Usher Continues Torrid Streak, Delaware Blasts James Madison 81-65 to Stay Unbeaten in CAA Action
NEWARK, Del. -- The red-hot University of Delaware men's basketball squad continues to roll, and so does Davon Usher.
Usher, coming off a 42-point effort in a comeback win over College of Charleston in his previous outing a week ago, drained 34 more points Wednesday night as the Blue Hens took control early and never looked back in posting an 81-65 victory over James Madison in Colonial Athletic Association play at the Bob Carpenter Center.
The biggest crowd at the BCC in nearly a decade, highlighted by a frenzied student section, was on hand to watch the Blue Hens (19-7, 11-0 CAA) roll to their 13th straight victory overall and their 10th straight triumph at home. The crowd of 4,412 was the largest to fill The Bob since Feb. 19, 2005.
"This was an unbelievable college basketball atmosphere and the students were absolutely fantastic," said Delaware head coach Monté Ross. "This is what college basketball is all about and tonight's atmosphere rivaled any place I have been. Part of this victory goes to our students. They kept our guys fired up the entire night."
Delaware's 13-game win streak is the second longest in school history and seventh longest active streak in NCAA Division I men's basketball.
The Hens' 11-0 start in league play ties the CAA record set by Richmond in 1985-86 and by VCU in 2006-07. The Hens are one of just seven teams in the nation with an undefeated league slate.
Usher, a senior guard out of South Baltimore, Md., continued his scoring spree as he hit on 9 of 17 shots from the field, including four three-pointers, and knocked down 12 of 13 shots from the foul line. Usher, whose 79 points in consecutive games is a new UD record, also pulled down eight rebounds and dished out two assists.
Delaware center Carl Baptiste posted his fifth double-double of the season with 16 points and 11 rebounds despite playing just 22 minutes due to foul trouble while Devon Saddler (above left) contributed nine points, eight assists, and seven rebounds. Baptiste hit on 8 of 10 shots from the field.
"When Davon rises up for a shot, you expect it to go in every time," said Ross of his high-scoring senior, who entered the game averaging 18.6 points per game. "He is a heck of a player. Devon was phenomenal too and controlled the game for us all night."
James Madison (9-17, 4-8 CAA) lost for the fourth time in the last five outings despite Andre Nation's 17 points and Yohanny Dalembert's career-high 15 points and 13 rebounds off the bench.
Nation scored in double figures for the eighth straight game.The Dukes shot just 32.3 percent from the field for the game (20 of 62) and hit just 3 of 15 three-point attempts.
The Blue Hens led by just four points midway through the opening half but broke away on a 14-3 run with Usher's seven points leading the way. The lead ballooned to 51-32 at halftime as the Hens posted their most productive first half since scoring 52 vs. New Hampshire on Jan. 25, 2001.
Delaware led by at least 15 points the entire second half and pushed the lead to as much as 22 points at 81-59 with 3:25 left to play.
The Blue Hens will continue action Monday, Feb. 17, when they travel to Towson for a 7 p.m. tip. Delaware, which swept the season series from JMU, also defeated Towson 83-76 back on Jan. 25.