Charleston too much for Delaware men

Nate Darling netted a team-high 17 points for Delaware but was only 1-of-8 from three-point range. University of Delaware/Sarah Boekholder

NEWARK — As well as Delaware was playing, there was no way the Blue Hens were getting a win without a fight.

Charleston is just too good to let that happen.

And sure enough, the Cougars took over in the final 10 minutes, pulling away to a 75-63 victory over Delaware in a CAA men’s basketball showdown at the Carpenter Center Monday night.

The Hens (1-1 CAA, 11-4 overall) led for over 27 minutes of the contest. But Delaware never pulled even again after a Brevin Galloway three-pointer put Charleston ahead, 56-55, with 7:55 remaining.

The Cougars (2-0 CAA, 8-6 overall) outscored the Hens by 20 points over the final 18 minutes to win going away. It was Charleston’s eighth win in a row over Delaware.

“They’re a really, really well-coached team,” said UD junior guard Kevin Anderson. “They play hard the whole game.

“That’s a great team. They made shots when they needed to make shots. And our shots just weren’t falling at the time.”

“They’re a really, really good defensive team,” said coach Martin Ingelsby. “They’re tough, they’re physical. They’re older. They did a great job kind of frustrating us on the offensive end.

“They’ve got good players. Galloway made some big, back-breaking threes that really hurt us. They kind of imposed their will on us in the last 10 minutes of the game.”

But while Charleston — which was picked second in the CAA in the preseason — took the game over, the Hens also helped give it away.

Delaware shot a glaring 3-of-25 from three-point range for the game. The Hens also made just two of their final 14 shots from the floor after an Anderson three put them ahead 53-52 with 9:12 on the clock.

Ingelsby didn’t like the way his team reacted to falling behind.

“I thought we settled (offensively) at times when we were feeling a little bit of that game pressure,” said Ingelsby. “We were a little tight, feeling like we needed to get it back right away.

“That’s what I really talked about with our guys in the locker room after the game. We need more positive energy in that moment. We need those guys thinking in sync and we were a little rattled.”

Early on, though, Delaware looked sharp. The Hens jumped out to a 40-34 halftime advantage as seven different players scored at least three points.

That lead grew to as much as 44-36 in the first three minutes of the second half.

“It was a great college basketball game for 30 minutes,” said Ingelsby. “It was back and forth, we’re making shots, they’re playing hard, tough, physical. … It is always the great equalizer in basketball when teams get confident from the three-point line.”  

Charleston guard Grant Riller, the conference’s preseason Player of the Year, netted 16 of his game-high 22 points in the second half. But Galloway also hit four big three-pointers to tally 14 points.

Nate Darling answered with 17 points for Delaware with Anderson adding 11. But Darling and Anderson were a combined 2-for-14 from beyond the arc while Ryan Allen (9 points) was 0-for-8.

Collin Goss added eight points and 10 rebounds.

“I thought we were ready to play,” said Ingelsby. “This was a big game for us. I think about three or four years ago when we played them, we were hoping we don’t lose by 30.

“But I think our guys are disappointed. And I hope it stings a little bit to be able to learn from this and be better moving forward.”

Free throws

The Hens are now 5-1 at home. They were trying to become the first UD squad to start 6-0 at home since the 1999-2000 team started 9-0 at the Carpenter Center. … Charleston is the only CAA team that Delaware hasn’t beaten in Ingelsby’s four seasons as coach. … Charleston now leads the all-time series 11-5. … Delaware starts a stretch of three straight road games with a 7 p.m. contest at Drexel on Friday. … The Hens don’t play at home again until Jan. 16 when they host William & Mary.

Reach sports editor Andy Walter at walter@newszap.com