Blue Hens Take Over in Second Half, Halt Skid with 68-59 Win Over Radford in Home Opener
December 4, 2012
Photos Courtesy of Mark Campbell
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NEWARK, Del. -- After playing its first eight games of the season on the road, the return to the Bob Carpenter Center was well worth the wait for the University of Delaware men's basketball squad Tuesday night.
Backed once again by the duo of junior guard Devon Saddler and senior forward Jamelle Hagins (at right), the Blue Hens took control midway through the second half and moved on to a 68-59 win over Radford in the 2012-13 home opener.
Saddler led all scorers with 18 points and also dished out five assists while Hagins posted his sixth double-double of the young season with 16 points and 10 rebounds and also blocked four shots as Delaware (3-6) snapped a five-game losing streak.
Senior forward Josh Brinkley added eight points and seven rebounds and sophomore guard Kyle Anderson chipped in with nine points for the Blue Hens.
"I was pretty happy with our defensive effort tonight," said Delaware head coach Monté Ross. "We imposed our will on them in the second half and limited them to one shot. Our energy was much better in the second half and we were able to create some separation once we started getting the ball inside to Jamelle."
Radford (5-4), which had a three-game win streak snapped, got 14 points each from R.J. Price and Ya Ya Anderson and 13 more from Kion Brown. Anderson hit on 9 of 10 free throws off the bench while Price drained a team-high four three-pointers.
Delaware won its third straight home opener under Ross and extended its home winning streak to seven games dating back to last season.
Saddler (at left), the leading scorer in the Colonial Athletic Association at 21.6 points per game, hit on 6 of 12 shots from the field and also drained four three-pointers to finish with 18 points and surpass the 1,200 point mark for his career, becoming just the 18th player in UD history to reach the milestone.
Hagins, the nation's No. 3 leading rebounder at 12.5 per game, hit on 5 of 12 shots from the field and drained all six free throws to finish with 16 points. He also reached the 900-rebound mark for his career and moved into fourth place on the all-time Delaware list.
Delaware overcame a tough shooting night, hitting just 22 of 58 shots from the field (37.9 percent), by outrebounding the Highlanders by a wide 47-33 margin.
Radford, coming off consecutive wins over Brevard, The Citadel, and Hampton, shot just 37 percent from the field (20 of 54) for the game and was just 9 of 31 (29 percent) in the second half. They were also hampered by 13 of 23 shooting from the foul line.
Delaware, which avenged a season-opening 58-54 setback at Radford a year ago, jumped out to an 13-3 lead in the opening eight minutes of the game but went cold from there as Radford rallied back and tied the game at 27-27 with 1:41 left in the first half. The Hens took a slim 31-30 lead into halftime thanks to two Hagins free throws with 47 seconds left.
The teams traded leads four times in the opening three minutes of the second stanza before the Hens took the lead for good thanks to a 13-1 run that gave them a 49-37 advantage with 11:25 left to play. Saddler scored five points in the run, including a three-pointer to cap the streak.
Delaware led by at least six points the rest of the night as the Blue Hens answered every Highlander comeback.
After Radford pulled to within 56-50 with 7:39 left on two free throws by Ya Ya Anderson, the Hens answered with a 5-0 run highlighted by three Kyle Anderson free throws.
A three-pointer by Price with 1:44 left narrowed the gap to 63-56, but Hagins answered with a jumper in the lane and Jarvis Threatt and Saddler added free throws to end the threat.
Delaware will return to action Saturday when the Hens host in-state foe Delaware State in the annual Route On Rivalry game at 2 p.m. at the BCC.