NEWARK, Delaware – Sophomore guard Kevin Anderson scored all 14 of his points in the second half to propel Delaware past UNCW, 70-66, in a Colonial Athletic Association tilt on Saturday night at the Bob Carpenter Center.
The Blue Hens increased their record to 15-11 overall and 7-6 in the league with a sweep of the regular season series. The Seahawks lost their fifth in a row and fell to 8-18 and 4-9.
Sophomore guard Ryan Allen anchored four Blue Hens in double figures with 15 points, followed by Anderson with 14 points, senior forward Eric Carter with 12 and senior guard Ryan Johnson with 10. Carter also had 13 rebounds for his 12th double-double of the season.
Junior forward Jeantal Cylla paced the Seahawks in scoring for the eighth time this season with 16 points. Senior forward Devontae Cacok racked up his NCAA-leading 19th double-double of the campaign behind 11 points and 10 boards. Freshman guard Kai Toews added nine assists for the team.
After withstanding an early barrage by the Seahawks to start the second half, the Blue Hens, with Anderson doing most of the damage, outscored UNCW, 15-2, over a five-minute stretch to break the game open.
Anderson, who missed all four of his field goal attempts in the first half, drained a three-pointer for his 10th point in the first 5:36 of the second period for a 50-37 advantage and Darian Bryant added a jumper on the right win and free throw to extend UD’s margin to 53-37 with 13:32 remaining.
The lead ballooned to 20 points with 9:24 left to play when Ethiel Horton’s basket raised the score to 61-41.
But the pesky Seahawks didn’t go away. Still trailing 67-50, UNCW reeled off 11 unanswered points over a 3:17 stretch to pull within 67-61 and then closed the gap to 69-66 on a bucket underneath by Cacok with four seconds on the clock. Anderson sank a free throw on the next trip down the court to seal the home win for the Blue Hens.
In a see-saw first half that featured 11 lead changes, Delaware forged ahead, 37-29, at intermission after shooting 51.7 percent and getting big contributions early from Allen (13 points) and Carter (10 points) in the opening 20 minutes.
A triple in the left corner by Cylla midway through the period staked the Seahawks to an 18-14 advantage until the Blue Hens caught up to square the score at 24-all.
Delaware then outscored UNCW, 13-5, over the final five minutes of the period to build an eight-point cushion at the break. It was UD’s largest lead of the first half.
Delaware wound up shooting 54.5 percent in the second half and 52.9 percent for the game. UNCW finished at 38.7 percent on the night.
SERIES UPDATE: The Seahawks still own a 22-15 advantage in the series since the Blue Hens joined the CAA 18 years ago.
ON THE ROAD: The Seahawks now stand 2-9 in true road games and 4-10 in combined road games/neutral site games.
TOEWS UDPATE: Freshman point guard Kai Toews doled out nine assists, including six in the first half, to push his season total to exactly 200 dimes and just 44 helpers off Rick Alessi’s school record.
FEBRUARY UPDATE: The Seahawks are 0-3 in February following successive losses to James Madison, Drexel and Delaware this month.
KEY MOMENT: Back-to-back three’s by Toews and Jaylen Sims chopped the deficit to 37-35 with 19:08 remaining, but Johnson sank a trifecta to kickstart a 15-2 spurt that gave the Blue Hens the breathing room they needed.
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS: With the longest rally of the game – 11 points – the Seahawks went on to outscore the Blue Hens in the second half, 37-33.
QUOTABLE: “I thought we competed the whole game. They were making some shots and we couldn’t get the ball to go into the basket. You can’t get down that much, but our guys never quit.”– UNCW Head Coach C.B. McGrath
NEXT UP: The Seahawks return to the North Carolina coast to close out the home slate with games vs. Northeastern (Feb. 14, 2019) and Hofstra (Feb. 16, 2019) at Trask Coliseum. Tip-off for both games is 7 p.m.