Blue Hens Get Big Efforts from Saddler and Hagins, Anderson Hits Key Three as Delaware Holds Off Lafayette 81-78
November 26, 2011
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Photos Courtesy of Mark Campbell
NEWARK, Del. -- The University of Delaware got a career-high 32 points from Devon Saddler (at right) and 13 points and 14 rebounds from Jamelle Hagins, but a big tie-breaking three-pointer from freshman Kyle Anderson in the final minute was the key play as it helped the Blue Hens hold off Lafayette for an 81-78 non-league men's basketball victory Saturday afternoon at the Bob Carpenter Center.
The Hens (2-2), who have now won their first two home games of the season for the second straight year, built a 14-point second half lead but had to hold off the Leopards down the stretch to win their second straight game.
Anderson (below left), a freshman guard from Newark, Ill. who has battled injuries in the early part of the season, contributed 16 points and nailed his biggest shot of the game with 30 seconds left when his three-pointer broke a 75-75 tie. A free throw by Saddler with 10 seconds left and two more from Khalid Lewis with three seconds remaining preserved the victory.
"We have to learn how to win games when we have the lead and find a way to put teams away," said Delaware head coach Monté Ross. "Some freshmen hit some big shots for us today and Devon was Devon. When we get those contributions, it's normally going to be a positive outcome for us. Kyle has ice water in his veins. When he gets healthy, he is really going to be a force for us."
Lafayette (3-3), which lost for the second time in the last three outings, rallied back thanks to some precise three-point shooting as the Leopards knocked down 9 of 13 from long range in the second half and 11 of 29 for the game. Jim Mower, coming off a 37-point performance vs. Fairleigh Dickinson Wednesday night when he knocked down 10 treys, led Lafayette with 19 points while Rob Delaney netted a career-high 17 points, Seth Hinrichs added 13 points, and Ryan Willen chipped in with 10 markers.
Willen's three-pointer with four seconds left pulled Lafayette to within a point at 79-78 but Lewis then iced the win with his two shots from the charity stripe just one second later. A deep three-pointer by Mower from 30-feet out that could have tied the game bounced high off the rim and over the backboard as the horn sounded. Despite his 19-point effort, Mower hit just 2 of 10 shots from beyond the arc.
Saddler, who has led the Blue Hens in scoring all four times this season and netted 20 or more points in three straight games, entered the contest averaging 22.0 points per game. He surpassed his previous career-high of 27 points set eight days ago in a 79-69 loss at Villanova as he hit on 11 of 22 shots from the field, drained 3 of 9 three-point attempts, and added four rebounds and three assists in 38 minutes. He scored 17 of his points in the first half to stake the Hens to a 44-30 lead at the break.
Hagins (at right) recorded his sixth career double-double with 13 points and 14 rebounds and also added three blocked shots while Lewis contributed nine points, four rebounds, and four assists in addition to his clutch free throws.
Delaware enjoyed a solid shooting night as the Hens hit on 30 of 56 shots from the field (53.6 percent), knocked down 7 of 16 three-pointers (43.8 percent), and was true on 14 of 19 free throws, including 12 of 15 in the second half.
The Blue Hens, who defeated Lafayette for the sixth straight time, trailed for the first six minutes of the game before breaking off on a 16-3 spurt culminating with an Anderson three-pointer with 3:08 left that put them up 40-27. Another Anderson jumper followed by Saddler’s field goal at the buzzer gave the Hens a 44-30 halftime cushion.
Delaware stayed in front by double digits early in the second half before Lafayette used back-to-back three-pointers by Mower and Hinrichs to cut the lead to 50-45. But the Hens answered with an 11-2 run of their own to push the lead back to 14 points at 61-47 with 12:01 remaining.
Thanks to some pinpoint accuracy from outside, the Leopards stayed in the game, eventually pulling to within 67-66 with 4:07 left on two Mower free throws and finally tying the game at 73-73 on two more Mower free throws with 1:30 left to play.
Saddler answered with a layup with 1:14 left as the Hens regained the lead, but Mower once again used his free throwing shooting prowess to knot the score as his two free throws tied it again at 75-75 with 57 seconds left.
Anderson then followed with his big three-pointer that put the Hens ahead for good as he connected from the right wing off a pass from Saddler. After Lafayette’s Nick Petkovich misfired on a three-pointer, Saddler was fouled and hit one of two free throws to up the lead to 79-75 with 10 seconds remaining. Lafayette’s Willen followed with his three-pointer with four seconds left but the Leopards would get no closer as Lewis was fouled on the inbounds pass and calmly sank both free throws at the other end to clinch the win.
Delaware will continue action next Wednesday, Nov. 30, as the Hens head to Boston to take on Boston University at 7 p.m. at Case Gymnasium.