Daly, Carter lift Hens past Elon at CAA tourney

Ryan Daly

CHARLESTON, S.C. — The Delaware men’s basketball team wasn’t ready for its season to end just yet.

Ryan Daly netted 23 points while Eric Carter added 20 as the seventh-seeded Blue Hens held off No. 10 Elon, 86-79, in the opening round of the Colonial Athletic Association Tournament on Saturday evening at the North Charleston Coliseum.

Delaware (14-18) has to turn right around and take on No. 2 Northeastern today at 6 p.m. in the tourney quarterfinals.

It was the second-straight year that the Hens won a CAA play-in game. Their 14th victory also gave them one more win than they had last season.

After falling behind by eight points to Elon (14-18) early on Saturday, Delaware built a 41-30 by halftime. The Hens led by as many as 13 points in the second half.

Four Delaware players finished in double figures: Daly, Carter, Ryan Allen (14) and Anthony Mosley (13). Carter, who pulled down 11 rebounds, went 10-for-12 from the free throw line.

“I got into a good rhythm offensively, and I was just trying to make plays to help my team win,” said Daly. “I didn’t want us to be one and done down here, so I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”

“Ryan Daly was terrific and Eric Carter had a fabulous night,” said second-year Delaware coach Martin Ingelsby. “He (Carter) played like one of the best big guys in the league. We did a great job of handling the basketball against their pressure, and just need to do a better job of hitting our free throws.

“Northeastern is really good, but we’ll be ready to go tomorrow.”

The Phoenix, who closed the season with a six-game losing streak, closed within five in the final minute, But Delaware hit four free throws down the stretch to seal the win.

After losing nine games in a row, Delaware has now won three of its last four. The Hens lost both meetings with Northeastern this season.

Daly reached double figures for the 25th consecutive game.

Carter became the 32nd player in UD history to grab 500 career rebounds while Allen — who sank three three-pointers — tied the school single-season three-pointer record of 86 also held by John Gordon in 1998-99.

Mosley, the former Dover middle-school standout, needs 13 more points to reach 1,000 for his career.

The 165 combined points are the second most in a CAA Tournament first-round game.

Elon leads the all-time series, 7-3, but the Hens have won the last two meetings. The schools were meeting for the first time in the postseason.

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