The University of Delaware men’s basketball team was less than 48 hours removed from an emotionally draining road-win at Drexel when it welcomed William & Mary to the Carpenter Center on Wednesday night. It was a difficult spot for the Hens, but it was also a must-win game for Monte Ross’ team. After nearly allowing a 15-point lead to disappear in the final five minutes against the Dragons, Delaware needed desperately to continue moving in a positive direction and to keep pace with the top tier of the CAA standings.
By beating the Tribe as convincingly as the Hens did, UD made a statement. Delaware’s 66-56 victory was more lopsided than the final score would indicate. The win, coupled with Northeastern’s upset-loss to Georgia State, left the Hens just two games out of first place with more than half of the CAA schedule remaining to be played.
As I said on Monday, I truly believe Delaware has the most talented team in the league. No other school can compete with the trio of Jamelle Hagins, Devon Sadler and Jarvis Threatt. And while the Hens certainly lack depth, they are blessed with enough skill to overcome that shortcoming.
The only thing holding UD back from accomplishing great things is a pesky lack of consistency. That issue reared its ugly head again during the second half on Wednesday.
A 10-0 run by the Tribe turned a 39-22 Delaware edge into a seven-point game. But the Hens did not panic, and were able to counter William & Mary’s charge with a couple of key outside shots. The game was never truly in doubt, and that is a great sign for Ross and his players.
Certainly, the Hens still have some issues they must address. In a year when no one is really all that good in the conference though, Delaware is in a solid position to put together a second-half run.
Not bad for a team that appeared to be headed nowhere fast as recently as a week ago.