Freshman Arletti sparks Hens by Charleston 70-67 in CAA opener

Freshman guard Marco Arletti, who hadn’t scored before Saturday, poured in a game-high 21 points for Delaware in a 70-67 win over Charleston. Delaware sports information/Mark Campbell

NEWARK — When Marco Arletti left Italy, he came to America trying to make a name for himself as a college basketball player.
With a few more games like he had on Saturday afternoon, he might just get his wish.

Forced into action when senior Kevin Anderson went down with an ankle injury, the freshman guard responded by pouring in 21 points as Delaware held off Charleston, 70-67, in its Colonial Athletic Association opener at the Carpenter Center.

In the Blue Hens’ first five games, Arletti had taken just two shots — and missed them both. All of which is makes it more remarkable that, on Saturday, the 6-foot-6 guard was 8-of-13 from the field, including 3-of-6 from three-point range.

“I always put the work in,” and Arletti, who played at Holy Cross Prep in New Jersey for the last two years. “So I knew I was going to be ready when the opportunity came.

“Today the opportunity came so I just did what I’m supposed to do and helped the team to win.”

Arletti’s memorable game overshadowed a big game from another Delaware true freshman. Andrew Carr, who stands 6-foot-9, netted a career-high 15 points when he also sank 3-of-6 threes for the short-handed Hens (3-3 overall).

“Boy, were our two freshmen really, really good,” said UD coach Martin Ingelsby. “Maybe I was holding them back. … Those guys earned it. They deserved it. They worked really, really hard in the preseason. They’re fearless guys.”

Freshman Andrew Carr netted a season-high 15 points in his first collegiate start on Saturday against Charleston.

But, on a day when he didn’t nete his first points until there was only 11:30 left in the contest, senior guard Ryan Allen (9 points, 5 assists) was still the one that helped Delaware nail down its first win since Dec. 11.

With the Hens clinging to a one-point lead, Allen calmly sank a pair of foul shots with six seconds left to make it 70-67. That meant Delaware could breathe a little bit easier when the Cougars’ Payton Willis (21 points) had a three-pointer rim out with just one second remaining.

“I thought Ryan Allen did a great job managing the game at the end of the game for us,” said Ingelsby.

The Hens never trailed against Charleston (3-6) after jumping out to an 8-0 lead. But they also never led by more than five points in the final 7:18.

Three times the Cougars got that advantage down to just one point in the last two minutes.

With Delaware leading only 64-63, Carr sank one of two foul shots with 51.6 seconds on the clock before Allen hit two more to give the Hens a 67-63 cushion with 34.5 seconds remaining.

Delaware was 6-of-8 from the foul line in the final 51 seconds.

This clearly wasn’t the way Ingelsby planned things.

But Delaware was missing starter Aleks Novakovich, who didn’t suit up because of a foot injury. Anderson then hurt his ankle while making a steal in the first three minutes of the game and didn’t return.

On top of that, sophomore guard Ebby Asamoah played only 14 minutes and scored just three points after getting in foul trouble.
Along with the pair of freshmen, senior center Dylan Painter also helped pick up the slack. He collected 16 points and six rebounds.

Senior center Dylan Painter collected 16 points and six rebounds for the Blue Hens in their CAA opener.

Like Arletti, Carr said he had worked hard to put himself in position for his first college start.

“The rotation is cut pretty short now,” said Carr. “Obviously we’re going ‘next man up.’ We work hard for this. I think everyone knows what to do. We’ve just got to go out there and really execute and really trust each other on both ends of the court.”

The two freshmen are good friends. Unable to go home to Italy for the past year because of the pandemic, Arletti stayed with Carr’s family in West Chester, Pa. over the summer.

“I was really proud of him to see him go out there and show his stuff,” said Carr.

Arletti won’t have to wait long to see what he can do as a followup to his breakout game.

As part of the CAA’s new scheduling format during the pandemic, the Hens and Cougars will square off again today at 2 p.m. in the Carpenter Center. Anderson’s status for the rematch is up in the air.

The reason that Arletti, who turned 19 on Christmas Day, is in the U.S. in the first place is to prove himself. He earned himself some more chances to do that on Saturday.

“I felt like it was an opportunity and, if I didn’t take it, I would have regretted it,” Arletti said about coming to the U.S. “Everything worked out well and here I am today.”

UD women’s, DSU teams have schedules changed

It didn’t take long for positive COVID-19 test results to start changing schedules in the CAA.

Delaware’s women were supposed to play a pair of games at Charleston this weekend. But the contests were postponed because of positive test result(s) at the South Carolina school.

Meanwhile, Northeastern had its weekend games against Elon postponed because of positive results at Elon.

So now, Delaware’s women will play at Northeastern on Monday and Tuesday at 1 p.m.

On the men’s side, Towson has already postponed its first four league games because of positive test results.

Drexel also postponed its weekend series with UNCW due to positive tests within the Seahawks. UNCW just hosted DSU on Dec. 23.
Whether that situation impacted the Hornets’ schedule or not, DelState’s women’s/men’s MEAC doubleheader at Coppin State — scheduled for this weekend — has been pushed back two days.

The Hornets will now play at Coppin on Monday and Tuesday. The women’s game tips off at 5:30 p.m. with the men’s contest following at approximately 8 p.m.