Blue Hens recover from bad loss, pound UNCW 96-76

The Hens were all smiles after Sunday’s win. From left, assistant coach Bill Phillips congratulates players Chyree Walker, Ryan Daly and Anthony Mosley. (Delaware sports information/Jeff Fannon)

NEWARK — Enduring their 25-point loss to William & Mary was bad enough for Delaware’s men’s basketball players.

But watching the video on Saturday was pretty rough, too.

“Friday night was the worst feeling ever,” said sophomore guard Ryan Daly. “We got manhandled. It was bad. And the film was even worse than being in the game.”

But, proving that tomorrow really is a new day, the Blue Hens went right back out on the Carpenter Center court on Sunday afternoon and dumped UNC-Wilmington, 96-76, in a Colonial Athletic Association matchup.

Daly (season-high 27 points) and freshman guard Ryan Allen (23) alone combined for 50 of Delaware’s points. The duo went 20-of-34 from the floor, including 7-of-14 from three-point range.

“We got into a really good flow offensively,” said Blue Hen coach Martin Ingelsby. “And it helps when guys make shots. Ryan Daly got off to a great start.

Blue Hen freshman guard Ryan Allen, who had 23 points in Sunday’s win, looks to drive to the basket.

“And when Ryan Allen is making shots behind the perimeter, he’s one of the most talented young guards in our league. It really takes pressure off of Ryan Daly to be the guy all the time.”

The teams had just played nine days ago with Delaware (2-2 CAA, 9-8 overall) grinding out a 58-56 win over the defending CAA champions. They combined to tally 58 more points on Sunday with the Hens’ 96-point total just one shy of the season-high 97 points they scored in an overtime win over Cornell.

Leading by six at halftime, Delaware started the second half on a 19-8 run to open up a 14-point lead. The Hens shot a season-high 58.6 percent (34-of-58) for the contest.

Senior guard Anthony Mosley also had a big game. The former Dover resident had 17 points, eight rebounds and a career-high eight assists.

Ingelsby said it just takes time to develop offensive chemistry.

“I think that comes with time and just playing together,” said Ingelsby. “I think now that Ryan Allen is getting major minutes, they’re getting into a good game flow and game rhythm.

“I think you saw that last year with our offensive system. It takes time — especially with young guys. We want to be very unselfish and make that extra pass. It sticks out like a sore thumb when we don’t. But, when we do, it’s a really pretty brand of basketball to play.”

“We do a three-point contest every day, me and Ryan,” said Daly. “I know he can go off for 20 any time and I think he knows that I can score pretty quickly. We work pretty well together.

Blue Hen guard Anthony Mosley netted 17 points, eight rebounds and a career-high eight assists.

“I told him, ‘If you get to the corner, if you’re open, I’m going to find you.’ He’s a momentum player. So when he hits one, he’s probably going to shoot the next four, I don’t care who’s on him.”

The Hens’ shorthanded situation — they have only seven available scholarship players right now — almost caught up with them on Sunday.

Reserve forward Skye Johnson and freshman guard Chyree Walker had both fouled out with 10:27 still left in the game. And starting big man Eric Carter had four fouls at the time.

Rather than risk Carter fouling out right away, Ingelsby put in 6-foot-3 walk-on Connor Rufo (Sanford) and just played with five guards for a few minutes.

But the Hens, who were only up 15 when Walker fouled out, just added to their lead as the Seahawks (1-3 CAA, 4-12) never really challenged down the stretch, Carter eventually played 28 minutes, finishing with 13 points.

“Any time this stuff happens, it has to be ‘next man up,’” said Carter. “That’s what we’ve been doing. It worked out perfectly today. Rufo came in and stepped up huge. Thank God we were able to drain some time off the clock or else we would have had to go with four players like Alabama (earlier this year).”

Like Daly, Carter said Friday’s loss to William & Mary was a pretty bad night for the Hens. Delaware would like to think Sunday’s victory just showed they still have a lot of potential.

“I’m not going to lie, we got smacked in the mouth on Friday, straight up,” Carter. “We weren’t ready to play and it showed.

“The good thing with conference is it turns around really quick. That’s what happened today. We were able to sweep the defending CAA champs, which was nice.”

Free throws

The Hens committed only six turnovers in the game, including just one in the second half. … Delaware is home again on Thursday night when it hosts rival Drexel at 7 p.m. … Rufo played six minutes in the contest. … The Hens’ three-point shooting percentage of 52.4 percent (11-of-21) was also a season-high.

Reach sports editor Andy Walter at walter@newszap.com

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