Carter's Free Throws Help Delaware Hold Off Lafayette, 67-64
November 27, 2010
Photo courtesy of Mark Jordan
EASTON, Pa. -- Blue Hen senior guard Jawan Carter scored a game-high 24 points and hit six free throws in the final minute as the University of Delaware men’s basketball team held off Lafayette, 67-64, Saturday afternoon at the Kirby Sports Center.
The Blue Hens, who improved to 2-2 on the season, snapped an 11-game road losing streak while posting consecutive victories for the first time since defeating Lafayette and Drexel last season. Delaware had also lost 22 straight in Easton and hadn’t won at Lafayette since a 91-89 four-overtime triumph on December 7, 1968, although UD’s previous visit hadn’t occurred since the 1989-90 season.
Lafayette, which dropped its third straight game, fell to 1-5 on the season.
Carter (at right), who scored just seven total points in the Blue Hens’ first two games this season, has now scored 24 in each of the last two. He hit four three-pointers and was a perfect 12 of 12 from the free throw line on the day, while also adding a season-high five rebounds. D.J. Boney contributed seven crucial second half points, while Jamelle Hagins and Kelvin McNeil also scored seven apiece and Alphonso Dawson posted six points to go with a team-best six rebounds.
Delaware also got a big lift from senior point guard Brian Johnson, who returned to the court for the first time in a year and a half. Johnson, who missed all of last season with an ACL injury and the first three games this year after suffering a torn meniscus, scored five points in 16 minutes of action.
The Blue Hens, who did not trail the entire contest, led 59-51 with 4:44 remaining following two free throws by Boney, but the Leopards mounted a late comeback attempt. Jared Mintz, who finished with a team-high 22 points and was largely responsible for Delaware’s top three big men all fouling out, ignited the spurt with two free throws and later added a layup to make it a four-point game.
Jim Mower then intercepted a pass from Carter and converted at the other end to cut Delaware’s lead to 59-57 with 2:37 left, while Mintz added two free throws at the 1:30 mark as Lafayette drew even for the first time since the opening tip. Carter then missed a jumper but Boney grabbed a key offensive rebound, and Devon Saddler hit one free throw after being fouled on a drive to the basket.
Mower was then called for travelling with 40 seconds to play, and Carter hit a pair of foul shots eight seconds later to put the Blue Hens in front, 62-59. Mintz then found Nick Petkovich for a backdoor layup as Lafayette pulled within one at the 16-second mark, but Carter again was fouled and again hit both free throws to extend the lead back to three.
The Leopards’ Tony Johnson was fouled with eight seconds left but missed both free throws, while Kelvin McNeil collected the board and hit one of two to make it a 65-61 game with 7.5 seconds to play. Johnson drained a three-pointer with three seconds left but Carter was fouled again and for the third straight trip went 2 for 2 as Delaware went ahead 67-64 with 2.3 on the clock. Les Smith’s desperation heave from over half court was nowhere close to the basket, giving Delaware its fifth consecutive victory over Lafayette.
“I’m really proud of the guys because it was a team effort, and we had to overcome some adversity that will definitely help us down the road,” said UD fifth-year head coach Monté Ross. “Jawan’s free throw shooting has always been at a high level, and I feel like anytime he goes to the line, it’s going to be two points for us. It was great for Brian to get back out on the court since he’s our emotional leader, and he hit some big shots for us today.”
Delaware used a strong defensive effort to jump out to an early lead, as a basket inside by Hakim McCullar gave the Blue Hens a 7-1 advantage four and half minutes into the contest. UD, which held Howard without a point for nearly 10 minutes in the Blue Hens’ previous game, limited Lafayette without a field goal for the opening 9:50 as the Leopards started 0 of 9 from the field until Levi Giese scored while getting fouled with 10:10 remaining in the half.
After starting out cold during the opening 10 minutes as well, the Blue Hens began to heat up. Carter drilled a three-pointer, and after a dunk by Hagins, Carter and Dawson each connected from long range before Dawson scored inside to give UD a 22-10 lead at the 6:56 mark.
Carter, who tied the UD single game record with eight three-pointers against Howard, then hit another two triples, the second with five minutes remaining that put the Blue Hens on top, 29-16. He added a pair of free throws with 3:09 on the clock to extend the margin to 31-20 but a three-point play by Mintz, a layup by Tony Johnson and a three-pointer by Petkovich gave the Leopards an 8-0 run to pull within three.
Carter answered with another two free throws, and after an inside basket by Mintz, Brian Johnson converted a driving layup just before the buzzer as Delaware took a 35-30 halftime advantage.
Both teams struggled from the field early in the second period, and a free throw by Mintz cut Delaware’s lead to 42-38 with 12:33 to play. However the Blue Hens exploded with a 10-0 run, taking their largest lead of the day at 52-38 at the 10:24 mark. Carter ignited the spurt with a pair of free throws, and after a three-pointer by Johnson, McNeil scored five straight points to extend the margin to 14.
Lafayette quickly responded with six consecutive points, but Boney drilled a three-pointer from the right wing to make it a 55-44 game with 7:53 on the clock. After the Leopards closed to within four, Saddler scored in the paint and Boney hit two free throws to put Delaware back up 59-51 with 4:44 remaining before Lafayette began its comeback.
Delaware returns to action next Saturday when the Blue Hens open Colonial Athletic Association play by hosting Old Dominion at 7 p.m. at the Bob Carpenter Center.Back To Men's Basketball Home Men's Basketball Story Archive