Blue Hens snap 9-game skid with 72-57 victory over Elon

Eric Carter (left) and Ryan Allen walk off the court after the Hens snapped a nine-game losing streak Saturday night. (Delaware sports information/Mark Campbell)

NEWARK — Winning isn’t the only thing.

Of course, that’s a lot easier to say when you’re not a team that’s gone a month without a victory.

So, yeah, Delaware’s men’s basketball players had to admit it felt pretty good after they dispatched Elon, 72-57, to finally snap their nine-game losing streak on Saturday night at the Carpenter Center.

The win was the first for the Hens (5-11 CAA, 12-17 overall) since Jan. 13.

“We feel like we got the monkey off our backs to be honest with you,” said second-year coach Martin Ingelsby. “We’ve been really close. We’ve played some really good basketball. We don’t have a lot to show for it in this losing streak.

“But I want our guys to be able to enjoy it. It was great to just see these guys out here — they were smiling, they’re enjoying playing basketball in this program. It gives us good momentum going into the final weekend of the season.”

Clearly, for Delaware, it’s good to have Ryan Daly back on the floor. In his second game since missing five games with an ankle injury, the sophomore guard netted a game-high 22 points and 12 rebounds.

When Elon (6-9 CAA, 14-14) cut the Hens’ 15-point lead down to only 46-40 midway through the second half, it was obvious how much better Delaware is having two scorers in Daly and freshman Ryan Allen (17).

Blue Hen senior guard Anthony Mosley drives to the basket against Elon. He finished with 13 points.

The two guards traded shots, combing to score all 14 points in a 14-6 run that put the Hens back in control, 62-46, with 7:19 remaining. Allen and Daly each hit a pair of three-pointers in that run, finishing a combined 7-for-14 from beyond the arc for the game.

“It’s great having Ryan Daly back, no doubt about it,” said Ingelsby. “And it takes pressure off of Ryan Allen and Eric Carter to be those consistent scorers for us. And it sure helps when you make shots.”

“Nobody’s panicking,” Daly said Elon’s second-half run. “We have enough talent. To be honest, I don’t see offense being our problem when we’re fully healthy.”

Delaware had five players finish in doudble figures on Saturday. Besides Daly and Allen, Eric Carter also had a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds while senior Anthony Mosley added 13 points.

But the Hens also felt pretty good about their defense.

Elon’s total of 57 point matched the second-lowest output for a Delaware opponent this season. The Phoenix shot just 35 percent (21-of-60) for the game.

The Hens switched to playing more of a 2-3 zone in the last few games.

“I haven’t been as committed to it as I have been in the last two games,” said Ingelsby. “But our guys are getting a really good feel for how to play it. We held a really talented offensive team to 57 points. It was good.

“It’s something to really grow in as we move forward.”

Delaware has only two regular-season games remaining and then the CAA Tournament. Starting the day in last place in the 10-team league standings, the Hens have little chance of digging out of one of the bottom four spots — and a play-in game in the conference tourney.

But that’s not to say the Hens are lacking for confidence.

“We have enough talent to compete with anyone in this league,” said Daly. “That was a good team and we beat them pretty good.

“Hopefully we can build this momentum into the weekend and the CAA tournament,” he added.

“It feels great,” said Mosley. “We’ve taken a lot of punches over the last month. It was great to get over the hump today.

“We’re a resilient group. We’re not going to give up, we’re not just going to lay down and quit. We know we’re right there. We know we’re good enough to beat any team in this conference. We’ve just got to out there and play.”

Free throws

Carter has nine double-doubles this season. … Allen has scored in double figures in 13 straight games. … The Hens next play at Drexel on Thursday night before closing the regular season by hosting James Madison at 4 p.m. on Feb. 24. … Kory Holden, the guard who played his first two seasons at Delaware, has left the South Carolina program. The junior guard was hampered by injuries, playing in 14 games this winter and averaging 3.4 points per game.

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