Anderson’s late 3-pointer carries Hens by JMU 80-76

Kevin Anderson (Delaware sports information)

HARRISONBURG, Va. — After scuffling through its last couple games, Delaware needed to find a way to get its season back on track.
On Thursday night, Kevin Anderson came up with an answer.

The junior guard buried a clutch three-pointer from the corner with only 38 seconds left and the Blue Hens posted an 80-76 victory over James Madison in CAA men’s basketball at the JMU Convention Center.

Anderson’s shot gave Delaware (2-2 CAA, 12-5 overall) the lead for good at 75-73 as the Hens snapped a two-game losing streak. Delaware averaged just 59 points per game in the two losses.

“It was just a wide open shot, and I knocked it down,” said Anderson, who went 4-for-6 from three-point range and totaled 16 points. “Last year I was more of an attacking guard looking to find my teammates, but I’ve been working a lot on my jump shots since the summer. As a leader I want the ball in late game situations.”

Dylan Painter

On Anderson’s three, guard Ryan Allen passed the ball to Nate Darling, who swung the ball to Anderson in the corner.

“Kevin Anderson has really shot the ball well for us at times, and Nate Darling make a fabulous pass for his last three,” said Blue Hen coach Martin Ingelsby. “Kevin had a really great offensive outing. We had balance offensively, it was nice to see some shots go in, we were really efficient at the foul line.”

The Hens also got a big night from center Dylan Painter, who posted the first double-double of his career. The 6-foot-10 Villanova transfer collected 23 points and 10 rebounds, going 8-of-11 from the field and 7-of-8 from the foul line.

Painter also had a pair of blocks.

“This was a coming out party for Dylan Painter in our league,” said Ingelsby. “And as good as he was on offense, I thought he was fabulous on the defensive end. He’s a guy we’ve got to continue to get more minutes for. He’s a dominant physical presence who imposes his will, and he takes a lot of pressure of our guards.

“This is a big confidence boost for our group to get it done tonight.”

Darling finished with 15 points and Justyn Mutts was the fourth Blue Hen in double figures with 10 on the night.

Delaware shot 45.8 percent from the floor, finished 20-of-25 from the free throw line, and held a 38-28 advantage in points in the paint.

The Dukes (1-4 CAA, 8-8 overall) went ahead by as many as 10 points in the first half and were still up nine late in the period. But Anderson knocked down a pair of three-pointers in the final 1:09 to bring Delaware within 42-39 at the break.

The Hens then erupted out of the second half gate, scoring the first eight points of the period and taking a 54-45 lead with 16 minutes to play on a tip-in by Painter.

Delaware eventually increased its lead to 10 and was still up nine at 61-52 with 13:44 remaining but then went scoreless for the next 5:40. JMU scored the next nine points to pull even at the 9:12 mark.

The Hens responded with a six-point spurt but the Dukes then answered with eight of their own, taking a 69-67 lead on a Julien Wooden three with 5:07 to play.

But Painter answered with a three-point play, while two Allen free throws with 1:51 on the clock put Delaware back in front, 72-71.

The Hens sank 5-of-6 foul shots in the final 17 seconds to seal the victory. Delaware returns to action on Saturday with a 1 p.m. game at Towson.