Photo: Mark Campbell
The University of Delaware men’s basketball team has now won seven straight games, as the team defeated the Elon University Phoenix 81-75 on Thursday at Schar Center.
During this seven-game winning streak, Delaware has loved to win the games close and right at the very end. The Hens have won by an average of 3.85 points in this winning streak.
The leading scorer of the game for the Blue Hens was redshirt junior guard Nate Darling who had 24 points.
Three other Blue Hen players scored in double digits which were junior guard Ryan Allen (13), junior guard Kevin Anderson (13) and redshirt junior forward Dylan Painter (13).
Delaware had the advantage in multiple categories in this game which included points in the paint (32-16), second-chance points (10-8), fast-break points (5-0), rebounds (31-25) and steals (9-5).
The Blue Hens also bested Elon in shooting percentage by shooting 55.8 %(29-52) and the Phoenix shot 50.0 % (26-52). Delaware also had the advantage at the three-point line by shooting 45.0 %(9-20) and Phoenix shot 44.1 % (15-34).
Related: Darling’s Last Second Layup Gives Delaware An 80-78 Win Vs James Madison
Darling Scores 15 In The First To Give Hens Five Point Lead At Half
The leading scorer for Delaware in the first half was Nate Darling who had 15 points. Delaware was soaring in the first half, as in terms of shooting the ball as the team shot 55.6 % (15-27). The Blue Hens also shot 83.3 % (5-6) at the free-throw line in the first half.
Elon shot 46.2 % (12-26) in the first half and the team also shot 100.0 % (7-7) at the free-throw line.
The game started with the Phoenix flying out to a 7-3 which would grow in the next couple minutes to a 12-6 lead with 15:29 left in the first half.
At the 15:07 minute mark, Delaware would start finding their groove as the team went on a 19-5 run which gave the Hens a 25-17 lead with 9:56 left in the first. The leaders on this run were Kevin Anderson and Ryan Allen who each scored six of the 19 points.
Starting at the 9:15 minute mark, Elon would outscore Delaware 16-10 which would tighten the Hens lead to two points (35-33) with 3:19 left in the half.
Delaware would outscore the Phoenix 8-5 for the rest of the first half to take a 43-38 lead into halftime. The Hens would hit two shots from the perimeter in that stretch which came from Nate Darling and Ryan Allen.
Second Half Was a Massive Battle But Darling’s Go Ahead Three Leads Hens To A Win
The leading scorers for Delaware in the second half were Kevin Anderson and Dylan Painter who each scored 11 points. The Hens in the second half kept the great shooting vision as the team shot 56.0 % (14-25). The Blue Hens also shot 64.3 % (9-14) at the free-throw line in the second half.
Elon shot 53.8 % (14-26) in the second half and the team also shot 53.3 % (8-13) at the free-throw line.
In the first seven minutes of the second half, the Phoenix would outscore the Hens 15-10 which would tie the game at 53.
The Blue Hens would respond seconds later with a 10-1 run which gave the team a 63-54 lead with 10:12 left in the half. Kevin Anderson was the leading man on this run as he scored six of the 10 points.
Just as quickly the Hens responded, Elon would do the same as the team went on a 11-1 run which gave them a 65-64 lead with 7:06 left in the game.
After this, the lead was not safe very long with either team as there were three lead changes and two times that score was tied. At the 1:20 minute mark, the Phoenix would have a three-point lead with a 75-72 score.
The Hens were not done yet, as this was a team that knew a little something about making late comebacks and the team did just that in this game.
The next made shot would come from Dylan Painter who hit a layup to bring Delaware within one point of the lead (75-74).
The next time the Blue Hens would have the ball was when Nate Darling hit a three-pointer which pushed the Hens in the lead (77-75) with 22 seconds left.
The Hens would make four consecutive free throws to seal a 81-75 win.
Delaware heads to Virginia on February 15th to take on William & Mary at 4 PM ET.
FG%: UD55.8 %& EU50.0 %
3P%: UD45.0 %&EU44.1 %
FT%: UD70.0 %&EU72.7 %
TO: UD 15&EU15
Blks: UD 2&EU4