Blue Hens Open CAA Action with a Bang, Knock Off Defending Champion Old Dominion 75-67
December 4, 2010
Photos courtesy of Mark Campbell
NEWARK, Del. -- The University of Delaware opened the Colonial Athletic Association men’s basketball slate with a bang Saturday night as the Blue Hens led the entire second half and knocked off defending league champion Old Dominion 75-67 at the Bob Carpenter Center.
Blue Hen senior guard Jawan Carter (at right) registered his third straight 20-point effort with a game-high 29 points, including several clutch free throws down the stretch and 6 of 12 shooting from beyond the three-point arc, as Delaware (3-2, 1-0 CAA) held off every Monarch run on the way to their third straight win. The win streak is the longest for Delaware since a three-game streak in December, 2008.
Sophomore Jamelle Hagins (bottom left) added 12 points, nine rebounds, and four blocks for the Blue Hens and freshman Devon Saddler chipped in with 13 points as the Hens snapped a personal three-game losing streak to the Monarchs and downed ODU for just the second time in the last 10 matchups.
“We are one of the better defensive teams in the league and tonight it showed, said Delaware head coach Monté Ross, who improved to 2-3 in conference openers during his five-year tenure with the win. “We got out to a lead in the second half and our guys were excited. When ODU made a few runs, we responded each time. Our big guys really impacted the game and played well defensively inside.”
Old Dominion (5-2, 0-1 CAA), which has earned votes in the Associated Press Top 25 poll this season thanks to recent victories over Clemson and Xavier, had a five-game win streak snapped. Frank Hassell led the Monarchs with 19 points and nine rebounds while Kent Bazemore had 17 points and 10 rebounds, Trian Iliadis added 11 points, and Ben Finney chipped in with nine points and 12 rebounds.
Carter, who was coming off consecutive 24-point performances in wins over Howard and Lafayette, erupted for his season-high with 29 points as he hit on 6 of 12 three-pointers and was 11 of 15 from the foul line. He converted seven free throws in the final 51 seconds to keep the Monarchs at bay.
After the teams traded leads and ties over the first 10 minutes of the game, the Hens grabbed the lead for good when Carter drained a three-pointer with 9:57 left in the first half to put the Hens up 11-8. Old Dominion never gained the lead the rest of the night, but they got close plenty of times.
Delaware went up by as much nine points in the first half at 19-10 on another trey by Carter and settled for a 29-24 lead at the break. The Blue Hen lead fluctuated between 2 and 11 points the entire second half and every time the Monarchs got close, Delaware found away to hold them off.
Old Dominion pulled to within 37-35 on an Iliadis three-pointer with 14:33 left, but Carter answered with a three of his own to increase the lead to five and then later hit a three-pointer and two more free throws to push the advantage to 47-37 with 11:28 remaining.
Delaware built its biggest lead of the game to 11 points twice over the next four minutes, going up 54-43 on a Saddler three-point play with 9:34 left and again at 56-45 on a Hagins layup with 8:35 remaining.
Old Dominion mounted another comeback from there, scoring nine straight points, including five by Hassell, to cut the margin to 56-54 with 5:24 left. But the Monarchs would never get closer as Hakim McCullar followed with a free throw, Saddler drained a jumper, and Carter struck again from beyond the three-point line to push the margin back to eight points. ODU pulled to within five points twice in the final minute but each time Carter responded with free throws to preserve the victory.