With Daly sidelined 3 weeks, Hens drop 4th straight 64-59 to Hofstra

Eric Carter collected 16 points and 12 rebounds for the Blue Hens in Saturday night’s loss to Hofstra. (Delaware sports information photo/Chris Mlynarczyk)

NEWARK — Certainly, they had plenty of excuses.

Not only was Delaware missing its top scorer in Ryan Daly but then freshman standout Ryan Allen fouled out with 5:15 left in the game.

By the time the contest ended, the Blue Hens had just five available scholarship players to put on the court.

But coach Martin Ingelsby wasn’t interested in talking about moral victories after Hofstra found a way to pull out a 64-59 CAA men’s basketball victory over Delaware before a near-sellout crowd of 4,737 at the Carpenter Center on Saturday night.

The Pride (6-4 CAA, 13-9 overall) led for only 4:51 of the contest before handing the Hens (4-6 CAA, 11-12) their fourth loss in a row.

“We’re not going to have Ryan (Daly) for a little while,” said Ingelsby. “We don’t have (injured) Kevin Anderson. This is our group. And we’ve got to work to get better.

“This is year two and we’re not into just playing close games anymore. I hope it hurts, I really do. I hope it bothers them that we didn’t get out of here (with a win). We’ve got to get back to practice and find ways to get better with the group we have right now.”

In a game it led by as many as 11 points in the first half, Delaware still had a chance to pull out a victory in the closing minute.

But with just 12.4 seconds remaining and the shot clock near zero, Hofstra guard Justin Wright-Foreman calmly stepped back and swished a three-pointer from the top of the key to ice the victory.

The shot capped off a 32-point night for the junior, who sank 6-of-8 threes in the contest.

“I’ve got to do a better job of getting up in him,” said Delaware’s Anthony Mosley, who was guarding Wright-Foreman on the play. “I feel like he kind of got that one off pretty easily. I was there but that was not good enough defense on a scorer like that.”

Delaware’s Skye Johnson goes up for two of his 10 points in Saturday’s contest. (Delaware sports information photo/Chris Mlynarczyk)

“It was one of those ones where you’ve got to try to make somebody else beat you,” said Ingelsby. “I don’t know what happened on the play. We settled a little bit and let him hit a three. Really good players make tough shots.”

With a big crowd in the building, the Hens didn’t seem to miss Daly at all in the first half.

The sophomore guard sprained his left ankle in the final minute of Thursday night’s loss to Charleston. Daly had his foot in a cast on Saturday.

Last season’s CAA Rookie of the Year, the early prognosis is for Daly to miss the next three weeks.

Still, the Hens opened up a 29-18 lead to start the game. When Allen (11 points) hit a pull-up jumper just before the halftime buzzer, Delaware held a 36-28 advantage at intermission.

The Pride didn’t grab its first second-half lead at 54-53 until there was only 5:15 on the clock. That’s also when Allen fouled out.

“We ran out of offensive firepower,” said Ingelsby. “We’ve got to find better ways to manufacture points. Losing Ryan Allen at the 5:15 mark really hurt us because we didn’t have much perimter firepower to go to.”

Delaware did get a team-high 16 points and 12 rebounds from big man Eric Carter. The Hens’ only other big forward, Skye Johnson, added 10 points.

It was one of the first times that Delaware used both big men at the same time.

“Coach suggested it earlier and we worked on it,” said Carter. “It was good for us. I think we’ll use it going forward.”

Like the rest of his teammates, Carter knows the Hens can’t get caught up in worrying about who can’t play. Somehow they just have to make do.

“There’s no excuse,” said Carter. “It’s next man up, no matter what. It doesn’t matter who’s out there. We’ve been like this before.

“We have to battle, we have to get better, we have to be coachable as a team. Ryan’s down. It is what it is. We’ve got to find ways to win.”

Extra points

Wright-Foreman has scored 30-plus points in six games this season. … Mosley (9 points) fouled out with one second left. … Carter’s double-double was his sixth of the season. … Hofstra has won eight of its last nine meetings with the Hens. … Delaware plays its third straight home game when it hosts Towson on Thursday at 7 p.m.

Reach sports editor Andy Walter at walter@newszap.com

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