Hen men suffer first loss against GW, 66-56

Blue Hen center Collin Goss netted a career-high 15 points against his former team. (Delaware sports information/Mark Jordan)

WASHINGTON — Sooner or later, the law of averages was bound to catch up with Delaware.

That day came on Saturday.

The Blue Hens struggled from the outside and George Washington tallied the final seven points of the contest as the Colonials downed Delaware, 66-56, in men’s basketball on Saturday afternoon at the Charles E. Smith Center.

The loss was the first of the season for the Hens (9-1), whose 9-0 start was the best in program history.

“This was a tough, physical game and the experience will help us moving forward,” said UD coach Martin Ingelsby. “We’re disappointed we didn’t get it, but we’ll use it as a learning experience and as motivation back at practice.”

Delaware, which led by as many as 10 points early in the game, trailed only 59-56 with 1:14 remaining. But George Washington (5-5) took over from there.

The Hens shot 40.7 percent from the field, including just 2-of-13 from three-point range. On the other end, Delaware limited George Washington to 44.6 percent shooting, and only 6-of-21 shooting from behind the arc.

“That game was a testament to George Washington, they are a really good defensive group,” said Ingelsby. “They frustrated us on our penetration and with their physicality. We got some good looks around the rim and in transition, but just couldn’t get the ball to go in the basket.

“Our defense kept us in the game, but they were able to get downhill in the last five minutes.”

One of the few offensive bright spots for the Hens was the play of center Collin Goss. The 6-foot-11 senior — who started his career at George Washington — netted a career-high 15 points on 7-of-9 shooting from the floor.

Goss scored 13 of his points in the first half. The game was tied 29-29 at halftime.

Delaware’s usual top scorers were all held in check. Nate Darling finished with 12 points, Kevin Anderson contributed 10 and Ryan Allen chipped in nine.

Justyn Mutts finished with eight points and a team-high eight rebounds. The Hens’ 56-point total matched its lowest output of the season.

“There’s a chip on your shoulder any time you leave a school, and you always want to play better against them,” said Goss. “As a team, we feel like we’re in a good place at 9-1 heading into the Villanova game.”

The Hens don’t play again until next Saturday when they face No. 23-ranked Villanova in Newark, N.J. Delaware then takes on Delaware State on Dec. 16 at the 76ers Field House in Wilmington.

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