Hornet men’s hoop team falls to Texas Southern 74-61

DOVER — Delaware State welcomed a sleep-deprived and jet-lagged opponent to Memorial Hall on Sunday afternoon.

But the Hornets couldn’t take advantage of Texas Southern’s travel schedule, falling to the Tigers 74-61 in a nonconference men’s basketball contest. It was the first game against a Division I opponent for Delaware State, which dropped to 1-1 overall.

Texas Southern had played a game at Texas-Arlington on Saturday night and had to wake up at 3:45 a.m. local time to catch a plane to Delaware State, one time-zone away. The Tigers landed close to 10 a.m. on Sunday and bussed down for a 2 p.m. tipoff.

Texas Southern struggled in the early parts of the matchup but rallied to take a 30-26 lead at halftime. The Tigers heated up in the second half, shooting 42 percent from the field and led by as much as 17 points.

“We’ve been talking about this trip for a long time because we wanted to prepare them for how tough it was going to be,” said Texas Southern coach Mike Davis, who formally coached at Indiana where he led the Hoosiers to an appearance in the national title game in 2002. “We came out a little sluggish, a little slow but it really picked up in the second half.”

Delaware State was hampered by a poor rebounding effort.

The Hornets gave up 22 offensive rebounds to Texas Southern while only grabbing 18 on the defensive end. The Tigers out-rebounded DelState 46-23.

“They controlled the boards,” said DSU senior guard DeAndre Haywood. “Every shot they missed it felt like they had four or five chances at the basket. Once you give a team four or five extra opportunities they’re bound to make one of them. That happened on numerous occasions.”

Texas Southern scored 14 second-chance points. The Tigers were led by Marvin Jones who grabbed 21 rebounds including nine on the offensive end. He had a double-double with 15 points and Dulani Robinson was the leading-scorer with 20 points.

“They got a good team but we knew it would take awhile for them to adjust to our speed and our size,” Davis said.

“We had guys in the game who just didn’t execute especially on the defensive end,” said DSU coach Keith Walker. “We kept giving up second chance attempts and we just had guys in there standing around not going after the basketball. That’s something we need to address.”

Haywood paced the Hornets with 20 points while Devin Morgan added 12 and Kavon Waller scored 11. Waller and Polytech High product Devaughn Mallory were Delaware State’s top rebounders with four apiece.

Delaware State now hits the road for its next eight games and 12 of the next 13.

“This is where we come together as a team and find out who is riding for us and who is not,” Haywood said. “We’ve got to build a bond and start executing like coach wants.”

Reach staff writer Tim Mastro at tmastro@newszap.com

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