Blue Hens Drop Heartbreaker in Overtime, Fall to Delaware State 73-67 in Route 1 Rivalry Thriller
December 8, 2012
Photos Courtesy of Mark Campbell
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NEWARK, Del. -- The annual Route 1 Rivalry in men’s basketball between the University of Delaware and Delaware State added another exciting chapter Saturday afternoon at the Bob Carpenter Center.
Unfortunately for the Blue Hens, the heartbreak this time was on their side.
The Blue Hens had appeared to lock the game up after Devon Saddler hit a short jumper in the lane and Terrell Rogers drained two free throws for a 60-57 lead with 14 seconds left. But Delaware State's Amere May sent the game into overtime with a three-pointer from the top of the key with five seconds left in regulation to extend the game and the Hornets took control from the outset in the extra session on the way to a thrilling 73-67 victory.
Delaware (3-7) had a seven-game home winning streak dating back to last season snapped while the Hornets won for the first time ever at the BCC in six visits. Delaware entered the game having won 10 of the 12 meetings between the state’s only two NCAA Divison I programs. Delaware State had won in Newark only one other time when it downed the Hens 99-95 in the first-ever meeting between the two on Dec. 5, 1991 in the Delaware Field House.
Saddler, the leading scorer in the Colonial Athletic Association at 21.2 points per game, led the Hens with a team-high 16 points while Jamelle Hagins (at right) notched his seventh double-double of the season with 15 points and 15 rebounds, and Kyle Anderson (below left) dropped in 12 points. Delaware hit just 12 of 42 shots after halftime, including just 3 of 13 in the extra session as DSU pulled away.
Delaware State (5-5), which won its second straight game following a five-game losing streak, got a game-high 24 points, including 17 after halftime, from Tahj Tate, who also led the Hornets with 10 rebounds. Tyshaw Bell came off the bench to add a career-high tying15 points for Delaware State. The Hornets outrebounded the Hens 45-39. Tate, the reigning MEAC Rookie of the Year, posted his third 20-point scoring effort of the season.
The game, which was tied at 60-60 after regulation, featured 11 ties and 13 lead changes and neither team ever led by more than eight points the entire contest. The Hornets took control quickly in overtime as Bell knocked down a three-pointer just 37 seconds in and Tate and Oliver each converted a free throw. Delaware pulled to within 65-63 on a dunk and free throw by Hagins with 1:49 left, but Tate started a 6-0 run with a layup and Delaware State never looked back.
“We have to be better,” said Delaware head coach Monté Ross. “We have to practice better and play better and shooting 35 percent (24 of 69) in your own building is cause for concern. We are down right now, but we have the type of team that will turn this around. Delaware State was able to take us out of our offense in overtime and that first three they hit put us on our heels.”
Despite missing its first seven shots from the field and falling behind 10-2 in the opening five minutes, Delaware State battled back and took a 31-29 lead into the break. The first five minutes of the second half featured four ties before Tate scored seven straight points and Bell knocked down a three-pointer to give Delaware State its biggest lead of the day at 45-37 with 12:20 left in regulation.
But Delaware settled down and methodically rallied back, eventually tying the game at 51-51 on a Josh Brinkley free throw and taking the lead back on a three-pointer by Rogers with 6:17 remaining.
Delaware State regained the lead on two free throws by Bell with 3:48 left and Kendall Gray converted inside for a 57-54 DSU lead at the three-minute mark. But Delaware answered right away as Anderson knocked down a medium range jumper and Saddler went up strong over three DSU players in the lane to drop in a jumper with 48 seconds left to give the Hens a 58-57 lead.
After Tate missed a three-pointer for Delaware State, the Hens got the rebound and Rogers was fouled. The freshmen coolly sank both shots to give Delaware a 60-57 lead with 14 seconds left.
But Delaware State came back to extend the game as May dropped back at the top of the key and hit a deep three-pointer over Anderson - his only three attempt of the game - with five seconds left to send the game into overtime.
Delaware will look to get back on the winning track next Sunday when the Hens head to Villanova for a non-league encounter at 4 p.m. The game will be televised live nationally on ESPNU.