mark, but Threatt found King-Davis for a dunk and then hit two free throws to make it a 14-point game, and Delaware led by double figures the rest of the way.
The Blue Hens return home Saturday to host Towson at 12 noon in a matchup of the only two remaining unbeaten teams in the CAA.