Drexel Holds Off Delaware Men's Basketball, 69-65, To Spoil Blue Hens' Senior Day
NEWARK, Del. -- The Drexel University men's basketball team used a crucial six-point run late in the contest to take the lead for good and held on for a 69-65 victory over the University of Delaware, spoiling the Blue Hens' Senior Day Sunday afternoon at the Bob Carpenter Center.
Tavon Allen scored a career-high 25 points for the Dragons, who improved to 15-12 overall and 7-7 in the Colonial Athletic Association and avenged a 90-77 setback to the Blue Hens back on Jan. 20 in Philadelphia.
Delaware’s most-played and fiercest rivalry attracted a large and spirited gathering to the BCC Sunday as the sellout crowd of 5,122 was the eighth largest in 21-year history of the facility and the highest since the 2001-02 season.
Delaware senior Devon Saddler scored 20 points in his final regular season home game for the league-leading Blue Hens, who had a 10-game home winning streak snapped while falling to 20-9 overall and 12-2 in league play.
The Hens, who went 10-2 at the BCC this season, lost at home for the first time since a 95-93 setback to Charleston Southern on Nov. 10.
Saddler, Delaware’s all-time leading scorer, posted his 13th 20-point effort of the season. Fellow senior Davon Usher (at left) added 19 points on the afternoon while freshman Cazmon Hayes contributed a season-high 10 points. Senior Carl Baptiste narrowly missed his fourth consecutive double-double with nine points and a team-best 11 rebounds.
“I’m very thankful that our fans came out today,” said Delaware head coach Monté Ross. “It’s fitting to send our seniors out with a packed house. We probably took some shots we’d like to have back down the stretch, that’s something we haven’t done all year. Cazmon (Hayes) is playing with a lot of confidence, and his play was admirable for a young player."
Baptiste converted a putback to put Delaware in front 63-62 with 2:42 to play, but Saddler then missed four consecutive shots while the Dragons took advantage with six straight points to forge ahead 68-63 with 39 seconds left.
Usher was fouled on a three-point attempt and hit two free throws with 34 seconds remaining, but Drexel's Rodney Williams converted one free throw at the 29-second mark to push the lead to four. The Blue Hens then missed three straight shots, including a Saddler layup and two Kyle Anderson three-point attempts, and the Dragons ran out the clock for the victory.
Delaware came out strong, jumping out to a 10-1 lead four minutes into the contest thanks to three-pointers from Anderson and Usher and a dunk by Baptiste. But Drexel settled down and took the lead at 14-13 just five minutes later. After six lead changes, the Hens went into halftime up 33-31 on a Saddler three-pointer and a layup by Hayes over the final 1:29 of the stanza.
The Blue Hens will finish out the season on the road at UNCW (Feb. 26) and College of Charleston (Mar. 1) this week.