College notebook: DSU women’s hoop team shows major improvement

When Barbara Burgess was hired at Delaware State in the spring, it looked like she had her work cut out for her.

The Hornet women’s basketball team had just wrapped up a 5-25 season, winning just two games in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.

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Barbara Burgess

It’s still early in Burgess’ tenure and there’s still work left to do, but she’s already bettered last season’s results. After a victory on Wednesday, the DSU women have surpassed their win total from a year ago.

“It’s just a matter of them believing that they can do it, and when they believe, anything is possible,” Burgess said. “They can run with anybody in the MEAC, and as you know the MEAC is so up and down everybody’s beating everybody, so that’s a plus for us. I just keep telling them day in and day out, you’ve got to believe in yourselves because the coaching staff believes in you.”

Ahead of today’s 2 p.m. home contest against South Carolina State, DSU is 6-13 overall and 3-3 in MEAC play. That has the Hornets in eighth place in the conference, a welcome improvement to last year, when they finished at the bottom in 13th.

If the Hornets can avenge a defeat to SC State from earlier this season, they would be above .500 in MEAC play for the first time since the 2012-13 season. No matter when the next victory comes, it will give DelState four MEAC wins, which will be their highest total since 2013.

“I’m just really proud of the young ladies,” Burgess said. “Just the last couple of weeks, I’ve been telling them to just fight. Fight to the very end, try to win each quarter, play hard while you’re out there. You need a sub, we’ll get you a sub. We need everybody to contribute while you’re out there. It’s a team effort. So that’s really what we’ve been preaching.”

UD women to host CAA tourney in ’19: Delaware will host the Colonial Athletic Association women’s basketball tournament in 2019, the league announced on Friday.

The event will be held on campus sites for at least the next three years. It will be hosted by James Madison next year and by Drexel in 2018.

“We are excited to bring our showcase women’s basketball championship back to campus to be played in front of our most loyal fans,” said CAA Commissioner Tom Yeager. “The annual site selections are designed to help promote women’s basketball throughout the conference, creating exciting experiences for our teams and fans.”

The CAA tournament has been held at 10 different sites over the league’s 31 years. The tournament was last held on campus in 2010 before moving to the Show Place Arena in 2011, where it has been for the last five seasons.

The Carpenter Center is no stranger to hosting large-scale events as it was a site for the first round of the 2013 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament.  Delaware also hosted the CAA tourney in 2007 and ’08.


• The Wesley College men’s basketball team (4-6 CAC, 6-11 overall) will try to continue its season-best three-game winning streak when it plays today at Mary Washington (4-6, 8-9) at 3 p.m.

The Wolverines are one of five teams currently tied for fifth place in the Capital Athletic Conference at 4-6. The top six teams make the league tournament.

• The Wesley men are second in the 10-team CAC in scoring (74.6 points) but ninth in scoring defense (77.1).

• Wednesday is signing day for high school football players around the country. That’s when Delaware will be able to officially announce the signing of Salesianum standout Colby Reeder and his brother, Troy, who is transferring from Penn State.

• It hasn’t been a great season for offensive basketball in the First State so far. Out of the 346 men’s Division I teams in the country, Delaware State is ranked No. 343 in field-goal percentage (36.7 percent), while Delaware is No. 318 (40.2 percent).

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