Big Second Half Effort Lifts Delaware Past Hofstra, 81-76, in CAA Tournament First Round
NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. -- The University of Delaware men’s basketball team rallied back from an eight-point halftime deficit with an impressive second half shooting performance as the Blue Hens posted an 81-76 victory over Hofstra in a CAA Tournament First Round game Friday night at the North Charleston Coliseum.
Delaware, the ninth seed in the tournament, improves to 13-19 overall while snapping a three-game losing streak. The Blue Hens will face top-seeded UNCW in the quarterfinals Saturday at 12 noon, televised locally on The Comcast Network.
Eighth-seeded Hofstra, which swept Delaware during the regular season and had won the last six meetings between the two teams, ends its season with a 15-17 record.
UD freshman Ryan Daly, who accepted the CAA Rookie of the Year trophy prior to the game, again led the way with 27 points, 11 rebounds and six assists while posting his fifth double-double of the season.
Eric Carter (at left) also notched a double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds, while Anthony Mosley (below right) contributed 13 points and Cazmon Hayes supplied 10 on the night.
Delaware trailed 47-39 at the half, but hit 15 of its 23 second half field goal attempts to complete the comeback victory. The Blue Hens’ 55.6 field goal percentage for the game was the third highest of the season.
“This is a great win for our program,” first-year Blue Hen head coach Martin Ingelsby said. “We’ve really improved as a basketball team; our guys got some rest earlier in the week and were ready to go tonight. I’m proud of how we played on the defensive end during the second half; Hofstra has a talented group and to hold them to 29 second half points is a testament to how our guys battled. Ryan (Daly) has been fabulous all year, he is the ultimate competitor and continues to improve as a player.”
Second team All-CAA selection Justin Wright-Foreman paced Hofstra with 23 points and knocked down four three-pointers, while Deron Powers chipped in 18 points, Eli Pemberton had 12, and Brian Bernardi scored 11. The Pride connected at a 56.0 percent clip in the opening half, but was limited to 37.9 percent shooting during the final 20 minutes.
The teams were knotted at 29-29 with 4:33 to play in the opening half, but Hofstra scored the next 10 points over a two-minute span and took an eight-point lead into the break.
But Delaware chipped away before eventually pulling even at 54-54 with 14:09 left following a three-pointer by Daly from the top of the key.
The Blue Hens took their first lead of the half when Mosley converted a three-point play with 10:45 to go, while a free throw by Carter extended the margin to 66-62 at the 7:55 mark.
Hofstra later scored five straight points to go back in front 72-71, and a Rokas Gustys layup with 2:38 to play tied the game at 74-74.
After both teams had two empty possessions Carter hit a jumphook in the lane, and after a Bernardi miss, Carter added a pair of clutch free throws with 22 seconds left to put Delaware up four.
Powers answered with a layup for the Pride, but after Hayes went one of two from the line, Powers missed a three-pointer before Daly sealed the win by hitting two free throws with four seconds on the clock.
• Delaware won its opening game at the CAA Tournament for the first time since 2014
• The Blue Hens improved to 5-2 in seven postseason meetings with the Pride, and has won all three CAA Tournament matchups
• Daly reached double figures for the 10th straight game and notched his 10th 20-point effort of the season
• Carter posted his second career double-double, while his 19 points are one shy of his career-high
• Delaware held a 36-27 advantage on the glass
• Wright-Foreman scored in double figures for the 22nd consecutive game
• UNCW won both meetings against UD this season: 91-81 in Newark on Jan. 7 and 108-80 in Wilmington on Feb. 4
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