Hornets fade down stretch, fall to Loyola 84-76

DOVER — It wasn’t the first time this season the Delaware State men’s basketball team was unable to get over the hump.

The inexperienced Hornets let another game slip away.

Delaware State gave up a late run as Loyola (Md.) downed the Hornets 84-76 in a nonconference matchup at Memorial Hall on Wednesday night. The Hornets fell to 1-9.

DSU still has not defeated a Division I opponent this year. Its lone win came against St. Elizabeth.

The Hornets made it a one-possession game on Pinky Wiley’s three-pointer with 1:44 remaining. But the Greyhounds responded with seven unanswered points to seal it.

“We got to get stops down the stretch and we got to come up with those 50-50 balls, especially at home, we can’t give those up,” said DSU second-year coach Eric Skeeters. “That’s what happened tonight. We go to the floor to get those balls and they come up with it.”

DSU wasted another standout performance from Dayton transfer John Crosby, who netted 31 points on 11-of-19 shooting. It was the second time this season the senior guard surpassed the 30-point barrier.

Ameer Bennett was the only other Hornet in double figures. He scored 16 points, finishing 10-of-10 from the free throw line, and recorded seven rebounds.

Wiley and Lance Singh added nine points apiece.

“We got to be more balanced on offense,” Skeeters said. “We need a second weapon. Ameer did a good job, he made 10 free throws and did a good job of making them pay.”

The Hornets struggled from the field in the first half and trailed 31-27 at the break thanks to a 29 percent shooting mark.

They bounced back, as DSU scored 49 points in the second half — its highest total of the season, but still was out-scored by Loyola 53-49.

DSU did not hit its first three-pointer until L.J. Stansbury made one with 15:08 left in the second half. Two possessions later the Hornets took their first lead 46-45 on a three by Singh.

The Hornets led by as much as six in the second half, but Loyola rallied with back-to-back threes by Kenneth Jones.

Isaiah Hart’s three-pointer from the corner gave the Greyhounds the lead for good with eight minutes left.

Loyola recorded 12 offensive rebounds. The Greyhounds out-scored the Hornets 30-18 in the paint and held a 15-6 advantage in second chance points.

“They killed us there,” Skeeters said.

Andrew Kostecka was Loyola’s top scorer with 25 points. Kavaughn Scott added 14 and Cam Spencer and Jones added 13 each.

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