College notebook: Bogard gives DSU women boost with buzzer-beater layup

DOVER — As the referees huddled around a video monitor, Amber Bogard had no doubt in her mind what the outcome was going to be.

Amber Bogard mug by .

Amber Bogard

About a minute later, the referees confirmed what Bogard had already knew.

Bogard’s layup at the buzzer gave the Delaware State women’s basketball team a thrilling win on Monday night. Her shot erased a late rally by Howard and gave the Hornets a 87-86 victory, their first MEAC triumph under new coach Barbara Burgess.

“I knew I got it off in time,” Bogard, a senior, said. “I knew there was also no time left after it went in. It means a lot. We’ve been working hard for this.”

The winning play came after Howard took its first lead of the game on a pair of free throws with nine seconds remaining.

Burgess said the Hornets kept running the same play they had been doing for most of the final five minutes of the game. Guard N’Kayah Kersey would dribble up the floor and one of the two post players, Bogard or NaJai Pollard, would flash toward the hoop when Kersey entered the lane.

On the final possession when the Howard defense doubled Kersey, Bogard was unguarded underneath the hoop.

“It just so happened they left Amber wide-open,” Burgess said.

The wild ending gave the Hornets their fourth win of the year, meaning they are just one win away from already matching last year’s win total.

“I think the girls needed that win,” Burgess said. “I keep telling them to fight and have heart. We kept fighting and hung tight until the very end. That’s what I’ve been trying to reiterate to them every day, never giving up regardless of the score.”

Unexpected departure

Delaware may have never before had a football player forego his final season of eligibility with the chance to go pro.

So All-American punter Eric Enderson may have made a little history this week when he announced he wasn’t coming back next fall.

A senior academically with a 3.3 GPA, he already had enough credits to graduate.

Like most punters, Enderson knows his shot at the NFL is as a free agent. If it doesn’t work out, he plans on going to law school.

“Over the last month or so I have really tried to analyze the possibilities for myself moving forward,” Enderson said in a press release. “It has led to countless hours of researching, talking with my family, and stepping back and really thinking everything through. I finally came to my decision to take my shot at the next level and move on from this part of my life.”

Enderson holds the school record for punting average in a season (45.0 yards in 2013) and a career (43.6).

“Leaving Delaware a year early was one of the hardest decisions I’ve had to make,” he said. “Over the last four years being a part of this football team, I’ve made my best friends, made memories that will last forever, and experienced what it really means to be a Blue Hen. … I hope that I am not only leaving Delaware as one of the best punters to ever come through, but also as one of the best teammates and an even better person.”

MEAC softball preseason poll

The Delaware State softball team has been picked to finish first in the MEAC North Division with 18 of 26 first place vote in the preseason poll announced on Friday afternoon.

Third baseman Jordan Stamps, shortstop Chloe Oro, catcher Sandy Hawthorne and outfielder Nicole Gazzola were named Preseason First-Team All-MEAC while pitcher Tara Turselino, first baseman Vanessa Washington and second baseman Danielle Velez made the second team.

The Hornets finished last season at 21-22 (14-4 MEAC) under first-year head coach Amber Jackson, which included a second consecutive MEAC North regular season title

Notes

• Polytech High grad Eric Laster, a senior guard on the Loyola (Md.) men’s basketball team, is fourth on the Greyhounds in scoring at 9.9 points per game. He’s also third in rebounds (4.2) while starting four games for Loyola, which was 4-11. Laster netted a team-high 16 points in a game at nationally-ranked Kansas in Dec. The Smyrna native has reached double figures in eight of 15 games, scoring a season-high 17 points three times.

• Another Polytech grad, Ricky Hicks, is seeing playing time as a freshman at Kutztown. He’s averaging 2.3 points while scoring nine points in one contest and eight in another.

• Linebacker Troy Reeder, who announced this week that he’s transferring to Delaware, finished his Penn State career on crutches. He didn’t play in the Nittany Lions’ TaxSlayer Bowl game with Georgia because of an undisclosed leg injury.

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