Bryant’s 3-pointer lifts Hens over JMU 58-57 in CAA thriller

HARRISONBURG, Va. — Blue Hen sophomore guard Darian Bryant drilled a three-pointer from the left wing with five seconds left before Anthony Mosley came up with a game-clinching steal as the University of Delaware men’s basketball team came away with an exhilarating 58-57 victory over James Madison Saturday afternoon at the JMU Convocation Center.

The Blue Hens (11-16, 4-10 CAA) controlled most of the game, before the Dukes (7-20, 5-9 CAA) scored nine straight points to go in front 55-52 on a Terrence Johnson three-pointer with 1:02 remaining. Ryan Daly answered with a triple of his own to make it a 55-55 game, but JMU’s Ivan Lukic scored inside to put the Dukes back up a pair of 24 seconds to play.

But Mosley drove the lane before finding Bryant, who buried the game-winning triple with :05.5 on the clock, before Mosley stole the ball from JMU’s Jackson Kent just before the final buzzer to set off the Blue Hen celebration.

“I’m really proud of our group, we took a big punch but guys stepped up and made plays at the end,” said Blue Hen head coach Martin Ingelsby. “We practice those late game situations every week; we didn’t call a time out because we wanted to be unpredictable and Darian hit a big-time shot. We got into a good offensive rhythm in the second half but JMU is a good team and got confident; we just made some huge plays down the stretch. This game really speaks to the growth of our team, and hopefully we can carry it forward.”

Bryant finished with 12 points, reaching double figures for the fifth time in six games, while Daly tied for the team lead with 12 points while grabbing a team-high six rebounds. Eric Carter was the third Blue Hen in double figures with 10 points to go with five rebounds and four assists, while Mosley finished with nine points.

Delaware, which swept the regular season series from JMU, won its second straight game for the first time in CAA play and snapped a 15-game conference road losing skid. The Blue Hens shot 48.1 percent from the floor, including 15 of 25 in the second half, and handed out 14 assists.

Kent scored a game-high 17 points for the Dukes, who dropped their second straight and seventh of their last eight. Ramone Snowden added 12 points, seven rebounds and five assists, while Lukic also finished with 12 points. JMU shot 42.0 percent from the field, and was just 2 of 16 from behind the arc.

The Blue Hens jumped out to a 17-8 lead at the 13:21 mark of the first half on a layup by Devonne Pinkard, but then went scoreless for just over five minutes as JMU pulled within a pair. Carter ended the drought with a layup, and even though Delaware continued to struggle offensively, the Blue Hens stayed in front by holding the Dukes without a field goal for over eight minutes.

A Bryant layup put Delaware in front 23-20 with 2:42 on the clock, before JMU scored the final two buckets of the half to take a slim 24-23 advantage over the Blue Hens into the break.

After the teams traded baskets in the opening minutes of the second period Delaware took control with a 12-point spurt, opening up a 41-30 lead with 11:57 left while holding the Dukes scoreless for nearly six minutes.

Delaware was still up 10 three minutes later before the Dukes used a 9-2 spurt to pull within 49-46 with 4:48 remaining. Bryant answered with a three-pointer to put the Blue Hens up six, and after JMU scored nine straight, Daly and Bryant hit clutch three-pointers in the final 42 seconds to give UD the win.

Delaware will look for its third straight victory on Thursday when the Blue Hens host Drexel at 7 p.m.

Game Notes

• Delaware snapped a nine-game road losing streak

• Daly has reached double figures in 17 of the last 19 games

• Daly has led or tied for the team lead in scoring during 13 of the last 16 games, and in rebounding during each of the last nine games

• UD’s 57 points allowed were the fewest outside of Newark since the first road game of the year at Bradley

• Delaware improved to 16-12 vs. JMU and broke a two-game losing skid in Harrisonburg

• The Blue Hens swept the season series from the Dukes for the second time in four years

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