Anderson, Daly lead shorthanded Hens by CS Bakersfield in men’s hoops

Blue Hen freshman guard Kevin Anderson netted a team-high 22 points in Delaware’s win over CSU-Bakersfield on Wednesday night. Delaware sports information/Mark Campbell

NEWARK — When it comes to healthy players, the Delaware bench is a pretty deserted place right now.

For the second time in its last three games, the Blue Hens had just seven scholarship players available on Wednesday night.

“We joke about it all the time in practice,” admitted freshman guard Kevin Anderson. “We always say, ‘Dang, we’ve got seven people.’ But we like playing so it’s good.”

Indeed, the healthy players Delaware does have are pretty talented.

The Hens proved it again on Wednesday when they rolled to a 76-62 victory over Cal State Bakersfield in a nonconference men’s basketball game at the Carpenter Center.

The second-straight win for the Hens (6-6) gets them back to .500 heading into an eight-day break for Christmas.

Delaware was down to seven scholarship players because senior guard Anthony Mosley was sidelined with an eye infection. The Hens still expect to be without Jacob Cushing (broken nose) for a few more weeks while sophomore forward Derrick Woods was dismissed from the program on Monday.

But players like Anderson (22 points), sophomore Ryan Daly (20 points) and senior Eric Carter (15 points, 10 rebounds) proved again that they’re capable of carrying the scoring load.

Carter said being short-handed just means Delaware has to be creative in practice. Assistant coach Torrian Jones has filled in at times.

“We’ve got Coach ‘T’ playing four-man, thinking he’s going back to his Notre Dame days,” Carter joked. “But it’s good. We’re a little bit down right now on bodies but we’ve got to make it work. The walk-ons have stepped up.

Ryan Daly had 20 points as he reached double figures for the 10th straight game for the Hens.

“The last two days were great practices and it got us ready for today. So it doesn’t really matter at this point.”

Against a sold Bakersfield program, that is just two years removed from making the NCAA Tournament, Delaware led for over 37 minutes of the contest. The Hens were up by 11 at halftime before building as much as a 24-point advantage in the final seven minutes.

The Roadrunners (7-7) had a three-game winning streak snapped.

Anderson and Daly were a combined 7-of-12 from three-point range.

“I feel like we’re getting better as a basketball team,” said coach Martin Ingelsby. “And our young guards are really good. … When you have a short bench, guys know that they’re going to get their minutes. There’s a lot of momentum heading into Christmas.

“We’re in a better rhythm than we were a couple weeks ago. Making shots always helps.”

“We’re getting back to Delaware basketball, like we played against Richmond and a couple games early,” said Carter. “We were up 11 at half and we said, ‘Keep the foot on the pedal. Don’t come out and let them hit a spurt in the second half.’ And we didn’t. We responded great. It’s a big step for us.”

For Anderson, who netted a season-high 23 points against Notre Dame on Dec. 9, the contest marked the eighth time he’s finished in double figures.
“I was comfortable since day one,” he said.

Wednesday’s win snapped a three-game losing streak for the Hens. With the students out of town for the Christmas break, the Carpenter Center atmosphere wasn’t anything like it was when Notre Dame came to town a week and a half ago.

Ingelsby, though, hopes Delaware can start to build some more confidence about playing at home.

“That’s something that I talked to our guys about,” he said. “We won four games outside of this building. (But) we need to start taking care of business in this building and get the energy and excitement back here.”

Free throws

The Hens are now 1-1 against Bakersfield after losing to the Roadrunners by 18 in 2014. … Bakersfield lost to No. 25 UCLA only 75-66 a couple weeks ago. … Daly has scored 20 or more points five times this year. … Delaware next plays on Dec. 28 when it hosts Cornell at 2 p.m.

Reach sports editor Andy Walter at walter@newszap.com

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